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Fall 2023 groundwater level report shows water table improvements following the historic wet year

The North Kings GSA recently completed its fall 2023 Groundwater Level Conditions Report. This report is based on thorough well depth measurements conducted during fall 2023 and includes readings for a majority of the 33 sustainable management criteria (SMC) wells within the North Kings GSA.

The data from the Groundwater Level Conditions Report indicates an overall improvement in water levels within the North Kings GSA. This positive outcome can be directly attributed to the significant water yield from the Kings River during the 2023 water year. The readily available surface water allowed many to keep their pumps off and use surface water instead. Besides the “in-lieu” recharge this provided, member agencies including FID and other partners captured high volumes of surface water for direct recharge activities in local basins.

Readings are conducted biannually, in the spring and fall, to assess whether groundwater levels for a SMC well have reached the minimum threshold of a 5 ft drop. The fall 2023 readings by the North Kings GSA determined that most SMC wells are not approaching this minimum threshold.

Additionally, the report highlights the advantages of conducting groundwater level readings over time, particularly in the central area of the GSA, where the cities of Fresno and Clovis have reduced pumping significantly.

The CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) requires all Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to submit data for their SMC wells annually as part of implementing their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). Failing to provide data for all SMC wells leads DWR to assume that the wells exceeded the minimum threshold, triggering the GSA to implement management actions, including demand-side reductions and halting pumping.

The North Kings GSA is working to provide data for all SMC wells within its boundaries to prove that the wells are not reaching the minimum threshold. To improve data collection, the North Kings GSA is proposing two key improvements to its well monitoring network: the addition of Data Loggers and Telemetry to monitoring wells, and the establishment of dedicated monitoring wells.

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