Southeast Asian Groundwater and Sustainability Advocacy and Outreach Program – SGWP

January 24, 2019




Within the last century, California, especially the San Joaquin Valley, has always had a water challenge. After the last dry years cycle, lawmakers at the State capital amended the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014.  This gave an opportunity for the local agencies to form a Groundwater Sustainable Agency (GSA). By 2020, a plan would be layout and implemented; by 2040, each region is to reach a groundwater sustainability. However, if the local agencies are not successful, then the State water agencies will have the authority over.

In 2018, the Department of Water Resource funded the Asian Business Institute and Resource Center to outreach and bridge the gap between the local GSAs and the Southeast Asian Farmers. The local region called the Kings Sub-basin is divided into seven GSA.  ABIRC is working in the North King GSA area. ABIRC’s primary role is to advocate for the small SEA farmers and disseminate information to the community.  These efforts include community workshops and utilization of both ethnic media – Radio and Hmong TV.  ABIRC partnered with Lao Veterans of America, Inc (LVA)., Special Guerrilla Unit (SGU), local Hmong Churches, and Hmong community leaders and has completed the following:

  Workshops Hmong TV/Radio Outreach Direct Audience Engagement SEA Farmers Engaged
Total 15 27 500 + 200 +
  Presented at: Fresno City Council
Fresno County Board of Supervisor
North Kings GSA, Board
CDFA, Board Meeting
UC Merced
  Participated North Kings GSA Meeting
Board Meeting
Advisory Meeting
Outreach Subcommittee
Technical Subcommittee

The local GSA predicted that over one-million acres will be fallowed once the new plan is implemented. The questions posed, “what can we do to mitigate the negative impact on our local small SEA farmers?” Many of our SEA small farmers live in the city sphere but may farm in the County area.  In addition, most of the SEA small farmers are leasing, not landowners.  Some are elderly, with little-to-no schooling, rely solely on their farm to feed their family; and to send their children to college.

Regardless of where you are in or out of the Kings Subbasin, ABIRC is interested in hearing your thoughts and concerned. Please provide it below and ABIRC will contact you. Additionally, view our calendar page to see the detail of our monthly workshops and event.

Resources and Information 

To access information from the Department of Water Resource: Click Here

To Access the North Kings GSA Website: Click Here

To Access the Find your GSA link: Click Here

To View North Kings GSA, GSP and/or Provide comments on the GSP: Click Here

SGMA related articles

As Groundwater Law Plows Forward, Small Farmers Seek More Engagement by Kerry Klein
In The Studio: A Local Update On The State’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act by Kathlene Schock
A new water law set to take affect in January leaves disadvantaged communities in no man’s land by Alexan Balekian,

ABIRC Community Engagement Workshop – 2.4.19 (Video filmed and courtesy by Mas Yaj)

ABIRC Community Engagement Workshop – 8.20.19 (Video Filmed and courtesy by Hmong USATV)