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Growers Invited to Participate in MAGSA Cropping Pattern Study

MAGSA, in collaboration with Fresno State, is conducting a study to create a database to help determine MAGSA’s water usage based on evapotranspiration (ET) and actual cropping patterns. The study is funded through a grant and is currently in its third year of a three-year project.

MAGSA is in the process of updating our region’s cropping pattern information to be as accurate as possible.  To date, MAGSA has no historical data to help determine the region’s water usage. MAGSA is currently using an estimated number which could be higher or lower than actual usage.

To ensure MAGSA makes wise and accurate management decisions, MAGSA needs growers’ involvement. In the upcoming months, MAGSA will send out a print and digital form for growers to provide MAGSA with information about the current crops grown on their fields. Please contact MAGSA with any questions about this project by calling (559) 515-3339 or emailing

Terranova Ranch Inc. Turns on Expansion Project Pump for First Time

On March 11, 2023, Terranova Ranch Inc. (located in the MAGSA region) turned on their 450-horsepower pump for the first time to take floodwater off the Kings River at the James Bypass at 70,000 gallons per minute. This water would otherwise continue past the Kings Subbasin and create a flood risk to downstream communities. Beyond flood protection, diverting flood water plays a vital role in recharging the region’s groundwater aquifer after an intense multi-year drought. Watch this video below to check out the action and hear from a few familiar MAGSA faces!

CA Department of Water Resources Recommends Kings Subbasin GSPs for Approval

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced that the Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) for the Kings Subbasin, which includes the McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MAGSA) and 6 other GSAs, are recommended for approval.

“I’m glad our region was compliant and worked hard together to get to this point,” says Don Cameron, Chair of MAGSA’s Board of Directors.

“We’re happy to hear about our current success as a Subbasin!” says Matt Hurley, MAGSA’s General Manager. “The Kings Subbasin is a good group of people to work with and I’m confident we will reach sustainability in a timely manner. I’m also confident MAGSA is on the right path to achieve sustainability for our landowners.”

The Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) is a requirement of the 2014 California law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). A GSP outlines a region’s strategy to achieve groundwater sustainability by 2040. The Kings Subbasin GSAs developed and submitted their initial GSPs to DWR in January 2020. DWR had two years to review the original GSPs. On January 28, 2022, DWR deemed 12 of the 21 critically-over drafted basin GSPs, including the Kings Subbasin GSPs, incomplete.

The Kings Subbasin GSAs, including MAGSA, the North Fork Kings, Kings River East, North Kings, James, South Kings, and Central Kings GSAs, worked diligently and collaboratively to review DWR’s notes on what changes needed to be made. The Kings Subbasin GSAs submitted their revised GSPs in July 2022.

On March 2, 2023, DWR announced which subbasins’ revised GSPs are recommended for approval and which subbasins’ GSPs are inadequate. Subbasins with inadequate GSPs will be transitioning to the State Water Board for State intervention and oversight at this point, with the ultimate goal still being to have all basins return to local management. Subbasins with GSPs recommended for approval adequately refined their sustainable groundwater management criteria and made appropriate corrections to their plans in relation to the analysis of groundwater levels, water quality, and inter-connected surface waters. The Kings Subbasin and other basins with plans recommended for approval will continue to work with DWR to report on their progress and include any additional corrective actions recommended by DWR in the 2025 GSP periodic update.

“This approval is many years in the making and all the hard work has paid off,” says Lynn Groundwater, MAGSA technical consultant and lead author on MAGSA’s GSP. “Now… we can continue to work on filling data gaps and implementing the GSP. Implementation includes design and construction of canals throughout MAGSA to be able to utilize surface water especially in wet years like we are having this year to capture flood water when available.”

MAGSA is deeply thankful for landowner engagement throughout the GSP development and implementation process. Together, we can achieve a sustainable future in our region for generations to come.

Read DWR’s full announcement HERE.

Prop 218 renewal is on the horizon

Over the next six months, MAGSA anticipates moving forward in the process of renewing the Proposition 218 assessment. Proposition 218 originally passed in 2018. Currently the assessment is $19/acre, and when passed, was budgeted for five years.

To continue the assessment it must be renewed by July 2023. However, MAGSA’s General Manager Matt Hurley anticipates that fees will not increase, even though assessment rates in surrounding areas have increased in recent years. MAGSA has hired an elections consultant to assist with the efforts.

Prop 218 funding goes toward the activities and administrative functions that propel local sustainability efforts forward in MAGSA. This next cycle will fund a five-year budget through 2028.

Financial aid through grants — hard-earned by MAGSA team — have reduced the likelihood of increasing assessment rates in the coming months.

To hear more about the Prop 218 and ask questions, join our upcoming virtual 2023 Vision Event on January 25th from 4:00 – 5:00 PM.

2023 Vision Event is around the corner!

MAGSA is hosting its third annual Vision Event! This event is virtual only and will be hosted via Zoom Webinar with a live MAGSA panel.

MAGSA’s General Manager Matt Hurley will be accompanied by project staff and technical experts to reflect on 2022 and give direction for the year ahead. Items on the agenda include McMullin Expansion project updates, On-Farm Recharge University, Aquaterra Water Bank project updates, and administrative updates including Prop 218 renewal and the revised Groundwater Sustainability Plan.

This is a great opportunity to stay engaged with all the latest projects impacting the local landscape to benefit our landowners and stakeholders now and in the future.

MAGSA landowners, growers, and community members can submit questions to the technical team ahead of the event. Questions will be answered live during a Q&A at the end of the webinar.

Spanish and Punjabi interpretations are linked below. View the 2023 MAGSA Vision Event recording here!

MAGSA reminds landowners to be cautious before drilling a well

In light of MAGSA’s moratorium adopted in July, 2022 regarding well drilling through the Corcoran clay, applications to drill new wells below the clay will be directed to cease drilling when approaching the clay layer. Existing wells with depths below the Corcoran clay are not subject to restricted use.

Before submitting well drilling applications, landowners should contact MAGSA at 559-515-3339 or by email at

Pumping below the clay is one of the main causes of land subsidence, a gradual sinking of land caused by chronic groundwater overdraft. It is important to keep groundwater pumping above the clay to meet sustainability measures designated in MAGSA’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan.

Visit MAGSA’s website here to view the Groundwater Well Metering, Measurement, Monitoring and Construction Policy and Related Policies and to find more information on the moratorium and procedures for well drilling, construction, and meters.

Join Us for MAGSA’s Third Annual Vision Event

MAGSA staff and board members are inviting you to participate in this year’s Vision Event on January 25th at 4 PM via Zoom Webinar. This is an opportunity to hear the MAGSA team reflect on 2022 success and look ahead to growth opportunities in 2023.

This is MAGSA’s third-annual Vision Event, and will include a panel of MAGSA’s team of experts who will give updates, as well as answer your questions during a live Q&A.

In preparation for the live Q&A, MAGSA landowners have the opportunity to pre-submit questions.

The panel will discuss McMullin Expansion project updates, On-Farm Recharge University, Aquaterra Water Bank project updates, and administrative updates including Proposition 218 renewal and a revised Groundwater Sustainability Plan.

In past years, landowners have walked away from the event with more information and a sense of MAGSA’S direction for the following year.

Spanish and Punjabi interpretations and slides are linked below. View the 2023 MAGSA Vision Event recording here!

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