Facing SGMA challenges, Kings County stares down water pumping fees

Kings County’s water users will face a $95 per acre-foot fee for groundwater pumping, if rates are approved by landowners.

The Mid-Kings River Groundwater Sustainability Agency is looking to impose a pumping fee of nearly $100 per acre-foot. 

Mid-Kings River GSA is comprised of the Kings County Water District, the City of Hanford and Kings County.


The big picture: The GSA is proposing a pumping fee maximum of $95 per acre-foot. 

  • This comes after the State views that the region has not made enough progress through the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). 
  • The state wants agriculture and industrial water pumpers to cut back or m=pay to mitigate the impacts on other users. 
  • The state could move to put the subbasin in probation if it does not feel confident in local groundwater management, and could completely take over operations in 2025. 

The backstory: SGMA was passed in 2014 and governs how agencies in critically overdrafted areas achieve groundwater sustainability. 

  • It also requires local agencies to form GSAs to develop and implement groundwater sustainability plans in order to avoid undesirable results and mitigate overdraft within 20 years. 
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