The McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MAGSA) has entered into an agreement with the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to receive financial assistance for groundwater recharge within its boundaries. This financial assistance comes after Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order allowing water to be diverted for the protection of downstream communities at risk of flooding due to the record amount of rain and snow this year.
Since March, the McMullin On-Farm Flood Capture Project, located at Terranova Ranch Inc., has been pumping flood water that would otherwise cause flood risk to the communities of Mendota and Firebaugh, downstream of the Kings River’s North Fork. This flood water is being used for on-farm groundwater recharge to replenish the underlying aquifer. Under the agreement, DWR will reimburse MAGSA for fuel and pumping expenses of approximately $300,000 incurred since June 1st for the McMullin Project. Prior expenses were covered by Terranova Ranch Inc.
In addition, DWR is offering financial assistance for agencies removing orchards when the acreage is then used for groundwater recharge. MAGSA has entered into an agreement to remove 80 acres of orchards on the north side of the agency’s boundaries that are planned to become a retention/recharge pond. This financial assistance is saving MAGSA approximately $100,000 and will provide even more opportunities for future groundwater recharge.