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Kings Farm Bureau v. SWRCB May 22, 2024

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For Immediate Release: May 16, 2024

Kings County Farm Bureau Challenges State Water Resources Control Board Decision Placing the Tulare Lake Subbasin On Probation

Hanford, Calif. — Kings County Farm Bureau (KCFB) filed a writ of mandate, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Kings County Superior Court challenging the State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) action placing the Tulare Lake Sub-basin (TLSB) on probation under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Citing eight causes of action against the SWRCB, KCFB is confident their petition will positively impact growers in the TLSB.

The SGMA dictates that a groundwater sub-basin may be placed on probation if an acceptable groundwater sustainability plan (GSP) is not presented to and approved by the Department of Water Resources (DWR). The TLSB’s submitted plan was deemed inadequate by DWR in July of 2022, triggering the probationary hearing by the SWRCB on April 16, 2024. However, the SWRCB’s decision to place the TLSB on probation violated the SGMA and expanded the SWRCB’s authority beyond its jurisdiction.

When asked why KCFB challenged the SWRCB’s decision, executive director Dusty Ference replied, “In Kings County, agriculture is the largest economic sector, and no other sector comes remotely close to providing as much as ag.” In 2020, agriculture paid over $33 million in property taxes—those tax dollars funded 256 teachers’ salaries and 149 first responders and county employees. “When ag suffers in Kings County, the entire community suffers. Placing the TLSB on probation in 2024 is inconceivable and unjust. SGMA dictates that sub-basins have until 2040 to achieve sustainability, and the SWRCB has arbitrarily accelerated that deadline to 2024.”

KCFB is proud to lead this fight for Kings County but recognizes this is not an agricultural effort alone. This battle is about saving the community of Kings County. Please consider donating to the fund the legal effort underway. Contact KCFB by phone at (559)584-3557, via email at , or visit for more information.

About Kings County Farm Bureau

Kings County Farm Bureau is a non-profit advocacy organization that represents approximately 450 members of the agricultural community. More information is available at

Contact: Dusty Ference 559/303-1885 cell,

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