Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can landowners participate?

A: The North Kings GSA will develop and implement a groundwater sustainability plan in coordination with the public, landowners, well owners, agencies and other stakeholders. To be kept up to date with planning activities for this region, join our Interested Parties Database. You are also invited to attend and participate at the monthly meetings of the North Kings GSA Board of Directors and its Advisory Committee.

Q: What is the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)?

A: The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was passed in 2014 by the State legislature to mandate sustainable groundwater management in portions of California determined to be a medium- or high-priority to overdraft. Click HERE for more information.

Q: Who is responsible for managing groundwater supplies under the Act?

A: The State legislature developed the Act with the intent for sustainable groundwater management by local and regional agencies, with oversight by the state. Local public agencies eligible to function as a GSA as those with “water supply, water management, or land use responsibilities within a groundwater basin California Water Code Section 10721(n).”

Q: What is the North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA)?

A: The North Kings GSA is a joint powers agency formed in Dec. 2016 to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act for a northern portion of the Kings Subbasin. Local public agencies to adopt the JPA are Fresno Irrigation District, Garfield Water District, International Water District, Biola Community Services District, City of Kerman, City of Clovis, City of Fresno, and County of Fresno. Additional agencies accepted to the JPA through separate binding agreement include Bakman Water Company and Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District.

Q: Who are the other GSAs in our region?

A: The North Kings GSA is located in the Kings Subbasin, a hydrologic region that includes portions of Fresno, Tulare and Kings Counties. Five additional GSAs have been formed or are in the formation process in this area and include Consolidated Irrigation District GSA, James Irrigation District GSA, Kings River East GSA, McMullin Group GSA and North Fork Kings GSA.

Q: What happens if a portion of the subbasin does not comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act?

A: Subbasins that are not in full compliance with the Act are subject to intervention by the State Water Resources Control Board. The Board can, at its discretion, place a subbasin on probationary status or assume responsibility for sustainable groundwater management in the subbasin until it is replaced by an eligible local public agency.

Q: What are the consequences if the State Board intervenes?

A: Intervention by the State Board would take away the ability of local public agencies, on behalf of our ratepayers and other stakeholders, to implement sustainable groundwater management. The Board has stated its primary management action would be to limit pumping based on what it assumes is a safe yield. To fund monitoring and enforcement, the Act allows the State Board to levee fees in areas it intervenes. The Board is considering a fee structure of $300 per well and extraction fees of $25 to $35 per acre foot.

Q: Can non-compliant GSA be carved out of the Kings Subbasin?

A: Not likely. Changes to subbasin boundaries are primarily science-based. The North Kings GSA is committed to work with our sister GSAs to comply with SGMA and will coordinate with DWR as appropriate.

Q: Are state or federal grant funds available to help pay for developing a groundwater sustainability plan?

A: Grant funding applications are expected to be released this summer by the Department of Water Resources. The Department has indicated that it may issue only one grant fund for each sub-basin. The North Kings GSA is collaborating with other sub-basin GSA leaders to explore a joint application.

Q: Is there a baseline year for measuring sustainability?

A: The regulations do not require groundwater conditions to return to conditions of a specific year.  The regulations do require each basin to reach sustainability.  Each GSA will determine the undesirable results and minimum thresholds allowed to reach sustainability.