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Adopted policy amendments introduce new moratorium on well construction below Corcoran Clay and 300-foot domestic well depth recommendation

Amendments to the Groundwater Well Metering, Measurement, Monitoring and Construction Policy and Related Policies were adopted by the MAGSA Board at their July 6th meeting.

The amendments introduced a temporary moratorium effective July 7, 2022 on well construction below the Corcoran clay tapping the confined aquifer. The policy states the purpose for the moratorium is “to provide an opportunity to better the number of wells currently constructed to extend below the Corcoran Clay and to gather sufficient additional data to be used to assess the effect of those [wells]…”.

Because wells drilled below the Corcoran Clay are generally understood to be directly associated with chronic subsidence in the Central Valley, MAGSA plans to gather data on existing wells to better quantify and analyze their impact on subsidence.

Also included in the amendments is a strong recommendation that no new domestic wells be constructed less than 300 feet deep. The recommended depth is below the minimum threshold for wells outlined in MAGSA’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan. The minimum threshold is the lowest allowable groundwater depth before MAGSA reaches an undesirable result. Under SGMA, MAGSA must work to maintain groundwater levels above these minimums. 

Are you a domestic well owner? Find important resources on MAGSA’s website here.

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