Basin Boundary Modification Process

Groundwater Basin Boundary ModificationThe California Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) Bulletin 118 defines alluvial groundwater basin and subbasin boundaries in the state of California. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA) outlines an opportunity for local overlying agencies to propose modifications to these boundaries through a process developed and administered by DWR.  On November 16, 2015, DWR initiated the initial round of this process and began soliciting proposals for groundwater basin and subbasin boundary modifications. The deadline to submit proposals to DWR was March 31, 2016 and final modifications were approved in late 2016. The next opportunity for modifying basin and subbasin boundaries will come in 2018.

Development of Kings & Tulare Lake Subbasin Proposals

In early 2015 KRCD began working with overlying and adjacent agencies and mutual water companies to confirm and compare jurisdictional and Bulletin 118 groundwater subbasin boundaries and to identify potential needs for boundary modification.  Following development of preliminary draft proposals, on December 21, 2015, KRCD submitted Initial Notification to DWR that the District was in the process of exploring possible boundary modifications for portions of the Kings and Tulare Lake Subbasins. Two public hearings were organized and noticed to solicit public input on the proposed changes (1/27 in Fresno, and 1/29 in Hanford). Proposals for the two subbasins were submitted and deemed complete by DWR triggering a 30-day public comment period. No public comments were received.

Please see the links below for maps of the boundary modifications that KRCD proposed.

Kings Subbasin

KRCD requested jurisdictional boundary modifications for the following areas: the boundary from Farmers’ WD, around Traction Ranch, James ID and Reclamation District 1606, removing the tail of the Kings Subbasin that goes down along the Tulare Lake Subbasin and making the boundary John Heinlen MWC, match the boundary of Westlands WD (as described in Bulletin 118) and place all of Lemoore NAS in the Westside Subbasin, and following the boundaries of Kings County WD and Consolidated ID and using the Kings County line as the Kings/Tulare Lake Subbasin boundary for the area of the Kings currently in Alta ID.

On March 15, 2016, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) determined that KRCD’s Kings Subbasin Boundary Modification Proposal was complete. The full proposal can be viewed on the DWR Basin Boundary Modification Request System (BBMRS).

Kings Subbasin Maps

Tulare Lake Subbasin

KRCD requested jurisdictional modification to adjust the boundary to follow the California Aqueduct as described in Bulletin 118, and incorporate all of Dudley Ridge WD, a contiguous landowner and T25S R22E Section 6 into the Tulare Lake Subbasin.

On March 24, 2016, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) determined that KRCD’s Tulare Lake Subbasin Boundary Modification Proposal was complete. The full proposal can be viewed on the DWR Basin Boundary Modification Request System (BBMRS). Two additional Tulare Lake Subbasin boundary modification proposals were submitted by Corcoran Irrigation District and Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District. Those modifications are not described in the KRCD proposal and have not been included in the maps below.

Tulare Lake Subbasin Maps

Laws Regulating Public and Agency Comment

§ 343.12. Public Input

(a) Any person may provide information to support or oppose a proposed boundary modification request as follows:

(1) Public input must be submitted by written notice to the Department within 30 days after the Department posts a notice that the request is complete pursuant to Section 343.10(c), and provide the requesting agency a duplicate copy of that information the same day.

(2) Public input must include the name, address, and electronic mail address of the person or entity providing that input.

(3) Public input must include a clear statement of the basis for the support of or opposition to the proposed boundary modification.

(4) The level of detail provided by public input need not be as comprehensive as that contained in the request, but must rely on similar scientific and  technical information as the particular boundary modification request to which it is addressed, and will be evaluated by the Department using the same  criteria.

(b) The Department shall post all public input on the Department’s Internet Web site.

(c) The Department is not required to respond to comments received through public input, but will consider such comments as part of its evaluation of a boundary modification request.

(d) The Department shall give the requesting agency a reasonable opportunity to respond to public input, including the opportunity to modify the boundary modification request.

Note: Authority cited: Section 10722.2, Water Code.

Reference: Section 10722.2, Water Code.

§ 344.8. Local Agency Input

(a) Each request for boundary modification shall include the following:

(1) Evidence that the requesting agency provided information to affected agencies and affected systems regarding the proposed boundary modification as required by Section 344.4 and provided those affected agencies and affected systems an opportunity to comment in support or opposition.

(2) Copies of all comments and documents from affected agencies and affected systems in support of or opposition to the proposed modification.

(3) Any evidence the requesting agency believes will rebut any opposition to the proposed boundary modification or otherwise assist the Department in its evaluation.

(b) Any affected agency or affected system that elects to support or oppose the proposed boundary modification shall provide the requesting agency with one of the following:

(1) A copy of a resolution formally adopted by the decision-making body of the affected agency or affected system.

(2) A letter signed by an executive officer or other official with appropriate delegated authority who represents the affected agency or affected system.

(c) The level of detail provided by an affected agency or affected system in support or opposition to a proposed boundary modification need not be as comprehensive as that contained in the request, but the support or opposition must rely on similar scientific and technical information as the particular boundary modification request to which it is addressed, and will be evaluated by the Department using the same criteria.

(d) A request that involves basin subdivision pursuant to Section 342.4(c) shall provide information demonstrating that the proposed boundary modification is supported by at least three-fourths of the local agencies and public water systems in the affected basins.

Note: Authority cited: Section 10722.2, Water Code.

Reference: Section 10722.2, Water Code.

Further Reading on the Basin Boundary Modification Process: