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Author: Cristel Tufenkjian

Local Groundwater Plans Receive Green Light from State

Groundwater managers in the Kings Subbasin recently received positive news from the State that their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) were approved. “The Department of Water Resources approval of the GSP is a huge milestone for our groundwater sustainability agency,” stated Fresno County grower and North Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency Board Chair Mark McKean. “It allows us to continue our local efforts to bring our groundwater into balance without State intervention.” The North Fork Kings GSA is one of seven Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) within the Kings Subbasin located in Fresno County that received approval from the State.

GSPs are technical documents that can be hundreds of pages long but are, in simple terms, roadmaps on how to sustainability manage groundwater subbasins. “We appreciate the Department of Water Resources thorough review of our GSP, their approval, and their professional insight on how to improve our GSP,” stated North Fork Kings GSA General Manager Justin Mendes. “With the approval behind us, our energy is focused on executing groundwater projects that achieve the best results for our residents, landowners, and businesses who are users of our groundwater supply.” The North Fork Kings GSA is advancing several groundwater sustainability efforts including partnering with Fresno County on the construction of a recharge basin, developing a well mitigation program, and registering landowner wells. Each of these efforts are pieces of a puzzle to solve the groundwater overdraft under the North Fork Kings area.

Of the 12 subbasins reviewed by the Department of Water Resources (DWR), six were approved and six were not. Those subbasins not approved will now be under the jurisdiction of the State Water Resources Control Board. For the North Fork Kings GSA, the next check in with DWR will be in 2025. At that time, DWR will review the North Fork Kings update to the GSP and the work accomplished toward sustainability.

January 25, 2023 Board Meeting Agenda

The North Fork Kings GSA will hold a Board Meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Riverdale Community Education Center located at 3160 W. Mt. Whitney Ave. Riverdale, CA 93656.

Fresno County Supervisors Approve Recharge Project in North Fork Kings GSA

The North Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency is partnering with Fresno County to build a sixty-acre groundwater recharge facility near Highway 41 and Elkhorn Avenue. The County is working with the North Fork Kings GSA to offset groundwater overdraft in the unincorporated land within the North Fork Kings GSA boundaries. The County will use State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to fund the $6,000,000 design and construction of the Elkhorn Recharge Facility along with a conveyance system to transfer surface water from the Liberty Canal to the project.

Diverted water from the Liberty Canal will be used to recharge the groundwater aquifer, increasing the reliability of clean drinking water for member agencies of the North Fork Kings GSA. The project will also benefit the water supplies of disadvantaged communities within the North Fork Kings GSA including Riverdale and Lanare, which are down gradient from the project location. The Elkhorn Recharge Facility’s estimated completion date is December 2026.

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