The Kings River Conservation District was awarded $300,000 by the California Department of Conservation (DOC) to fund two part-time watershed coordinator positions. The funding will allow important work to be carried out related to long-term drinking water solutions and groundwater quality in the Kings River region covering portions of Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties.

KRCD’s Watershed Coordinators will work to provide safe drinking water to residents, reduce nitrate contamination into groundwater, and identify ways to restore groundwater quality where reasonable and feasible.

The California Department of Conservation (DOC) received 26 competitive grant applications totaling $7.5 million with only $1.5 million of available funding. KRCD was one five watershed coordinator grants awarded by the DOC to organizations around the state to support regional sustainable groundwater management goals.

A watershed coordinator is a position the state funds for a local government or non-profit to work with local stakeholders and downstream beneficiaries. Their work is centered around the ability to leverage local relationships and understandings, to build broad and trusting coalitions across a watershed and to cultivate a shared vision of progress.

Click here to read the DOC press release.

KRCD is honored to continue building collaborative bridges between government, stakeholders, and communities to serve our landowners and residents and improve watershed health.

KRCD Joins Over 200 Water and Agricultural Organizations Urging Congress and the White House to Address Aging Water Infrastructure

A national coalition of over 200 agricultural organizations and urban and rural water districts urged President-elect Joe Biden and congressional leadership to address aging Western water infrastructure in any potential infrastructure or economic recovery package. Kings River Conservation District was among the organizations to sign on to the letter.

Click here for the letter to President-elect Joe Biden and click here for the letter to congressional leadership. Click here for a list of signatories to the letter.

The coalition includes organizations from 15 states that collectively represent $120 billion in agricultural production, nearly one-third of all agricultural production in the country, and tens of millions of urban and rural water users.

In separate letters to President-elect Biden and congressional leaders, the coalition said existing Western water infrastructure is in desperate need of rehabilitation and improvement. Most of the federal water projects in the West were built more than 50 years ago and were not designed with the present and future population demands and climate conditions in mind. Without immediate attention, the coalition said, the Western water system will quickly prove inadequate to meet the needs of urban and rural users and the environment.

The coalition encouraged the federal government to invest in a diversified water management portfolio that enhances water supply and quality for urban and environmental uses while keeping water flowing to Western farms. Beyond financial support, the coalition also called on the federal government to ensure the timely construction of water projects by streamlining the regulation and permitting processes.

KRCD’s service area is home to 1.2 million acres of irrigated agriculture, rural disadvantaged communities, and businesses all relying on a secure water supply. Investment in water infrastructure is needed to meet water demand while also working toward and maintaining sustainability of groundwater supplies. As hydrological conditions in the West change and populations continue to expand, failure to address water security has become increasingly critical.

The coalition letter was spearheaded by the California Farm Bureau Federation, Family Farm Alliance, Association of California Water Agencies, National Water Resources Association, and Western Growers.