In light of last week’s decisions regarding the groundwater sustainability plans, groundwater managers in Fresno County are celebrating.
The backstory: The California Department of Water Resources announced its decisions for the groundwater sustainability plans for 10 basins in the Central Valley, giving the green light to the Kings Subbasin and Westside Subbasin, both of which are anchored in Fresno County.
- Groundwater sustainability plans are required by 2014’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and govern how agencies in critically overdrafted areas achieve groundwater sustainability.
The big picture: The basins that received approval from the state will move forward to the implementation phase while those that were deemed inadequate will face direct oversight from the State Water Board.
What they’re saying: North Fork Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency Board Chair Mark McKean said the approval is a huge milestone for the agency.
- “It allows us to continue our local efforts to bring our groundwater into balance without state intervention,” McKean said.
- “We appreciate the Department of Water Resources’ thorough review of our GSP, their approval, and their professional insight on how to improve our GSP,” said North Fork Kings GSA General Manager Justin Mendes. “With the approval behind us, our energy is focused on executing groundwater projects that achieve the best results for our residents, landowners, and businesses who are users of our groundwater supply.”
- Jeff Fortune, the president of the Westlands Water District board of directors, expressed his appreciation for the GSA approval.
- “This result reflects a great deal of time and dedication from Westlands’ staff and Board of Directors who worked diligently and collaboratively with DWR to build a groundwater sustainability plan that will achieve the westside subbasin’s sustainability goals.”