A cultural resources survey at proposed project sites for the Aquaterra Water Bank wrapped up in mid-April. The survey was a necessary step requested by the Bureau of Reclamation to meet National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements. Compliance with NEPA is key for the project to complete environmental review and continue to progress forward.
The surveyed area was roughly 70 miles long and 200 feet wide, and was conducted by a team of archeologists with MAGSA’s environmental consultant, Tetra Tech. A summary of survey results will be completed by the firm in the following weeks, although the team reported nothing of particular significance was discovered.
The Aquaterra Water Bank project area totals 80,000 acres and includes a vast expansion of canals, basins, and agricultural land to use as on-farm recharge sites. The project is a cornerstone of MAGSA’s strategy to achieve groundwater sustainability through surface water storage and recharge.
Once fully developed, Aquaterra will have the capacity to store 1.8 million acre-feet of water within MAGSA’s boundaries using 208,000 acre-feet of recharge capacity and 770 cubic feet per second of new conveyance.
MAGSA prioritized completing the cultural resources survey in its pursuit of moving forward to develop more water storage infrastructure for potential water bank subscribers, while benefiting landowners with improved local groundwater conditions.