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Notice of Opportunity to Provide Feedback, Public Staff Workshops, and Public Board Hearing for the Proposed Designation of Tulare Lake Subbasin as a Probationary Basin

State Water Resources Control Board


A copy of this notice in Spanish can be found at (Este aviso está en español en):


The California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board or Board) will hold a public hearing at which it will consider designating the Tulare Lake Subbasin as a probationary basin pursuant to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The hearing will include time for public comments and Spanish interpretation will be available. Participants can provide comments during the hearing in-person or via Zoom. Participants can also follow the instructions below to provide written comments. Additionally, there will be a watch-only webcast option for viewing the hearing. The State Water Board will hold the public hearing at the time and location noted below.

Public Board Hearing
Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.

In-Person Location
Coastal Hearing Room
Joe Serna Jr.– CalEPA Headquarters Building
1001 I Street, Second Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

To Participate Virtually and Provide Oral Public Comment During the Hearing
Before or on the day of the public Board hearing, fill out a virtual speaker card using our online form at The form will not accept responses until a few days prior to the public hearing. The Board clerk will respond with Zoom login
information in advance of the meeting. For more information about participating remotely, please visit

To Watch Only and Not Provide Comment
The English and Spanish webcast of the public hearing with closed captioning can be accessed at

The State Water Board will not make a decision about a probationary designation for the Tulare Lake Subbasin until the public hearing described above; however, State Water Board staff have developed a draft recommendation for the State Water Board to consider, which describes the actions staff recommends the State Water Board should take. We invite your input on the draft staff report no later than December 11, 2023, at 12:00 noon. Staff will consider all comments received by the December 11, 2023, at noon deadline when developing the final staff report.

Persons interested in submitting written comments on the probationary notice or draft staff report are encouraged to submit electronic comments. All written comments must be received no later than December 11, 2023, at 12:00 noon. Please use the subject line: “Comments – Tulare Lake Subbasin.”

Electronic Comments:

Written comments may be submitted electronically via email in pdf format (if less than15 megabytes in total size) to If the file is greater than 15 megabytes in size, the written comments may be submitted by fax at (916) 341-5620, in multiple emails, by mail, or hand delivery.

Mail/Hand Delivery:

Comments submitted by mail or hand delivery must be addressed as follows:

Courtney Tyler, Clerk to the Board
State Water Resources Control Board
1001 I Street, 24th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814-0100 (hand delivery)
P.O. Box 100, Sacramento, CA 95812-2000 (mail)

Mail must be received (not postmarked) at the State Water Board office by December 11, 2023. All hand-delivered submittals must arrive and be date and timestamped prior to December 11, 2023, at 12:00 noon. Couriers delivering hard copies of comment letters must check-in with lobby security personnel who will contact the Clerk to the Board at (916) 341-5611.

If you would like a copy of the written comments submitted on this subject, please send a request to identifying the subject listed above. Copies of written comments will not be available until after the comment deadline.


Staff will also hold two public staff workshops to explain the draft staff report and share more about how to participate in the State Water Board’s state intervention process. Staff will also accept verbal public comments on the draft staff report at the workshops. While a quorum of the State Water Board may be present, the State Water Board will not take regulatory action at the workshops.

Virtual Staff Workshop
Friday, November 3, 2023
11:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Staff presentation will start at 11:00 AM
Staff will begin accepting public comments at 12:00 PM
Zoom link:

In-Person Staff Workshop
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

(No internet viewing option; in-person only)
Staff presentation will start at 6:00 PM
Staff will begin accepting public comments at 7:00 PM
Hanford Civic Auditorium
400 N Douty Street,
Hanford, CA 93230


Spanish language interpretation will be provided at the public staff workshops on November 3 and 8, 2023, and at the public Board hearing on April 16, 2024. To request interpretation in another language or sign language services, please submit your
request by the following deadlines: October 20 for the November 3, 2023 virtual public workshop, October 25 for the November 8 in-person public workshop, and April 2 for the April 16, 2024 public Board hearing. Submit your request using one of the following options:


The Hanford Civic Auditorium and the CalEPA Building are both accessible to persons with disabilities. Individuals requiring special accommodations are requested to call (916) 341-5261 at least 5 working days prior to the meeting. Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) users may contact the California Relay Service at (800) 735-2929 or voice line at (800) 735-2922.


