Will Kings County Be the First Region Sent to State’s Groundwater “Cop”?

The prospect of being sent to California’s “groundwater cop” strikes dread in the hearts of most water managers.

But for John Vidovich, having the Tulare Lake subbasin come under the glare of the State Water Resources Control Board may be the only way to end an irrigation practice by the J.G. Boswell Company that he says is wasteful, abusive and contributing to the sinking of an entire town.

Santa Ynez Groundwater Basin Users Could Soon See New Water-Use Restrictions

The Santa Ynez River Valley Groundwater Basin runs from Lake Cachuma off Highway 154 out to the ocean near Lompoc. It’s used for urban water supply in Northern Santa Barbara County and in agriculture for things like wine grapes and vegetables.

Now, water users in the area may be required to comply with sustainable tactics to help manage the basin after years of consistent drought and overuse.

“Many parts of the basin are nearing historical lows,” said Santa Barbara County Water Agency Manager Matt Young.