A long simmering water war between Kings County’s two biggest farming entities blew up Wednesday over groundwater when the state rejected the region’s plan to shore up its declining aquifer.
The fallout could be significant if the state pursues enforcement, which could include pumping limits, steep fines, and fees for all groundwater users in the Tulare Lake subbasin, which covers most of Kings County.
“We’re all gonna pay the price for this,” said Kings County Supervisor and farmer Doug Verboon. “It’s like being in a classroom, you got two kids that are the class clowns, disrupting the whole class, and you all pay the price.”
He referred to the farming entities, Sandridge Partners LLC, controlled by John Vidovich, and the J.G. Boswell Farming Company. The two have been battling over a number of water issues, including groundwater.