Groundwater Sustainability Fee Adopted in Carpinteria by the Carpinteria Groundwater Sustainability Agency (CGSA) Board of Directors

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 – Since formation in 2020, the Carpinteria Groundwater Sustainability Agency (CGSA; Agency) has been operating on loans and cannot continue without a revenue source to support ongoing operations and administration. The CGSA was formed by a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) between the Carpinteria Valley Water DistrictCity of CarpinteriaSanta Barbara County Water Agency and County of Ventura to ensure long-term sustainable use of the Carpinteria Groundwater Basin through monitoring, planning, and oversight.

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 our 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, 2022, the CGSA Board of Directors approved a groundwater fee to be assessed for Fiscal Year 2022-23 beginning July 1 of $48 per acre of land from all portions of property overlying the Carpinteria Groundwater Basin, excluding exempted parcels identified in the Report.

The fee will be split on fall and spring property tax bills beginning this year. 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 CGSA 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. The Agency is required to develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan by 2024 and begin implementation thereafter.

California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act 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 learn more about the Carpinteria Groundwater Sustainability Agency and sign up for updates, go to


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