Basin groundwater recharges still waiting on state approval

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Ojai Valley News photos by Tim Dewar
Visitors peer in to the diversion vault during the San Antonio Spreading Grounds opening ceremony in September 2014.
Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News
Approximately a quarter-inch of rain had fallen around the Ojai Valley by midmorning March 21, and monitors at the Ventura County Watershed Protection District (WPD) showed about a third-of-a-foot of water in San Antonio Creek near the Grand Avenue bridge. That's about 8 inches short of the level required for diverting water to the San Antonio Creek Spreading Grounds, according to WPD Planner Elizabeth Martinez. 
But don't go looking for diversion there anytime soon: The necessary authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) still hasn't been issued. 
The $1.3 million spreading grounds are a series of catchment ponds approximately 400 yards north of the Carne and Thacher roads intersection. When the valve in a concrete diversion chamber is opened, water runs from San Antonio Creek to the ponds by way of a 36-inch pipe. The ponds, in turn, direct the water to four nearby injection wells that help replenish the Ojai Basin.
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Visitors walk along the rim of one of the San Antoion Spreading Grounds catch basins during the September 2014 opening ceremony.

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