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State places Tulare Lake Subbasin under probation, Kings Subbasin landowners not affected

The Tulare Lake Subbasin, located southwest of the Kings Subbasin in Kings County, was placed on probation by the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) at a public hearing on April 16.

This probationary status does not apply to the North Kings GSA. Because the North Kings GSA and six other Kings Subbasin GSAs received approval on their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs), landowners and stakeholders will not be subject to State Board management under probation. 

Prior to the public hearing, the Tulare Lake Subbasin received an inadequate determination on its revised GSP from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) in March 2023. This determination resulted in GSP jurisdiction shifting from DWR to the State Board for possible state intervention.

After reviewing the GSP and coordinating with DWR, the State Board determined that holding a probationary hearing was necessary. Public notices were sent to landowners in the subbasin, and a public hearing was held by the State Board on April 16th. The State Board unanimously voted to put the Tulare Lake Subbasin under probation until it could adequately address deficiencies with its GSP.

With this probation status, the Tulare Lake Subbasin GSAs are working with the State Board to address deficiencies in their GSPs and increase efforts to address the effects of groundwater overdraft.  

The North Kings GSA and Kings Subbasin are not affected by this probation status as they have received approval on their GSPs. This approval is a significant milestone in the journey toward groundwater sustainability and allows the North Kings GSA to continue to carry out sustainability efforts locally.

Although approval was received, it was conditional on the grounds that the North Kings GSA address corrective actions outlined by DWR by the upcoming January 2025 GSP update. It is the North Kings GSA’s top priority to coordinate with the six other Kings Subbasin GSAs to maintain approval by addressing corrective actions and proceeding with implementing its GSP.

Key efforts to this end are underway such as well registration, a well mitigation program, and groundwater studies.

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