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Author: Rebecca Quist

REMOTE Board Meeting June 3, 2020 at 2:00 pm

The next MAGSA Board Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday June 3, 2020 at 2:00 pm.

THERE WILL NOT BE A PHYSICAL LOCATION FOR THIS MEETING.

In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (N-29-20) and the declared State of Emergency, including social distancing directives as a result of the potential threat associated with the COVID-19 virus, members of the Board of Directors and MAGSA will be participating in this meeting remotely.

ZOOM MEETING DETAILS:

Join the Zoom Meeting by clicking the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88073401486

Meeting ID: 880 7340 1486

Or join over the phone by dialing: +16699009128,,88073401486#

Meeting Materials

Meeting Agenda

Agenda Packet

Stakeholder Outreach Report

REMOTE Board Meeting May 13, 2020 at 2:45 pm

The next MAGSA Board Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday May 13, 2020 at 2:45 pm.

THERE WILL NOT BE A PHYSICAL LOCATION FOR THIS MEETING. PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGED MEETING START TIME.

In accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order (N-29-20) and the declared State of Emergency, including social distancing directives as a result of the potential threat associated with the COVID-19 virus, members of the Board of Directors and MAGSA will be participating in this meeting remotely.

ZOOM MEETING DETAILS:

Join the Zoom Meeting by clicking the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83442229165

Meeting ID: 834 4222 9165

Or join by dialing to join by phone: +1-669-900-9128,,83442229165#

Meeting Materials

Board Agenda

Agenda Packet

Stakeholder Outreach Report

Zoom Guide

Stakeholder Alert emails will notify public of draft board policies

MAGSA is moving swiftly to adopt board policies, establishing a foundation for how groundwater will be managed in the years to come. The fastest way to engage in this process is via MAGSA’s email updates (sign up here). These policies will operate as rules and guidelines impacting stakeholders, and ultimately ensure MAGSA can effectively and sustainably manage groundwater within the area it serves. Stakeholders will be notified and invited to comment on draft board policies via “Stakeholder Alert” emails. All are invited to review and provide comment via an online comment form or at a MAGSA Board Meeting.

Engaging stakeholders and landowners remains a groundwater management priority. Water resources management impacts our growers, businesses, and community residents. Developing successful programs and projects that benefit the long term viability of MAGSA’s service area requires the valuable insight of stakeholders into the groundwater management process.

Groundwater conditions improve overall in the Kings Subbasin in water year 2019, Annual Report shows the data

The McMullin Area GSA (MAGSA) together with the six other GSAs in the Kings Subbasin submitted the first Annual Report to the CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) by the initial April 1, 2020 deadline. Thanks to favorable hydrology for the reporting period, Kings Subbasin groundwater conditions improved overall with groundwater storage increasing by 210,000 acre-feet Subbasin wide. The Annual Report informs the State and stakeholders on groundwater conditions in the Subbasin and focuses on water year 2019 (Sept 2018 – Oct 2019), a hydrologic “wet year” seeing 134% of average diversions on the Kings River, the majority of surface water supply to the region.

Combined surface and groundwater use in the Kings Subbasin across sectors including agriculture, urban, and managed recharge, totaled 2.7 million are-feet for the period. The report indicates groundwater extractions in MAGSA represent an estimated 30% of total 1.06 million acre-feet extractions Subbasin-wide. The MAGSA service area relies on groundwater to fully meet its water demands, and in the coming months and years plans to pursue any additional available surface water to bring into the agency to offset groundwater use. This strategy paired with water use efficiency, conservation measures, and demand reduction will over the long run positively impact the Kings Subbasin sustainability effort.

Correcting MAGSA’s estimated 91,000 acre-feet of annual overdraft is key to achieving sustainability as a Subbasin, and it will take steady implementation of projects and programs outlined in the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). The groundwater allocation and water marketing program currently being studied is a major shift that would improve water use efficiency across MAGSA while allowing landowners to take water management decisions into their own hands.

Considering this first report was prepared just months after the submission of the GSPs, the data does not stray from data already included in the seven Kings Subbasin GSA’s GSPs. Although, the Subbasin used the opportunity to include any additional data collected through the reporting period and established a template for future reports. Data was collected from the seven GSAs’ monitoring networks, groundwater extractions, surface water supply, total water use, and changes in groundwater storage.

Following the adoption of a GSP the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires GSAs to submit Annual Reports to DWR on April 1 every year as a tool to track and communicate GSP implementation progress.

There is no grading or scoring criteria on the Annual Report, and DWR expects this first report to be missing some information considering the short timeframe between GSP adoption and the report due date.

To stay up to date on MAGSA’s groundwater management activities, sign up for our interested persons email list here, and follow us on Twitter @McMullinAreaGSA!

Tentative April 15 Board Meeting Cancelled

Due to lack of available meeting facilities, MAGSA will not hold the previously announced tentative April 15 Board Meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday May 13, 2020.

If circumstances continue to make in-person meetings difficult, MAGSA is working on an alternative to make Board Meetings available to the public via live webinar or similar technology.

Check the website regularly for updates.

A groundwater credit program and surface water market may not be too far off. MAGSA awards contract to Geosyntec to study the concepts.

Meeting the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act’s (SGMA) deadline for sustainable groundwater levels by 2040 is going to require creative solutions in many areas of California. Thanks to grant funding, MAGSA has hired engineering firm Geosyntec to conduct a study on one forward-thinking solution: a groundwater credit and surface water marketing program.

At the March 12, 2020 Board Meeting, the Board approved awarding engineering firm Geosyntec a contract to study the concepts. “We commend the McMullin Area GSA Board for getting ahead of the curve on studying water markets and groundwater credits, and look forward to working with stakeholders, staff and the Board on solutions that best fit the needs of landowners in the area,” stated Amer Hussain, the lead Geosyntec engineer on the study.

Geosyntec has begun work and projects the study will be complete by May 2021.

MAGSA posted a Request for Proposals in December seeking qualified contractors/firms to complete tasks associated with project management and administration, outreach and partnership building, scoping and planning, and water marketing strategy development. The proposal review process was conducted by an ad hoc committee of two stakeholders, one board member, and MAGSA’s General Manager.

The study is funded through a $193,000 WaterSMART grant awarded by the US Bureau of Reclamation, with a cost-share of $193,000. The total project cost is $386,000.

While a water marketing program would entail a proactive strategy for bringing surface water into the area, a groundwater credit system focuses on allocating groundwater resources among landowners within the GSA. Under a groundwater credit system, landowners would be given a groundwater allocation to either keep, trade, or sell to other landowners within the GSA. A well-designed program would improve water use efficiency and provide flexibility for MAGSA landowners.

The Consultant team will be out in the Agency soon providing information and background on these critical topics and will be seeking feedback and opinion from our Stakeholders to assist them in arriving at the best possible solutions tailored specifically for MAGSA.

Keep checking back on the website and in your e-mail inbox (and on Twitter!) for further opportunities to participate in the discussions. If you have not already done so, please make sure MAGSA has current, up-to-date email contact information for you so that we may not lose our outstanding stakeholder input pipeline!

MAGSA will respond and adapt to evolving COVID-19 circumstances; April 1 Board Meeting cancelled

As the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, MAGSA will respond, adjust and adapt to those circumstances with the health and safety of its stakeholders, Directors, staff, and the broader community as its number one concern.

Due to lack of available meeting facilities, MAGSA has cancelled its April 1 Board Meeting, with tentative plans to hold a meeting on April 15. If circumstances continue to make in-person meetings difficult, MAGSA is working on an alternative to make Board Meetings available to the public via live webinar or similar technology. Check the website regularly for updates.

MAGSA remains confident that the growers, business owners, and community residents that make up its service area are incredibly resilient. Despite uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to move in a forward direction alongside our stakeholders to secure a thriving and sustainable future.

While at all times operating under recommended precautions, MAGSA Directors and staff are working continuously on behalf of the landowners we serve, making forward progress on Groundwater Sustainability Plan implementation to close the gap on groundwater sustainability in the Kings Subbasin.

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