Constituent policy

Carpinteria GSA Board to Review Fee Appeals Policy

The Carpinteria Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) is developing a groundwater royalty appeal policy as required by GSA Board Resolution #011. The policy will provide a mechanism for landowners subject to the groundwater charge to appeal the calculation of charges for their property as it applies to the groundwater charge enacted for the 2023 fiscal year.

Landowners are strongly encouraged to provide comments and participate in the September 28 and October 12 public hearings. Public hearings will take place at regular Carpinteria GSA meetings. Council will discuss the policy issue and hear comments from the public. At the October 12 meeting, the GSA Board of Directors is expected to consider adopting the policy.

Meetings will be at 5:40 p.m. on September 28 and October 12. Both meetings will take place in the Carpinteria City Council Chamber (5775 Carpinteria Avenue) in Carpinteria.

A royalty study initiated in 2021 has been designed to recover the costs of the agency while ensuring that the benefit received from the sustainable management of the basin is commensurate with the royalties paid. Groundwater is a vital part of the local water supply, especially as resources are drying up due to drought, climatic fluctuations, and increased competition for all water resources in the state.

As recommended in the Fee Study Report, on June 29, the GSA Board approved a groundwater fee to be assessed for the 2022-23 financial year which became effective July 1 of $48 per acre of land for all portions of the property overlying the Carpinteria Groundwater Basin in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, excluding exempt parcels identified in the report.

The costs are spread over the fall and spring property tax bills. The most common single family residential property is around 1/5 acre and will see an annual fee of around $9. The most common farm properties are around 8 acres and will see annual fees of around $372.

Following a series of public hearings and community meetings, the GSA Board of Directors listened to public comments and concerns and reduced the proposed five-year fee schedule to one year so that the public and staff can continue the dialogue and reassess the approach for future years. Fees will be reviewed next year as part of the Agency’s budget process. Simultaneously, the public is being invited to participate in the development of a state-mandated groundwater sustainability plan expected 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 its implementation thereafter.

California has adopted the SGMA to protect and regulate groundwater supplies. Groundwater basins designated as high or medium priority by the California Department of Water Resources must form a Groundwater Sustainability Agency to develop and implement a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), which is a detailed roadmap indicating how each groundwater basin will achieve 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 [email protected] .net.

The Carpinteria GSA was established in 2020 by a joint powers agreement between the Carpinteria Valley Water District, the City of Carpinteria, the Santa Barbara County Water Agency, and Ventura County to ensure use long-term sustainability of the Carpinteria groundwater basin through monitoring, planning and monitoring. To learn more and sign up for updates, go to https://carpgsa.org.

Email: [email protected]