by Leslie Layton
posted July 27
A groundwater management board charged with managing a large portion of Butte County’s water supply met a tide of resistance July 26 to a new fee that will be levied on Chico property owners.
The fee was approved by the Vina Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Board in a 5-0 vote and set at $1.54 per acre for the 2023-24 property tax year. It will thus be almost unnoticeable for small-parcel owners, but ranchers who spoke at the public hearing, held in the Chico City Council chamber, objected that it was inherently unfair to large landowners who aren’t extracting water.