North Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency Takes Lead in Groundwater Management for Riverdale Area

February 10, 2017

Contact: Cristel Tufenkjian,  559.906.2952

North Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency Takes Lead in Groundwater Management for Riverdale Area

NorthForkKings.org is launched to support stakeholder involvement.

The newly formed North Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) took action at their February 9 Board meeting to file paperwork with the State declaring the agency’s intent to be the exclusive groundwater sustainability agency for a portion of the Kings Subbasin. The GSA area covers approximately 168,000 acres in portions of Fresno and Kings counties near the community of Riverdale. The Board also launched the website, www.NorthForkKings.org, which includes information about meetings, notices and events and allows stakeholders to sign-up to receive e-mail updates on North Fork Kings GSA activities.

In 2014, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation called the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) into law in response to declining groundwater conditions exacerbated by the historic drought. SGMA is comprehensive legislation that governs the management and use of groundwater in the State.  Its intent is to provide for sustainable local management of groundwater basins while minimizing state intervention to only when necessary. SGMA mandates that critically overdrafted groundwater subbasins be managed by a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) by 2017, that the GSA create a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) by 2020, and that a subbasin be sustainable by 2040.

To comply with SGMA within the North Fork Kings Area, local communities, water agencies and the County of Fresno came together in early 2015 to work on the formation of a GSA. Following over a year of agency meetings and outreach events to local stakeholders, the group chose to formalize under special act legislation, and on September 16, 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 564 (Cannella) North Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency Act. The new bill created the North Fork Kings GSA composed of County of Fresno, three communities, two irrigation districts, one reclamation district, and eight mutual water companies. The 15 agencies are categorized under seven divisions represented by a 7-member Board. The Act also requires the formation of a rural community advisory committee for the purposes of assisting the board to consider the interests of all beneficial uses and users of groundwater. For more information, please visit www.NorthForkKings.org.

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