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  • What is SGMA?
    On September 16, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a three-bill legislative package collectively known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). SGMA is an unfunded State law requiring groundwater subbasins achieve sustainability. For the first time, California has a framework for sustainable groundwater management through the formation of local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies tasked with achieving balanced groundwater supply. In high- and medium-priority subbasins designated as critically overdrafted, sustainability must be achieved by 2040. SGMA’s intent is to allow local agencies to sustainably manage groundwater. Over 260 local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) formed in California to implement the law, including the North Kings GSA. Located in the Kings Subbasin, a high-priority and critically overdrafted subbasin, the North Kings GSA will develop projects and implement management actions in the coming years to achieve balanced levels of groundwater supply in compliance with the law and for the benefit of its stakeholders.
  • How can you participate in SGMA?
    The North Kings GSA has developed and is implementing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). The GSP was developed in coordination with the public, landowners, well owners, agencies, and other stakeholders. To guide outreach activities aimed to build broad community awareness of SGMA and encourage active participation during GSP development, the North Kings GSA Board of Directors adopted and implemented a Public Outreach Plan. The public is encouraged to engage with the North Kings GSA as the GSP is implemented. The best way to stay informed on groundwater conditions and planning activities for the region is to join the Interested Parties email list here. Meeting notices and important groundwater updates are sent to our email list. You are also invited to attend and participate in monthly meetings of the Board and Advisory Committee. See our meetings page for details.
  • Is there state or federal funding available to help implement SGMA?
    The Kings Subbasin and North Kings GSA have already received a number of grants from state funding sources, including via Prop 1 and Prop 68 Department of Water Resources SGMA Implementation Grants. The region will continue to work individually and collaboratively to bring in grant funding to offset the cost of groundwater management borne by local landowners.
  • What is “sustainability”?
    SGMA defines sustainable groundwater management as the management and use of groundwater in a manner that does not cause undesirable results for the following “sustainability indicators”: chronic lowering of groundwater levels, reduction of groundwater storage, seawater intrusion (not applicable in the Kings Subbasin), water quality degradation, land subsidence, and surface water depletion of interconnected streams.
  • Who is responsible for managing groundwater supplies under SGMA?
    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 well as those with “water supply, water management, or land use responsibilities within a groundwater basin California Water Code Section 10721(n).
  • What is the North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA)?
    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.
  • Who are the other GSAs in our region?
    The North Kings GSA is located in the Kings Subbasin, a hydrologic region that includes portions of Fresno, Tulare and Kings Counties. Six additional GSAs have been formed in this area and include Central Kings GSA, James GSA, Kings River East GSA, McMullin Area GSA, North Fork Kings GSA, and South Kings GSA.
  • What happens if a portion of the subbasin does not comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act?
    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.
  • Is there a baseline year for measuring sustainability?
    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 has determined the undesirable results and minimum thresholds allowed to reach sustainability.
  • What are the consequences if the State Board intervenes?
    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 State Board has stated its primary management action would be to limit pumping based on what it assumes is a sustainable yield amount. To fund monitoring and enforcement, the Act allows the State Board to levee fees in areas it intervenes. Click here to learn more about the State Board fee schedule.
  • Can a non-compliant GSA be carved out of the Kings Subbasin?
    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 the Department of Water Resources as appropriate.

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