Groundwater managers encourage residents and growers to stay engaged on sustainability efforts at Easton workshop

February 25, 2020

Managers from six Kings Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) gathered in Easton Monday evening, February 24, for a panel discussion encouraging their stakeholders to stay engaged as they move forward to achieve sustainable groundwater levels in the region.

Panelists included Ronnie Samuelian, Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group; Josh Rogers, South Kings GSA; Steve Stadler, James GSA; Kassy Chauhan, North Kings GSA; Chad Wegley, Kings River East GSA; Matt Hurley, McMullin Area GSA; Mark McKean, North Fork Kings GSA.

The managers outlined what implementing their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) will look like for stakeholders in the next 1-2 years.

Community residents and growers were encouraged to know what GSA they are in, sign up to receive their GSA’s email updates, and be knowledgeable about how their own groundwater conditions measure up next to the GSA’s sustainability goals. Sustainability goals can be found in each GSA’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan. For the important takeaways, it is recommended readers head to the Executive Summary. Readers can then delve deeper into sections of the plan that pique their interest.

The next 1-2 years will involve prioritizing short-term, medium-term and long-term projects to achieve sustainability. Priorities for the GSAs are continued coordination to efficiently use every drop of water, increased groundwater data gathering, and “low-hanging fruit” projects like expanding existing recharge basins or partnerships with irrigation districts to increase floodwater utilization.

Stakeholders are encouraged to stay engaged and provide input to their GSA on any project or policy decisions. The best way to stay engaged is by attending meetings, workshops, and staying up-to-date on GSA email and mail communications.

The Easton community workshop is the third and final of regional Kings Subbasin workshops hosted by Self-Help Enterprises and Kings River Conservation District. The purpose of the workshops was to inform and engage community residents on how SGMA impacts them, and how the Kings Subbasin plans to coordinate to achieve groundwater sustainability.

Groundwater Sustainability Agencies were created in response to the CA law, Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) passed in 2014. SGMA requires critically overdrafted subbasins balance their groundwater supplies by 2040.