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Author: Cristel Tufenkjian

MAGSA Fully Empowered as a GSA

On January 28, 2020, MAGSA and the six other GSAs in the Kings Subbasin jointly submitted their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) to the Department of Water Resources for initial review.  As set forth in the SGMA legislation, completion of this action immediately and fully vested all of the oversight and enforcement powers of a GSA with the MAGSA. This submittal now places this tremendous responsibility, and the fantastic opportunity to locally and collaboratively, sustainably manage the groundwater beneath our feet, squarely in the hands of the MAGSA Board and the MAGSA landowners they represent.

In its Groundwater Sustainability Plan, the Board has adopted a glide path approach to sustainability, allowing a landowner room to adjust and continue to thrive over the 20-year implementation period. The goal of reducing groundwater overdraft by 91,000 acre feet has been divided into phases. The Phase 1 target amount is a 10% reduction or 9,110 acre feet by 2025.

The MAGSA Board and Staff will immediately begin working on achieving this target through implementing management actions and projects and programs identified in the GSP, such as implementation of enhanced efficiency irrigation conservation practices, a robust data gathering and management system, or a water marketing program. The Board continues to strongly encourage involvement and input by landowners and stakeholders in fleshing out the most effective groundwater sustainability programs that can immediately be implemented. The future of groundwater sustainability truly is in the hands of MAGSA. The best possible outcomes and success in accomplishing this will come from the ideas, cooperation, and substantial efforts of all of MAGSA’s landowners.

Ways to Get Involved

MAGSA First to Release Groundwater Sustainability Plan in the Kings Subbasin

At the July Board Meeting, the McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MAGSA) Board approved opening the draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) 90-day public review and comment period. First in the Kings Subbasin to release a full draft GSP, MAGSA staff and consultants are intent to allow ample time to consider comments and make any necessary revisions to the draft prior to submittal to the State by the January 31, 2020 deadline.

MAGSA’s consultant Provost & Pritchard provided the Board with an overview of the GSP, which lays out MAGSA’s historical and current groundwater conditions providing a snapshot of where MAGSA will start in 2020. MAGSA’s Board is proposing a phased approach over 20 years to mitigate the target overdraft of 91,100 acre-feet per year, which is MAGSA’s allocation of the Kings Subbasin 122,000 acre feet per year overdraft.

MAGSA’s GSP is a roadmap for how to achieve balanced levels of groundwater supply and defines a path forward for groundwater sustainability. The GSP does not propose starting off with pumping restrictions, change of cropping patterns, land use conversion, or fallowing of land. The first of the management actions is to develop water supplies. Another immediate implementation action is to fill data gaps to have a more comprehensive and accurate picture of groundwater conditions.

The MAGSA Board and staff have welcomed broad public participation in the development of the draft GSP over the last two years, holding numerous public GSP technical update meetings to provide an in-depth look at GSP progress. Technical consultants and the Board consistently present the opportunity for members of the public to provide guiding feedback on the GSP’s components during Board Meetings. MAGSA hopes to continue this trend of public participation through the official 90-day public review and comment period.

Members of the public are invited to take part in this important process by reviewing a copy of the GSP document, available for download on MAGSA’s website at mcmullinarea.org/gspcomment, and submitting comments. The review period will conclude at the MAGSA Public Hearing set to take place Wednesday, October 16th at 2:10 pm at the Kerman Community Center.


Click below to download the GSP, and to find more information regarding the Public Review period.

Ready to comment? Click below to access our online comment form:

Board Continues Current $19 Fee

At its recent July 10th Board meeting, the McMullin Area GSA Board approved the continuation of the currently assessed $19.00 per acre property-related fee for fiscal year 2019-20. Based on assessable acreage of 114,475, this generates a projected revenue of $2,175,025. This amount covers the July 1 – June 30 fiscal year budget of $1,891,600, which is the amount approved by MAGSA landowners in the fee election passed in 2018. Also included in the budget is a contingency/reserve fund in the amount of $283,700.

At the same meeting, the Board also released for immediate public review the draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the McMullin area.  With this milestone release, General Manager Matt Hurley noted MAGSA will begin focusing upon transitioning from the planning phase into implementation phase of local groundwater management in early 2020. Hurley stated that by mid-year 2020, there will be a more clear understanding of the requirements and specifics related to SGMA implementation detail, thus allowing for an updated look at the budget needs for the following fiscal year. Based upon the near term expectations for costs that may arise with this new and complex regulation, the Board supported the recommendation to maintain the $19.00 rate for the upcoming fiscal year 2019-20.

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