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Groundwater Plan Adopted, Implementation Begins

Left to Right: Council Member David Brown, City of Lemoore; Charles Meyer, Stratford Irrigation District; Supervisor Doug Verboon, County of Kings; Vice Chair Ceil Howe, Empire West Side Irrigation District; Scott Mercer, Stratford Public Utilities District

Lemoore, CA – The South Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency (SFKGSA) Board unanimously adopted the Tulare Lake Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan at their January 16 meeting. The SFKGSA will use the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) as a roadmap to balance its groundwater. For the initial implementation period, the SFKGSA Board is operating under the assumption of an estimated groundwater overdraft of 38,000 acre feet per year. The GSP includes a full suite of supply enhancement and demand reduction programs the SFKGSA Board may consider to reduce this estimated overdraft number.

SFKGSA is the one of five groundwater sustainability agencies within the Tulare Lake Subbasin that have worked together to complete the Tulare Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan. In addition to the SFKGSA, the Mid-Kings River GSA, El Rico GSA, and Tri-County Water Authority GSA have all unanimously adopted the GSP. The Southwest Kings GSA will consider adoption at a special board meeting on January 27. Upon completion of the adoption process, the GSP will be submitted to the State by the deadline of January 31. 

Once the Tulare Lake Subbasin GSP is posted to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) web portal, it will be open to public comment for a minimum of 60 days. Public comments will be compiled and considered in DWR’s assessment of the GSP. DWR has two years from date of submission to evaluate and assess the Plan.

The SFKGSA will begin implementing their GSP immediately after submittal. The SFKGSA Board will begin developing policies and prioritizing the management actions and projects within the GSP to be implemented. In addition, the first annual report must be completed and submitted to DWR by April 2020.

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