County Releases Draft Groundwater Ordinance that Impacts Extractions

Tualre, Calif., (July 14, 2017) – Farm Bureau wanted to alert our members that the County of Tulare has released a DRAFT proposal of a groundwater ordinance that will impact groundwater extractions and property rights.  If approved, it would be a prohibition on groundwater usage that takes effect potentially before the enforcement of the new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act laws set to take effect in 2020.

Linked here is a draft ordinance that addresses extractions of groundwater in Tulare County. The County’s Ag Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and the County’s Water Commission has participated in discussions on a Groundwater Ordinance over a year back, but neither advisory body has seen a draft until now. To date, this attached draft has not been presented to the Board of Supervisors.

Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Pete Vander Poel has directed staff to send the initial draft of the Tulare County Groundwater Ordinance to APAC and the County Water Commission to review and provide feedback to the Board. Staff to the board anticipate the attached draft will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for their first look at a regular scheduled Board meeting in early September.

Water Rights in California are unique in many respects, and this type of prohibition on extractions may impact agricultural users in many adverse ways, we encourage you to study this closely.  The Tulare County Farm Bureau board of directors and staff will also be reviewing this in the weeks ahead.

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