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Aquaterra Water Bank

McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MAGSA) is in the preliminary phases of developing a groundwater bank,
the Aquaterra Water Bank, to improve MAGSA’s groundwater sustainability for landowners and increase the water supply
reliability for the region.

The water supply project includes the development of key infrastructure across the service area to increase groundwater recharge capacity, and the creation of new canal alignments that connect with water sources and
conveyance existing outside of MAGSA’s boundaries.

Under the proposed action, the Bureau of Reclamation may approve the Aquaterra Groundwater Bank as an acknowledged
facility for the banking of CVP water as authorized by the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, and as allowed by certain
Federal contracts. A previous version of a mailed newsletter and website notification stated that “The Bureau of Reclamation will also issue approval for the installation, operation, and maintenance of a new turnout at the Mendota Pool.” We wish to remove this statement from our communications, and clarify that the Bureau of Reclamation’s involvement in this project is limited to potentially acknowledging the groundwater bank and functioning as the lead federal agency for the NEPA study.


How a Water Bank Works:

Water banks are a proven surface and groundwater management strategy. Similar to financial banking, there are deposits and withdrawals and each transaction is accurately accounted. A water bank uses the empty space in aquifers for customers to “deposit” water, stored during wet periods for withdrawal during dry years. There are two basic methods for putting water into water bank storage:

Direct Recharge

Adding surface water supplies either by using recharge ponds to percolate water into the aquifer or on-farm recharge practices

In-Lieu Agreements:

Surface supplies are provided to users for use in lieu of groundwater pumping, and the amount of water that otherwise would have been pumped becomes the banked water.

The groundwater that is stored is later recovered from the aquifer when needed through extraction wells.


Public Scoping Session

Stakeholders were invited to learn more and comment on the project becoming a federally approved water bank at a Public Scoping Webinar on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. View the webinar recording and presentation slides below.

Webinar Recording

Presentation Slides

Commenting during the 30-day Public Scoping Session:

MAGSA is dedicated to providing its landowners and stakeholders ample time and opportunity to comment on the proposed Aquaterra Water Bank project. Landowners and other interested stakeholders can submit comments a number of ways during the 30-day public scoping period beginning November 3, 2021 and ending December 3, 2021.

Submit comments:

  1. Via email to aquaterra@mcmullinarea.org OR to remerson@usbr.gov
  2. Hand delivered or mailed to MAGSA’s office at 275 S Madera Ave., Suite 301, Kerman, CA 93630
  3. At the November 10th Public Scoping Webinar

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