The Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency has proposed a groundwater extraction fee to be charged to property owners within its district.

The ETGSA board approved providing its water rate study for public review at its meeting on August 6. The proposed fee is included in that water rate study. A public hearing videoconference on the proposed fee will be held at 2 p.m. October 1.

The ETGSA is proposing the fee to fund half of its 2020-2021 budget to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The Act requires groundwater usage to be significantly reduced across California over the next 20 years.

The ETGSA covers virtually all of Southeastern Tulare County and was formed to meet the requirements of the SGMA.

The proposed fee to be charged is $4.92 per acre foot of which $1.61 would go to administration/overhead, $1.78 would go to professional services, 65 cents would go to water accounting and 88 cents would go to technical monitoring. The ETSGA's budget for 2020-2021 is $1,519,210. The fee would fund $759,605 of the budget.

The fee was calculated based on the total amount of water available for 2020-2021, which was based on long-term average total precipitation and a sustainable yield of .96 acre-feet per acre. The ETGSA stated this equates to 154,409 acre-feet of water per year.

The ETGSA stated “applying the portion of the budget to this volume of water” the rate was set at $4.92 per acre foot.

The ETGSA stated the fee would be applied to parcels owned in the Greater Tule Management Area.

Those who want to participate in the public hearing can go to us02web.zoom.us/j/89646217669 or call in at 1-669-900-9128. The meeting ID number is 896 4621 7669.

Written comments can be submitted online easterntulegsa.com/groundwaterextractionfee The website states one can comment or protest.

A copy of the water rate study is available on the ETGSA's website or may be obtained by calling the ETGSA office, 781-7660. For more information visit easterntulegsa.com

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