Digital Marketing Services

North Kings GSA August 18, 2023



By Don A. Wright 

The North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency Advisory Committee met at the Clovis Police Department’s community room on Friday, August 18, 2023. I was invited to sit at the adult table near a wall plug. That was nice to have a table to rest my laptop instead of a lap to rest my laptop and agenda. Speaking of; this meetings packet was big for an advisory committee. The Groundwater Sustainability Plan acceptance letter from DWR was 60 some pages and included in the packet. I was tempted by professional preparation and a natural curiosity to take it home and read the long letter. However, by the end of the meeting I was able to prove Oscar Wilde wrong when he said, “I can resist anything but temptation.”Lidco Inc.

The Meeting

Chairman Scott Redelfs called the meeting to order at 1:30pm and there were no public comments. There was a quorum and the minutes were approved. The financial report was next and Lisa Koehn listed the expenses for May 2023 and the financial statements from May and June of 2023. Everyone was zippy with the figures and they were approved. Koehn also gave an audit update for fiscal year 2022-2023.

Basin Coordination

The man who always keeps his hair do un-mussed, Ron Samuelian of Provost & Pritchard gave an update on coordination efforts in the Kings Subbasin. He said DWR sent them a 70-page love letter approving the Groundwater Sustainability Plan. He said the consistency of the seven chapter plan was very helpful, even key to the GSP passing.

He said there is a PERIODIC EVALUATION, not a GSP review every five years according to DWR. He said there has been a great deal of preparation for storms. Samuelian said one of the Fresno Irrigation Directors claimed he felt like Noah. But it has paid off.

Samuelian said there is lots of talk about a water bond in the next election cycle but at this time there isn’t anyone putting SGMA funds in the bond. CEO Kassy Chauhan said it is necessary to have some language in the law.

There is a need for greater attention to the confined aquifer study, integrated surface water studies and a strong domestic well mitigation program. This is needed to keep DWR happy. There were in total 12 recommended actions. Samuelian said they are in the GSP but the story needs to be told differently and there will be consultation with DWR staff on this matter.

Groundwater levels, subsidence, interconnected surface water, groundwater quality, Hydrogeologic Model Conception and confined aquifer were the first six recommended corrective actions. Samuelian said the ISW isn’t going to be solved anytime soon and good reads on storage in confined aquifers is also nebulous.

Also a water budget, groundwater storage changes, groundwater chemicals, the monitoring network, clarifying projects and management actions are planned. Samuelian said he believes using a water budget and groundwater storage monitoring is a sound way to estimate groundwater conditions and the goal will be to explain this to DWR in a different way. He said they will be further defined demand management actions that could trigger reduced pumping.

Redelfs asked if there is a chance for the GSP to fall from grace in the future and Samuelian said there is a possibility. Chauhan said DWR wants the domestic well mitigation plan in place and funded by 2025. That will be a $40 million challenge, and that $40 million was an estimate from a year ago. Things move fast in SGMA land and that cost could be more, could be less, but how often does less happen?

Redelfs asked if this includes water quality. Samuelian said SGMA doesn’t require GSAs to mitigate for water quality, just pumping that could cause it to be worse. Committee Member Nick Kellerman said it gets very complicated as both dry and wet conditions bring both benefits and detriments.Technoflo

Administrative Matters

There were a lot of items in this portion of the agenda. Chauhan started by saying there is an election of officers for the NKGSA board coming up and to be aware, not beware. She said the GSA will team up with the San Joaquin River Restoration Program as a part of the interconnected streams study.

There is a need to deal with four fiscal policy considerations. Koehn led the committee through budget policy, operating reserves policy, financial reporting policy and hiring an auditor policy. As of now NKGSA has been operating by mirroring Fresno Irrigation District policy and the goal is to adopt its own official policy. Remember the Advisory Committee acts to a great deal as an executive committee. The recommendations to the board have to pass the Advisory Committee.

There was some word jangling going on to ensure recommendation for budget policy comes from the committee. It’s always fun when a dozen people pitch in and write a sentence. They slapped it around for a while and came up with language that passed the vote. Redelfs, wisely I believe, suggested saving the final version of the statement for future use. This did take a while.

Next the operating reserves policy, financial reporting policy and hiring an auditor policy went under discussion. For example, Chauhan has a spending limit of $50,000 on budgeted matters without getting board approval for larger amounts. That was already in the policy so the recommended policy had to show that policy was in the mix. Trust me they worded it out.

Project List

Next Chauhan spoke about the updates to the project list. There were dozens of projects and the request was to post the revised list as part of the GSP project list provided the GSA board approved. Adam Claes of Fresno ID asked if the completion dates and other details can be swapped. Samuelian said this can be done. But he reminded folks this isn’t a wish list, it’s a commitment. Chauhan said she has some concerns about adding projects that will require more information too late in the reporting period. Koehn suggested soliciting changes after member agencies complete their annual budgets. The committee approved kicking the list up to the board.

