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State’s groundwater “cop” weighs in on plans to stop over pumping and finds them lax

 •  by Lois Henry
Groundwater gushes out of a well on Pueblo Avenue in the Tulare Lake bed in Kings County. The State Water Resources Control Board, which is the state's enforcement arm under its new groundwater law, was highly critical of the Tulare Lake subbasin ground water sustainability plan in comments filed this summer. CREDIT: Lois Henry

As California’s Central Valley water managers nervously await the first official Department of Water Resources responses to plans for how they expect to fix massive groundwater over pumping, some were dismayed to “stumble” on comments from a different, and very powerful, state water agency.

The State Water Resources Control Board submitted  highly critical comments on five Central Valley groundwater sustainability plans in late summer that some local groundwater agencies only recently discovered.

Since the Water Board is the ultimate enforcement arm of the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the significance of these comments was immediately noted by water managers.

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