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Everything you need to know about Water Year 2020: Kings Subbasin Annual Report update

The North Fork Kings GSA (NFKGSA), together with the six other GSAs in the Kings Subbasin, submitted the second Annual Report to the CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) by the April 1, 2021 deadline.  Dryer conditions in water year 2020 (Sept 2019 – Oct 2020) strained groundwater supplies across the Kings Subbasin, evidence that cooperation among groundwater users and strategic surface supply management will be critical to achieving sustainability by 2040.

The Annual Report includes an overview of groundwater conditions in the region including groundwater extraction, surface water supply available for groundwater recharge, total water use, change in groundwater storage, and a description of progress made toward implementing the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) since the last Annual Report.

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to submit annual reports to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) on April 1 of every year.

Here are highlights from the Kings Subbasin’s 2020 Water Year:

  • Water years 2017-2019 were overall wetter than average but were preceded by an extremely dry period.  Overall, the last five years result in near average conditions, but they include an extreme dry and an extreme wet year.
  • Water use for Water Year 2020 consisted of 1,353,000 acre-feet of groundwater and 958,000 of surface water. Total water use for Water Year 2020 (WY 2020) equaled 2,311,000 acre-feet, with 2,011,000 acre-feet of the total used for agricultural purposes and 300,000 for urban use.

Click HERE to read full Annual Report.

The Kings Subbasin saw improvements in groundwater storage in the 2019, but dryer conditions in 2020 led to the reduction observed in this year’s Annual Report. In light of the Annual Report, the North Fork Kings GSA is taking the opportunity to develop and execute the best strategy to achieve sustainability and secure water supply for its landowners and stakeholders. Projects efforts to date that will help provide a groundwater supply buffer for landowners to use during the dryer years include:

Development of a Groundwater Banking Policy that outlines parameters for landowner groundwater banking projects within the jurisdiction of the North Fork Kings GSA. The policy’s objectives include improving groundwater conditions, increasing water supplies, assisting in meeting Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) objectives, providing flexibility to landowners, and ensuring no negative impacts to overlying owners.

Installation of a multi-completion monitor well through the Department of Water Resources Technical Support Services program. This well will increase data capacity and monitor sustainability progress to ensure NFKGSA is achieving its mitigation targets.

Completion of the Basin 11 Improvement and Expansion Project. The project consisted of the development of a groundwater recharge basin on a 52-acre site using Kings River floodwater as the primary water source. This basin improved conveyance capacity of the Liberty Canal by constructing a turnout and check structure, flow meters, a basin with exterior levees, a settling pond, an outlet to Murphy Slough, and monitoring wells.

Completion of the Terra Linda Recharge project. The project consists of a percolation basin located south of the Mendota Pool and adjacent to the Fresno Slough. This project decreased groundwater salinity levels to benefit domestic wells and the City of Mendota.

Progress on the Laton North Recharge Project. The purpose of this project is to utilize excess surface water for groundwater recharge by diverting water from Cole Slough, a distributary of the Kings River, into a groundwater recharge basin during wet years. The proposed project will involve the construction of a groundwater recharge basin and maintenance of an existing inlet structure to accommodate an additional 36″ mainline pipe. The project would utilize gravitational flows and would not require electricity or permanent on-site personnel to operate. All surface waters for the project will be supplied by Laguna Irrigation District in the form of its Pre-1914 water supply during flood events.

NFKGSA will continue to implement innovative projects that will lead to a sustainable, resilient, and steadfast supply of groundwater for the region. To receive updates on these projects and more, groundwater conditions, and other ways to get involved with the work NFKGSA is doing, sign up for our E-Updates and visit our website at

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