November 8, 2023 Public Staff Workshop:

Public street parking is available on Douty, Irwin, and Eighth streets adjacent to the Hanford Civic Auditorium.

April 16, 2024 Public Board Hearing:

For directions to the Joe Serna, Jr. (CalEPA) Building and public parking information, please refer to the map at

All visitors to the CalEPA Building are required to sign in and obtain a visitor badge at the Visitor Services Center located just inside the main entrance (10th Street entrance) of the lobby of the building. Valid picture identification may be required. Please allow up to 15 minutes for receiving security clearance.


SGMA and State Intervention

SGMA (Senate Bill [SB] 1168, Assembly Bill 1739, and SB 1319) requires local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) to develop and implement groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) so that the many uses of groundwater can continue into the
future. If local GSAs do not propose an adequate plan to sustainably manage groundwater use in their basin, SGMA gives the State Water Board authority to protect groundwater resources through a process called “state intervention.” State intervention
is additional to local management and is intended to be temporary, lasting only until local agencies demonstrate an adequate plan to manage their respective basins.

Inadequate Groundwater Sustainability Plan and State Intervention Trigger

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has designated the Tulare Lake Subbasin as a high-priority basin that is subject to critical conditions of overdraft. The GSAs for the Tulare Lake Subbasin adopted a groundwater sustainability plan for the Subbasin on January 29, 2020, and submitted the plan to DWR for review.

On March 2, 2023, DWR determined the GSP for the Tulare Lake Subbasin to be “inadequate.” The DWR inadequate determination of the Tulare Lake GSP triggers “state intervention” with the State Water Board. (Wat. Code, § 10735.2, subd. (a)(3).)

Effects of a Probationary Designation

After state intervention is triggered in a groundwater basin, the next step is for the State Water Board to consider making a probationary determination for the basin. This is done through a public process that includes the probationary public hearing
discussed in this notice. If the State Water Board designates a basin as probationary, GSAs have time to address the issues (deficiencies) that caused the basin to go into probation while the State Water Board will focus on data collection and analysis to better understand what management challenges are occurring in the basin.

To acquire the necessary data, the State Water Board can require extractors (groundwater pumpers) to install meters to measure and report their groundwater extractions accurately. Alternatively, the State Water Board can specify other means for
measuring and reporting groundwater extractions. (Wat. Code, § 10735.2, subd. (c)(3).)

Extractors must report all groundwater extractions annually to the State Water Board and pay reporting fees to cover the cost of Board activities, except where excluded by SGMA or the Board. (Wat. Code, § 5202.) The State Water Board may also conduct investigations and gather data necessary for sustainable groundwater management. (Wat. Code, § 10736.6.)

Local agencies have at least one year from the probationary designation to resolve the deficiencies identified by the State Water Board. If, after a year, local agencies have not resolved the deficiencies, the State Water Board may develop an interim plan to manage groundwater use in the basin. An interim plan is intended to be a temporary measure to protect groundwater until effective local management is in place. Adoption of an interim plan would only occur after public notice and a public hearing.

Subscribe to our Groundwater Management email list to receive updates related to State Water Board actions under SGMA. See the “Stay Informed” section on the State Water Board’s SGMA website,


Find information on state intervention in the Tulare Lake Subbasin at the State Water Board’s Tulare Lake Subbasin webpage

For questions regarding the workshop or this notice, please contact us at or at (916) 322-6508.

For more information about the State Water Board’s role in SGMA, visit:

October 12, 2023

Date Courtney Tyler
Clerk to the Board

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