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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.

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