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State issues comments on Groundwater Sustainability Plan following 2-year review period, prompting coordinated revision effort

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) provided comments in January 2022 on the North Kings GSA’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) following a 2-year review period. As with many of the GSPs across the State and all in the San Joaquin Valley, the North Kings GSA’s GSP was determined to be incomplete, requiring revisions within 180 days.

DWR recognizes no plan is perfect, and that these plans represent significant locally led efforts to change how groundwater is monitored, managed, and used. The following 6-month revision period is a good faith effort on behalf of both agencies to create consensus on sustainability activities at the local level, ultimately keeping SGMA management in the hands of locals.

DWR’s comments were addressed to the Kings Subbasin’s seven GSAs and identify deficiencies on the thresholds set for groundwater levels, land subsidence, water quality and interconnected streams. A coordinated effort among the seven Kings Subbasin GSAs, including the North Kings GSA, is underway to address their concerns and revise the GSPs where necessary. The items identified will be critically reviewed and/or further clarified over the revision period concluding July 2022.

The North Kings GSA Board is committed to an open and transparent process with Its diverse stakeholders, and just as with the initial GSP development process, is providing venues for public participation in GSP revisions.

The North Kings GSA staff and consultants have immediately begun the work of addressing DWR’s comments through its Technical Workgroup. Anyone interested in participating in the GSP revisions process is encouraged to attend the Technical Workgroup meetings set for the first Friday of every month at 1:00 PM. Additional public involvement opportunities throughout the process include Advisory Committee meetings occurring the second Friday of every month at 1:30 PM and Board Meetings occurring the fourth Thursday of every month at 6:00 PM.

We value your participation in the GSP revisions process. Join us at any of the following meetings to provide input and learn more:

• Technical Workgroup, first Friday of every month at 1:00 PM
• Advisory Committee, second Friday of every month at 1:30 PM
• Board Meetings, fourth Thursday of every month at 6:00 PM

For meeting notices and details, join the North Kings GSA Interested Persons email list. You can also find meeting details as they become available posted to the website.

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The North Kings GSA has awaited alongside its Kings Subbasin neighbors for comments from DWR, the State agency responsible for overseeing SGMA implementation, since they submitted GSPs in January 2020. The North Kings GSA’s GSP is one of 42 other GSPs covering 20 groundwater basins statewide that were reviewed by DWR.

During the revisions process, the North Kings GSA will continue to move forward with current groundwater sustainability projects. Projects completed by the North Kings GSA member agencies to date represent a total 150 acres invested in groundwater recharge land. In addition to completed projects, several more are in various phases of construction.

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