November 23, 2020
New Well Review Policy draft under review will impact process for drilling new wells
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.  
SGMA grant funding opportunity is a fit for two North Kings GSA projects
Preparations are being made to apply for round one of the CA Department of Resources (DWR) SGMA Implementation Grant. North Kings GSA is seeking funding for two projects led by member agencies Fresno Irrigation District and City of Kerman. 

The Fresno Irrigation District’s Savory Pond Expansion Project and City of Kerman’s Recharge Project will directly achieve sustainability goals by capturing surplus surface water for groundwater aquifer recharge. The Savory Pond Expansion Project also provides a benefit to a disadvantaged community within the North Kings GSA, the Shady Lakes Mobile Home park. The grant solicitation encourages multi-benefit projects, especially those with a direct benefit to disadvantaged communities. 

North Kings GSA staff is coordinating with the Fresno Irrigation District and City of Kerman to solidify cost estimates with scopes of work to complete the applications. 

The SGMA Implementation Grant is funded by Proposition 68, with this first round providing $26 million for critically overdrafted basins. Another $77 million will be available in round 2 for medium- and high-priority (including critically overdrafted) basins. The North Kings GSA is in the Kings Subbasin, considered under SGMA to be critically overdrafted. 
Aerial Electromagnetic Survey postponed to next weekend
The AEM survey will allow North Kings GSA to better understand the geology of the Northeast Fresno area, identifying areas suitable for snowmelt from the Sierras to recharge the groundwater aquifer. The helicopter will tow a large hexagonal frame designed to map geologic structures and groundwater resources down to about 900 feet below the land’s surface.

This project will highlight areas with favorable soil and aquifer conditions, helping North Kings GSA to make informed decisions about groundwater recharge projects in our area. This kind of data is essential to achieving our mission of protecting our water supply for generations to come.
Changes to Board of Directors; 2021 meeting schedule set
Kerman Mayor, Rhonda Armstrong, attended her last meeting as a director of the North Kings GSA Board on November 19, 2020. North Kings GSA is thankful for Mayor Armstrong’s service since 2018. Board seat three will be filled by Director Steve Pickens, Bakman Water Company. Director Pickens previously held seat seven, the At-Large seat assignment. Board members will present nominations for potential new members to fill seat seven at the December 17th Board meeting.

The Board also approved their meeting schedule for 2021, with meetings taking place on the fourth Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. Find regular Board updates and a calendar of events on our website!
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The North Kings GSA wishes you a happy Thanksgiving!
While preparing to enjoy a delicious meal with your loved ones this Thanksgiving, take a moment to appreciate the hard work from growers all over the Central Valley that contributed to your favorite dishes, and of course the water supply that made the harvest possible.
North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency
C/O Fresno Irrigation District
2907 S Maple Avenue
Fresno, CA 93725