A new online tool to help growers and residents understand their water use and register wells will launch this fall. Currently in development by the North Fork Kings GSA’s consultant MLJ Environmental, the tool is being designed for users to easily view their historic water use data and register their wells.
The North Fork Kings GSA previously provided field-level water use data from Land IQ, reported as evapotranspiration, or ET, to stakeholders using static map images (www.northforkkings.org/maps). But the new tool will improve the usefulness of this information by allowing users to view the data for their own fields in a personalized and interactive way. Viewing the data will become increasingly important for growers who will benefit from routinely tracking water use once a groundwater allocation is implemented.
The tool is also designed to provide a streamlined method for well registration to help fill data gaps and manage groundwater sustainably. The North Fork Kings GSA recognizes it cannot effectively manage groundwater without partnering with its landowners to understand more about the infrastructure impacting supply. Registering wells with the agency is a simple way landowners can provide information for successful local groundwater management, ultimately keeping the State from stepping in to control the process.
Besides technical need, the tool creates a platform for streamlined communications between the North Fork Kings GSA and its stakeholders. For domestic well users, this could mean receiving notice and resources before their well goes dry during a drought. The tool will house information like well location and the user’s contact information so the North Fork Kings GSA can identify at-risk wells and notify households ahead of time.
Feedback from future users has been at the core of the tool’s development. Early development versions were tested by North Fork Kings GSA Grower Advisory Committee members how used their real-world experience to provide feedback. Their input was repeatedly implemented to improve the tool’s features and usability.
For those who want to learn more about the tool and receive assistance with onboarding, a series of outreach events will follow the tool’s launch to assist growers and residents with creating and using their accounts. Stay up to date on development and launch by signing up for emails from the North Fork Kings GSA at https://northforkkings.org/.