Groundwater Allocations will begin October 1, 2022
The Greater Kaweah GSA adopted its first set of Rules and Regulations on August 15, 2022 and became effective on such date. The Greater Kaweah GSA will implement its first year of groundwater allocations during Water Year 2023, beginning October 1, 2022. The groundwater allocations will provide an overall pumping cap limit for agricultural users.
Stakeholder involvement in workshops, webinars, committee meetings, board meetings, Q&A sessions, and extended public comment and review periods played a vital role in the development of the Rules and Regulations.
About the Greater Kaweah GSA Rules and Regulations
Groundwater pumping limitations will change the way landowners manage their groundwater supply use by limiting the amount of groundwater that can be used over a certain time period.
Each year, the Greater Kaweah GSA Technical Group will establish a groundwater use allocation for each agricultural assessor’s parcel within the Greater Kaweah Management Area boundary.
An irrigated parcel will be assigned a Sustainable Yield Allocation and a Temporary Tier 1 and Tier 2 Allocation.
The Sustainable Yield Allocation is based on the available of groundwater from natural sources in the Subbasin, and includes precipitation and seepage from natural flows. Tier 1 and Tier 2 limitations are based on a ramp down schedule for overdraft pumping. The ramp down schedule begins with limiting overdraft pumping by 90% in the Water Years 2023-2025.
All Temporary Tier 1 and Tier 2 allocations will be made on an annual basis. For detailed information on how groundwater allocations are calculated, how unused groundwater credits can carry over to future years or be transferred to other owners, and what specific rules apply to dairy farms, please refer to the Rules and Regulations document.
Have questions about your allocations? Contact the Greater Kaweah GSA at (559) 302-9987 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need for Groundwater Allocations
During the last two severely dry years in the Kaweah Subbasin, groundwater pumping has persisted and much more has been pumped from the aquifer than was replaced. This increased pumping has created a larger shortfall in groundwater levels than anticipated in the Greater Kaweah’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan adopted in January 2020. Pumping over the last two years requires more immediate actions to be taken through demand-side management if the short and long-term goals as submitted to the State are to be met.
Compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is not optional. If the Greater Kaweah GSA fails to achieve groundwater sustainability at a local level, such failure would result in intervention by the State.
Sustainability is best accomplished at a local level and without State intervention. The Greater Kaweah GSA is proactively developing solutions to prioritize local interests and achieve groundwater sustainability hand in hand with landowners.