The Carpinteria Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) is developing a groundwater fee appeal policy as required by Resolution No. 011 of the GSA Board. The policy will provide a mechanism for property owners subject to the groundwater fee to appeal the fee calculation for their property as it applies to the adopted groundwater fee for Fiscal Year 2023.
Property owners are strongly encouraged to provide input and participate at public hearings on Sept. 28 and Oct. 12. The public hearings will be held during regular meetings of the Carpinteria GSA. The Board will discuss the policy matter and hear comments from the public. At the Oct. 12 meeting, the GSA Board is expected to consider adoption of the policy.
The meetings will take place at 5:40 p.m. on Sept. 28 and Oct. 12. Both meetings will take place at the Carpinteria City Council Chambers (5775 Carpinteria Ave) in Carpinteria.
A fee study initiated in 2021 was designed to recover costs of the agency while ensuring that the benefit received from sustainable management of the basin is proportional to the fees paid. Groundwater is a vital component of the local water supply, especially as resources are drying up due to drought, climate fluctuations and increased competition for all water resources in the state.
As recommended in the Fee Study Report, on June 29, the GSA Board of Directors approved a groundwater fee to be assessed for Fiscal Year 2022-23 that went into effect on July 1 of $48 per acre of land from all portions of property overlying the Carpinteria Groundwater Basin in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, excluding exempted parcels identified in the report.
The fee is split on fall and spring property tax bills. The most common single family residential property is about 1/5 acre and will see an annual fee of approximately $9. The most common agricultural properties are about 8 acres and will see an annual fee of approximately $372.
Following a series of public hearings and community meetings, the GSA Board listened to input and concerns from the public and reduced the proposed five-year fee schedule to one year so that the public and staff may continue a dialogue and re-evaluate the approach for future years. The fee will be revisited next year as part of the Agency’s budgeting process. Simultaneously, the public is invited to participate in development of a state-required Groundwater Sustainability Plan that is due in 2024.
The Carpinteria Groundwater Basin is designated as a “high priority Basin” by the California Department of Water Resources under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA), often referred to as ‘sigma.’ The Agency is required to develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan by 2024 and begin implementation thereafter.
California passed SGMA to protect and regulate groundwater supplies. Groundwater basins designated as a high or medium priority by the California Department of Water Resources are required to form a Groundwater Sustainability Agency to develop and implement a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), which is a detailed road map for how each groundwater basin will reach and maintain long-term sustainability.
To receive SGMA-related updates and future meeting notices for the Carpinteria GSA, submit your email address and contact information with a request to be added to the SGMA interest list to SGMA@cvwd.net.
The Carpinteria GSA was formed in 2020 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the Carpinteria Valley Water District, City of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County Water Agency and County of Ventura to ensure long-term sustainable use of the Carpinteria Groundwater Basin through monitoring, planning, and oversight. To learn more and sign up for updates, go to https://carpgsa.org.