The North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) together with the six other GSAs in the Kings Subbasin submitted the first Annual Report to the CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) ahead of the April 1, 2020 deadline. The Annual Report serves to inform and update both the State and stakeholders in the Kings Subbasin on groundwater conditions and sustainability progress.
Most data included in the report spans water year 2019, the period beginning October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019. The data for the report was collected from the seven GSAs’ monitoring networks, groundwater extractions, surface water supply, total water use, and changes in groundwater storage.
Water year 2019 is hydrologically considered a “wet year” seeing 134% of average diversions on the Kings River, the majority of surface water supply to the region. Thanks to the hydrology the Kings Subbasin saw improvements in groundwater conditions with the overall groundwater storage change increasing by 210,000 acre-feet Subbasin wide.
Water use in the Kings Subbasin across sectors including agriculture, urban, and managed recharge, totaled 2.7 million acre-feet for the period. The North Kings GSA member agencies including Fresno Irrigation District, Garfield Water District and the City of Fresno imported 34% of the Subbasin’s total 1.64 million acre-feet of surface water supplies. Groundwater extractions supplying urban and agricultural needs within the North Kings GSA account for 19% of the Subbasin’s total extracted 1.06 million acre-feet.
Surface water supplies imported into the North Kings GSA reduce groundwater reliance and ultimately provide a net benefit to the Subbasin’s sustainability efforts. Wet years like the 2019 water year provide opportunities to increase groundwater volume, as surface water is often used in lieu of groundwater pumping and surplus supplies are put to use through groundwater recharge practices.
Following the adoption of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires GSAs to submit annual reports to DWR on April 1 every year as a tool to track and communicate GSP implementation progress. The North Kings GSA’s GSP, adopted November 21, 2019, includes a portfolio of projects and management tools that once implemented will help the agency achieve its sustainability goals while positively impacting the entire Subbasin’s efforts.
Considering this first report was prepared just months after the adoption and submission of GSPs, the data does not stray from data already included in the seven Kings Subbasin GSA’s GSPs. Although the Subbasin used the opportunity to include any additional data collected through the reporting period and established a template for future reports.
There is no grading or scoring criteria on the Annual Report, and DWR expects this first report to be missing some information considering the short timeframe between GSP adoption and the report due date.
Engagement with stakeholders in the North Kings GSA is a priority and remains an important component to the success of achieving sustainability. If you have questions on the information contained in the Annual Report or would like to be more engaged in the North Kings GSA’s activities, contact us on the website at www.northkingsgsa.org or by phone at 559-233-7161 ext. 7109.
The Kings Subbasin is one of 13 basins comprising the Tulare Lake hydrologic region. The North Kings GSA is one of seven GSAs in the Kings Subbasin. The North Kings GSA is a Joint Powers Authority formed in December 2016 to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), a State law signed by Governor Brown in 2014. Member agencies include the Fresno Irrigation District, City of Fresno, City of Clovis, City of Kerman, Fresno County, Bakman Water Company, Biola Community Services District, International Water District, Garfield Water District, and the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District. The North Kings GSA also consists of disadvantaged communities, private well owners, and landowners.