The McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MAGSA) submitted a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) in 2020 to address the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which requires groundwater basins to achieve sustainable levels of pumping by the year 2040. The requirements of SGMA may limit future groundwater withdrawals. Because the local economy depends heavily on irrigated agriculture, pumping restrictions could lead to reduced agricultural output and economic losses in the area.
MAGSA identified development of a groundwater marketing strategy as a component of its GSP implementation that could help MAGSA landowners comply with pumping limits and provide additional operational flexibility for agricultural lands.
Groundwater markets are a relatively new concept but have been developed and implemented in other regions of the US and internationally with varying objectives and structures. The fundamental structure of SGMA presents a unique opportunity for groundwater markets to develop across California that are tailored to the needs and specific water supply environments of the many GSAs. This study provides a baseline assessment of a groundwater market in MAGSA that would facilitate movement of
groundwater pumping for the mutual benefit of willing sellers and willing buyers on a temporary or permanent basis.
The report includes several sections describing background conditions and issues related to a groundwater market, followed by a “roadmap” for continued development and implementation of a groundwater market in MAGSA. Read the full MAGSA Groundwater Marketing Evaluation and Strategy Report below: