Mid-Kaweah GSA Is Urban and Ag Partnership
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director
California Ag Today recently spoke with Paul Hendrix, manager of the Mid-Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), about the members they serve and how unique the GSA is.
“The Mid-Kaweah GSA has got three members: the Tulare Irrigation District with large surface supplies and the two growing and larger cities here in Tulare county,Tulare and Visalia,” Hendrix explained. “So we are one of the more unique GSAs in that we have both, and urban and ag partnership on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Area (SGMA) compliance. Other GSAs have a larger number of members.
Having local GSAs has long been considered better to serve an area.
“That was something we fought for— and really tried to stave off groundwater legislation for many years—is that we can manage this locally, but drought and other regulatory impacts were such that we couldn’t hold off this passage of SGMA, but they did grant us basically a 25-year period to manage this locally with local authorities and gave us some leeway to do that,” Hendrix said.
“But if we can’t do it locally in the end, the state will step in,” he explained. “Each GSA … there’s at least a hundred here in the San Joaquin Valley and they have been freshly formed, will decide their rules and they will work in partnership with their neighboring GSAs to make sure it’s all consistent, but it’s up to each one of those GSA boards to set up these rules and not Sacramento.”