The North Kings GSA Board reviewed and commented on the draft New Well Review Policy at their November 19th special meeting. The New Well Review Policy (NKGSA 2020-003) will impact the process for drilling new wells within the North Kings GSA service area, with the goal to align well depth and location with target groundwater levels outlined in the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP).
Specifically, the policy increases the North Kings GSA review window on all well permitting activities via the County of Fresno and municipal permitting agencies from 24-hours to up to five business days. The increased review period will give North Kings GSA staff enough time to review and reach out to well owners and drillers to provide groundwater level information and guidance. Giving well owners the opportunity for informed decision-making will secure the investment of a new well over the long run as groundwater levels may fluctuate before reaching sustainable levels by 2040.
A provision will be included in the policy to allow an application to be expedited when health and safety concerns are indicated by the County. For example, replacement wells for locations where the existing domestic well has failed, would receive an expedited review process.
The policy also permits North Kings GSA to register new wells and gather data about wells being constructed to assist with groundwater sustainability planning and implementation, and outlines a framework for potential new requirements (in future policies) regarding any new well construction approved in the North Kings GSA boundary.
The Board’s revisions will be reviewed by the Policy Workgroup and a revised New Well Review Policy will be brought back to the Board at future meeting for reconsideration.