Governor’s Executive Order
During the last few weeks, the North Forks Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency (North Fork Kings GSA) has been working with Fresno and Kings counties to address the Governor’s Executive Order N-7-22. Governor Newsom declared that groundwater sustainability agencies will start reviewing well permits with consideration of the well’s effect on the groundwater sustainability plan. North Fork Kings GSA has designed a process to review well permits that would not cause significant delays to well drilling schedules. Upon review and approval of the well, the North Fork Kings GSA will send a notification stating that the well cannot have “detrimental effects” and “undesirable results” on the neighboring wells in the area. For more information on North Fork Kings GSA’s process, contact us at (559) 242-6118.
Groundwater Sustainability Revisions
The North Fork Kings GSA is currently working to address comments from the Department of Water Resources (DWR) on the North Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Plan (Plan) that determined the Plan to be insufficient. The DWR identified several deficiencies that prevented approval of the Plan. The deficiencies covered the areas of how lowering of groundwater levels are to be handled; how land subsidence will be identified and handled; the identification of interconnected surface water systems; and sustainable management criteria for possible water quality issues. The Kings Subbasin GSAs are coordinating to revise all the Plans in order to have more common language and consistency. The revisions are due to DWR at the end of July which will then be open for public comments for 60 days before DWR begins its review.
In addition to addressing the comments from DWR, the North Fork Kings GSA Board approved signing on with other groundwater sustainability agencies in the Kings Subbasin to a letter addressed to Deputy Director Karla Nemeth of the Department of Water Resources. The letter is in response to DWR’s determination that all groundwater sustainability plans in the subbasin are incomplete. This letter specifically addresses DWR’s comments with regards to groundwater levels and the verbal reference by DWR that any single well that goes dry is significant and unreasonable. The letter states that this limits the groundwater sustainability agencies in the Kings Subbasin ability to have local control to decide what is significant and unreasonable and that it is not within the requirements in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act for the groundwater sustainability agency to be responsible for ensuring that no rural residential well goes dry.