On March 11 2023, the McMullin On-Farm Flood Capture Project pump (located at Terranova Ranch Inc.) turned on for the first time during a record-breaking flood season in California. Downstream communities were at risk of serious flooding during this wet period. The McMullin Project was able to protect the downstream communities of the Kings River’s north fork, Mendota, and Firebaugh from serious flooding by diverting the water to be used for on-farm groundwater recharge.
As a result, the McMullin Project has recharged almost 19,000 acre-feet of water back into the aquifer, accounting for about 20% of the groundwater recharge conducted in California during this time period.
The McMullin Project was able to successfully reroute water thanks to state legislative support. Governor Newsom’s Executive Order passed on March 10, 2023 suspended regulations on flood diversion permitting, enabling water agencies to divert floodwater more quickly for groundwater recharge. When the Executive Order passed, the McMullin Project was ready to take the excess water. This vital flood protection and groundwater recharge was only possible because the necessary infrastructure was in place.
“Projects like this start rebuilding the aquifer. Additional structures and conveyance [are] critical to reaching resilience in the San Joaquin Valley.”~ Don Cameron, MAGSA Board President & Terranova Ranch Inc. General Manager
The McMullin Expansion Project, Phase 2 of this existing project, will increase the conveyance from the James Bypass from 150 cfs to 450 cfs and expand acreage able to receive flood flows for on-farm recharge from 5,000 to over 40,000 acres. MAGSA is committed to the increasing groundwater recharge and securing a sustainable future for the region through projects like the McMullin Project and its Expansion.