Fresno County Agencies will File with State as the McMullin Area GSA, Website is Launched

Fresno County, Raisin City Water District and the Mid-Valley Water District took action at their April 5 Board meeting in Kerman to file paperwork with the State declaring the agency’s intent to be the exclusive groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) for a portion of the Kings Subbasin. The GSA area covers approximately 121,000 acres in western Fresno County.

The Board also approved at their April 5 meeting an outreach strategy to stakeholders that includes the launching of the website, www.McMullinArea.org. The website will provide updates on the McMullin Area GSA activities including information about meetings, committees, and outreach events. McMullin Area stakeholders will also be able to sign-up on the website to receive e-mail updates specific to McMullin Area activities.

In 2014, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation called the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) into law in response to declining groundwater conditions exacerbated by the historic drought. SGMA is comprehensive legislation that governs the management and use of groundwater in the State.  Its intent is to provide for sustainable local management of groundwater basins while minimizing state intervention to only when necessary. SGMA mandates that critically overdrafted groundwater subbasins be managed by a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) by 2017, that the GSA create a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) by 2020, and that a subbasin be sustainable by 2040.

To comply with SGMA within the McMullin Area, water agencies and the County of Fresno came together to work on the formation of a GSA. After a number of agency meetings and outreach events to stakeholders, the group chose to formalize as a Joint Powers Authority that includes five board seats with representatives from each of the member agencies. Two seats are filled by Board members from the Raisin City Water District. One seat is filled by a Fresno County Supervisor and one seat by a Board Member from Mid-Valley Water District. The fifth seat is filled by a landowner within the white area who is appointed by Fresno County.