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After Three Years of Drought, 2023 Annual Report Reveals Record Recharge Numbers

2023 was a record water year for the Kings Subbasin! Annual Report data reflects the positive impact of the wet year on the basin’s groundwater levels after three consecutive years of drought, while also indicating there is more work to be done in pursuit of long-term sustainability.

With more surface water available, groundwater use decreased by 54% compared to the average use in the previous three water years. Groundwater storage increased by 1.28 million acre-feet, partially thanks to the recharge projects throughout the Kings Subbasin.

During the 2023 Water Year:

Groundwater use decreased by 54%
(compared to the average use in the previous three water years)

Groundwater storage increased by 1.28 million acre-feet

… but more work is to be done in pursuit of long-term groundwater sustainability!

During the rainy month of March 2023, the McMullin On-Farm Flood Capture Project pump at Terranova Ranch turned on for the first time. The project captured enough water to recharge 19,000 acre-feet  by flooding agricultural fields and filling dedicated basins.

“Recharge projects like these are vital to ensure we do not drain our aquifers during drought years,” says MAGSA’s General Manager, Matt Hurley. “The 2023 water year demonstrated the value of having infrastructure in place to capture excess water when it comes.”

MAGSA is committed to increasing recharge capacity in the region through projects like the Aquaterra Water Bank and the McMullin Expansion Project– a project increasing conveyance capacity and expanding groundwater recharge from 5,000 to over 40,000 acres. These efforts are focused on creating a resilient groundwater supply during dry years and for generations to come.

The 2023 water year demonstrated the value of having infrastructure in place to capture excess water when it comes.

Matt Hurley, MAGSA General Manager

About the Annual Report: The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to submit annual reports to the CA Department of Water Resources on April 1 of every year. The Annual Report serves to inform and update both the State and stakeholders on groundwater conditions and sustainability progress.The Kings Subbasin Annual Report includes both data and a description of the seven GSAs’ progress toward implementation of their GSPs. Data includes information from the seven GSAs’ monitoring networks, groundwater extractions, surface water supply, total water use, and changes in groundwater storage.

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