The North Kings GSA Board voted unanimously to approve revisions to the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) at its June 23rd Board Meeting.
The GSP was revised in response to comments provided in January 2022 from the CA Department of Water Resources (DWR). The comments outlined deficiencies identified during their 2-year review period following GSP submittal in January 2020.
Revisions in response to DWR’s comments include addressing impacts of groundwater level decline and land subsidence impacts to canals and rivers, clarification of minimum thresholds for wells with water quality already over the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), and a commitment to gather further data on interconnected surface water.
The adopted revisions include a well mitigation program to address the impacts from expected groundwater level declines before the region reaches sustainability by 2040. By providing a funding mechanism for shallow wells that run dry, the program would ensure the North Kings GSA addresses groundwater level decline impacts the CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) considers significant and unreasonable. The process to develop a program will begin August 2022 and will consider input from the North Kings GSA’s broad stakeholder groups.
Successful revised GSP adoption demonstrates the extensive efforts undertaken by the North Kings GSA Technical Workgroup and its Chair Adam Claes (Fresno Irrigation District), the Advisory Committee and its Chair Scott Redelfs (City of Clovis), and the Kings Subbasin Coordination group and its technical consultants at Provost & Pritchard to thoroughly address DWR’s comments. The coordinated group has met routinely since receiving comments in January, including DWR in several of its meetings to ensure revisions were on the right track.
The North Kings GSA is the first of seven GSAs in the Kings Subbasin to adopt its revised GSP. All seven GSAs must adopt their revised GSP prior to resubmitting the documents together to DWR by the July 27, 2022 deadline. The submittal will open a public review period and subsequent review by DWR to either approve or deem the GSPs inadequate.
SGMA was developed and passed with the spirit of local control over groundwater management. Seriously considering DWRs comments and the resulting revisions is critical to maintaining local control over implementation of the law. All revisions are a full faith effort to fully address the concerns of the State, while keeping in mind what is best for our local groundwater users and stakeholders.