Next Chauhan updated the committee on what is happening with well permitting. In addition to permits, the well destruction logs are turned in but that has to be followed up with good accounting. She said Fresno County has been great to work with and she’s thankful for the County staffs’ help.

The well intake portal was next. Chauhan said Provost & Pritchard has worked with the GSA to develop a portal tool in conjunction with Break 9. She’s looking to enroll well owners for beta testing from October through December. At that point as bugs are worked out she’d like to see a soft launch followed by a full launch. The Outreach Committee needs to work on a plan to get participation. The long term vision on this program is to compile well inventory information. Any well in the GSA is eligible but there are questions about who would be willing to give up information on their wells.

Chauhan said she doesn’t expect well owners to voluntarily give much information, especially older wells. There is a good deal more information available on new wells since SGMA was enacted. So what information can be gathered either voluntarily or through existing program will have a place to rest. SGMA does provide for the mandatory collection of well information if this is deemed as needed further down the line.

Koehn reported on the Kings Water Alliance. She said notices were sent to domestic well owners about nitrates. Self Help Enterprises’ Sue Ruiz said her well near Easton dropped a little but the water in the Fresno ID ditch was full all year. Hydrogeology can be a mystery.

Member Updates

Claes gave the water report saying the Class I Friant water is 100 percent and 15 percent Class II. Flood releases ended in July. The Friant Kern Canal will shut down from November to January. Millerton Lake is drawing down with 350 cfs going down the San Joaquin River.

Pine Flat is releasing 6,200 cfs into the Kings River. FID is getting 1,200 cfs of that for diversions. Demand for July was flat as almonds began slowing down use in preparation for harvest. An ASO on the Kings watershed on July 1st showed 900,000 a/f of snowmelt waiting. By July 16th models showed 304,000 a/f remains.

Hurricane Hilary is a Category 4 storm and will hit Southern California and the Mojave Desert pretty hard in the next few days. There could be up to an inch hit the San Joaquin Valley early next week. Claes said there are record runoffs this year.

Executive Officer Report

Chauhan said she’s already talked about almost everything in her report. She said the Biola Project will be completed by April of 2024 because that is when the funding will dry up. This could make Biola the first DAC to be self-sustainable. She wants DWR and others to know about this. There have been additional work in FID with temporary pumps with temporary flood basins. The Malaga County Water District’s basin intertie is on track to complete soon and will also be sustainable. These are all exciting and although construction costs are dramatically rising this is the news to shout. There is a Kings Basin outreach planned later in the year to communicate the water year.

Chauhan said the representative monitoring network is moving forward and she hopes to not have to reinvent the wheel on this. Landowners are key and their cooperation is needed. She said the actual well soundings are done by FID staff. They would like to have better monitoring equipment to gather more and better data points. This doesn’t have to be expensive but it could be very helpful. That was the end of her report.

Ruiz wanted to tell the committee Self Help Enterprises had meetings with DAC community people and agencies for interaction. There was a good water tour that went from Pine Flat to Biola to FID’s recharge basins. She said what she has learned from North Kings made this possible and it worked perfectly. Looking to do the same thing in the Madera Merced area.

The meeting adjourned at 3:30pm. It was a little longer than usual as happens when there is writing by committee but with no closed session worries it was a good period on the end of Friday afternoon sentence.

DISCLAIMER OF RESPONSIBILITY; strives to provide its clients with the most complete, up-to-date, and accurate information available. Nevertheless, does not serve as a guarantor of the accuracy or completeness of the information provided, and specifically disclaims any and all responsibility for information that is not accurate, up-to-date, or complete.’s clients therefore rely on the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of information from DAW entirely at their own risk. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not represent any advertisers or third parties.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Copyright 2023 by

SGMA The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 calls for the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Areas within Basins and Sub-basins to develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans.

MEMBERS: Bakman Water Company, Cities of Kerman, Fresno and Clovis, Fresno County, Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District, Garfield Water District and Fresno ID

Executive Director – Kassy Chauhan

DWR # Listing: Basin San Joaquin, Sub Basin Kings 5-022.08


Get Our Latest Water News Delivered To Your InBox

Subscribe today to be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

We respect your privacy and value your readership. We will never sell your information to 3rd parties.


Kaweah Subbasin Coordination, September 27, 2023

By Don A. Wright The three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies that...

Kern Groundwater Authority GSA September 27, 2023 Don A. Wright The Kern Groundwater Authority Groundwater Sustainability...

Greater Kaweah GSA September 26, 2023

By Don A. Wright The Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency...

Madera Irrigation District Board of Directors Special Meeting, September 20, 2023

By Joel Hastings On September 20 at 10:31 a.m., President...

Westlands Water District September 19, 2023

By Don A. Wright The Westlands Water District held its...