The projects will increase groundwater supply by ~13,000 acre-feet in wet years through expanded recharge capabilities
FRESNO, CA – The Kings Subbasin received a $7.6 million dollar grant from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) for groundwater recharge project construction, advancing regional efforts to sustain the aquifer and become more drought resilient. The funding is part of DWR’s Prop 68 Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) grant program and will collectively benefit the local growers and community residents relying on groundwater in the Kings Subbasin.
“It’s even more critical in dry years to move dirt on projects. In the Kings we know wet years will return, and we plan to be ready”, states Phil Desatoff, General Manager of Consolidated Irrigation District. “This funding enables us to prepare for the future by building up our recharge footprint now. If we can increase the amount of water we put back into the aquifer during wet years, future dry years like the one we are experiencing now will be more manageable for our local growers and community residents.”
Project funding was awarded to the Consolidated, James, Laguna, and Fresno irrigation districts to develop nearly 300 acres of new recharge basins across six sites and improve facilities at existing basins. Although dry conditions persist, these projects will create opportunities for groundwater recovery when the water cycle favors wet conditions again by increasing recharge capacity by an estimated 13,000 acre-feet per year.
The irrigation districts are located in four different Kings Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs), all with the shared goal to support growers and nearby community residents with drought resilient water management.
In addition to the overall benefit of improving regional groundwater conditions, several of the projects will improve localized groundwater levels for private well owners and residents in and near the severely Disadvantaged Communities of Tombstone, Biola, Laton, Riverdale, and Lanare, who are acutely impacted by the effects of drought on shallow wells.
The $7.6 million award comes off the heels of $4.8 million awarded in 2021 from the same DWR SGM grant program, totaling $12.4 million in support for local groundwater projects in the Kings Subbasin. The Subbasin will continue to pursue grants to offset the local investment by landowners and agencies to implement SGMA projects and programs.
The Kings Subbasin is located in the southern part of the San Joaquin Valley and comprised of seven Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs): Central Kings, James, Kings River East, McMullin Area, North Fork Kings, North Kings, and South Kings. The GSAs are implementing individual Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) and operate under a Coordination Agreement to achieve groundwater sustainability together by 2040 under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), signed into law in 2014.Download Press Release