San Joaquin Valley Tulare Lake Subbasin

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) designated the Tulare Lake Subbasin as probationary at a public hearing on April 16, 2024. Small domestic (household) well users who extract two acre-feet or less of groundwater per year for domestic purposes only are de minimis users and are exempt from reporting and paying fees. All other extractors within the Tulare Lake Subbasin are required to track their groundwater use starting July 15, 2024, and submit annual groundwater extraction reports by December 1, 2024. Most of these extractors will need to pay fees as shown in the table below. More information about measuring extraction volumes, reporting, and paying fees can be found in the "Groundwater Extractors and State Intervention Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)" fact sheet available in English and Spanish. Visit our Reporting and Fees webpage for more information.

In early June, the State Water Board will mail well owners in the Tulare Lake Subbasin who may need to measure and report their groundwater extractions to notify them of this requirement. You may view a copy of that letter at the following links in English and Spanish, as well as the accompanying Reporting Quick GuideInforme de extracción de aguas subterráneas Guía rápida.

Since well location and county parcel information are sometimes incomplete, it is possible that not all people required to report extractions received a letter from the Board. If you are subject to these reporting requirements but did not receive a letter from the Board, you still must record your groundwater extractions, submit reports, and pay fees. Contact the State Water Board by email at or by phone at (916) 322-6508 to get set up for reporting and avoid future enforcement action.

Find out more about State Water Board actions in the Tulare Lake Subbasin below. General information about the state intervention process can be found on our state intervention webpage and in the frequently asked questions about "Groundwater, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, and State Intervention" available in English and Spanish.

Tulare Lake Subbasin Groundwater Extraction Fees
Fee Category Fee Amount Applicable Parties
Base Fee $300 per well All extractors required to report (excludes de minimis extractors).
Volumetric Rate $20 per AF Extractors in probationary basins (excludes de minimis extractors).
Automatic Late Fee 25% per month Extractors that do not file reports by the due date.

AF = acre-foot
An acre-foot is enough water to cover one acre of land with one foot of water.

Probationary Hearing - April 16, 2024

The probationary hearing for the Tulare Lake Subbasin was held on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. At this hearing the State Water Board designated the Tulare Lake Subbasin as probationary.

Important Dates

Groundwater Extraction Reporting and Fees

Monday, July 15, 2024

Extractors must begin measuring and recording their monthly groundwater extractions. This applies as long as the subbasin is subject to California Water Code, Division 6, Part 2.74, Chapter 11 (State Intervention). For the Tulare Lake Subbasin, measuring and recording begins 90 days after the Board declared the subbasin probationary, which is July 15, 2024, and extends until the State Water Board determines the GSA or GSAs are on track to manage the subbasin sustainably. This requirement generally does not apply to “de minimis” groundwater extractors. Visit the Groundwater Extraction Annual Reporting System (GEARS) to determine if you are a de minimis groundwater extractor who is exempt from reporting and paying fees or if you are required to measure and report your groundwater extraction volumes. Read the State Water Board's Options for Measuring Extraction Volumes (PDF) | Opciones para medir los volúmenes de extracción de aguas subterráneas (PDF) to learn more about ways to measure your groundwater extractions volumes.

Special Requirements for Large Extractors: If you extract more than 500 acre-feet of groundwater per year from the Tulare Lake Subbasin and already have flow meters installed on your wells, you must use the meters to track your groundwater extractions. If you extract more than 500 acre-feet of groundwater and do not already have flow meters installed on your wells, flow meters must be installed by July 15, 2024, or as soon as you begin extracting groundwater from a given well, whichever is later, except as described below. See California Code of Regulations, title 23, section 1042 for the requirements flow meters must meet.

Proposing an alternative to flow meters: if you extract more than 500 acre-feet per year from the subbasin and do not already have meters installed, you may propose an alternative approach to measure or estimate extractions for the State Water Board’s consideration. In assessing alternative approaches, the Board will take into account the reliability and accuracy of these alternative approaches and whether they rely on readily verifiable information (e.g., publicly available evapotranspiration models). Specific considerations include but are not limited to whether:

  1. groundwater is extracted for uses not captured by evapotranspiration,
  2. sufficient details about crop irrigation and irrigation efficiency are provided, and
  3. contributions of precipitation and other sources to consumptive use are known and accounted for.

Contact as soon as possible, preferably by June 1, 2024 to ensure adequate time for evaluation of proposed alternative approaches in advance of the meter installation deadline, if you pump more than 500 acre-feet per year. Submitting a proposal for an alternative approach does not guarantee that the alternative will be approved or change the deadlines above for tracking and reporting extractions or measuring extractions. GSAs may submit proposals for alternative compliance mechanisms that will be applicable throughout their respective GSA boundaries.

Sunday, December 1, 2024

Deadline for extractors to report their monthly groundwater extraction volumes to the GEARS database for the period between July 15, 2024 and September 30, 2024 (or an earlier date if the subbasin exits State Intervention sooner). If groundwater extraction volumes are not reported by December 1, an additional charge of 25% of the annual fees can be assessed for each 30-day period after December 1. In no case will the additional charge exceed three times the required annual fees. In addition, if reports are not submitted on time, the Board may investigate and determine, at your expense, your groundwater extractions and other information required to be reported. You will receive 60 days’ notice and an opportunity to report without penalty before the investigation begins.

Tuesday, April 1, 2025

Extraction fees are due by April 1, 2025, or 30 days after the invoice date, whichever is later.

See the workshop flyer for more information:

Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact us at 916-322-6508 or email at

San Joaquin Valley Tulare Lake Subbasin Map
San Joaquin Valley Tulare Lake Subbasin Map

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