Kings Basin Water Authority Awarded Proposition 1 IRWM Planning Grant

Fresno, CA – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has awarded the Kings Basin Water Authority $202,817 from the Proposition 1 Integrated Regional Water Management Planning (IRWM) Grant Program to update the Authority’s 2012 IRWM Plan to be consistent with the new standards. The Authority will provide $53,235 in local cost share towards the IRWM Plan update.

The Kings Basin Water Authority covers 610,000 acres in portions of Fresno, Tulare and Kings counties and is a collaborative effort between 57 public, private and non-governmental agencies to create regional solutions for water resource management. The Kings Basin region faces many water management challenges including groundwater overdraft, surface water shortages in dry years, and groundwater quality problems in certain areas.

Updated and new chapters of the Kings Basin IRWM Plan will incorporate requirements outlined in DWR’s 2016 IRWM Planning Standards. The update will include discussion on the following:

  • Address AB 1249 which requires IRWM regions to document in their Plan areas of nitrate, arsenic, perchlorate, or hexavalent chromium contamination, the extent and impact of the contamination in the region, and any existing or needed efforts to address the impacts; and
  • Address SB 985 which requires the IRWMP to incorporate, and/or acknowledge, any Stormwater Resources Plans (SRP) or approved equivalent plans within the region; and
  • Provide continued facilitation and involvement of disadvantaged communities (DACs) within the IRWMP.

Integrated management of stormwater is critically important to the Kings Basin region as a way to efficiently and effectively reduce flood damage, capture and utilize flood waters for recharge and long-term water supply, and reduce water quality contamination issues. Updating the IRWM Plan to include elements of a functionally equivalent SRP for the broader region will provide some economic savings to smaller local entities that are without a SRP and will enable all stakeholders in the region to remain eligible for DWR funding for flood or stormwater projects, including groundwater recharge facilities that utilize flood water.

The Authority aims to complete the Plan update in time to compete for Proposition 1 IRWM Implementation Grant funding, in which solicitation for the first round of funding is expected in early 2018. DWR has allocated $418 million statewide to the IRWM Implementation Grant Program, of which not less than $51 million will be allocated to projects that directly benefit DACs. Past projects in the Authority’s IRWM region have received almost $54 million in state and private grant funding and have included the construction of groundwater recharge basins to capture and infiltrate Kings River floodwater, expansion of canal capacity to increase water delivery to the groundwater recharge basins, installation of residential water meters and retrofitting wells in small disadvantaged communities to provide safe and reliable drinking water.

For More Information: Cristel Tufenkjian, KRCD’s Manager of Community and Public Relations, 559.237.5567, Extension 118, cell 559.906.2952