Get to know the Sloughhouse RCD
The Sloughhouse Resource Conservation District (RCD) is a smaller RCD recently reinvigorated after the passing of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The RCD has hired a new District Manager, Austin Miller, to lead their efforts in helping to create and enact a sustainable groundwater management plan for the Sloughhouse RCD Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA).
Austin Miller has a background in agricultural education and non-profit management. He is motivated to learn more about what RCDs can do for their communities, and to learn about the natural resource needs and challenges faced by the communities in his district. “Because of its role as a non-regulatory public agency, Sloughhouse RCD is uniquely positioned to provide services in the area, and I’m excited to learn more about the constituent’s needs so we can better serve them,” said Austin.
Sloughhouse RCD is one of seven Groundwater Sustainability Agencies in the Cosumnes Sub-basin, which covers southeast Sacramento County and Amador County. The basin has been categorized as “medium priority,” which means that it will require careful management to be able to sustain its levels for all uses. Local landowners recognized that bringing Sloughhouse RCD back into a more active status after the passing of SGMA would be an opportunity, since RCDs are positioned to be ideal implementation partners to Groundwater Sustainable Agencies and to be a neutral local voice so that residents can have more of a say over how their groundwater is managed.
As the lead of their local Groundwater Sustainability Agency, Sloughhouse RCD is working to create a groundwater sustainability plan that will span the next 20 years. An important part of creating the plan is to collect input from local landowners and make sure their needs are being heard. A landowner survey has been distributed and several town hall meetings were held in the spring of 2019. Feedback from this public outreach will inform the initial draft of the groundwater sustainable plan. Additional townhall meetings will take place after first draft of the plan has been completed. In the meantime, those in the Cosumnes Sub-basin can submit comments and stay up-to-date with the sub-basin planning process by visiting cosumnes.waterforum.org.
The Sloughhouse RCD’s focus is currently on its current role as a GSA, but it hopes to expand its services. They are currently exploring the option for offering soil health programs to serve agriculture in their area.