The McMullin Area GSA met on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at the Kerman Community Center in Kerman. One of the undesirable conditions under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act involves rivers connected to aquifers going dry. It’s bad in the eyes of SGMA for a river to run dry because water is being pumped out from under it. The northern boundary if the MAGSA is the San Joaquin River and the SJR runs dry on occasion. A speaker said there’s a case to be made both ways – the SJR isn’t connected to the aquifer and thus pumping isn’t contributing to the problem. But if the river is connected the pumping is creating a SGMA problem.

The outreach the GSAs are required to make under SGMA is starting to pay off. As the meeting continued more and more chairs were needed to seat all the folks arriving. And younger people, farmers, are in the audience. It’s not just old men and men and women from government agencies anymore.

The Board meeting was called to order by Chairman Don Cameron. There were no public comments, the minutes were approved and financial genius Randy Shilling showed the board what it was all about going through the income and expense, adjustments and estimates. The expenditures were lean but for legal, almost $100k. Some of that was deferred until after the first tax assessment income is received. The bills were paid.

Next policies were discussed and Cameron referred to someone on the phone named Rob. The agenda said someone named Donlan would handle the item about governance in the white area. He came prepared for a couple of solutions. One was to form a new district to represent the white area. The other was to graft it on to an existing district and finally rewrite the JPA for more seats. I expect that was Rob Donlan talking on the phone.

Engineer Randy Hopkins, Provost & Pritchard talked about the GSA joining the Kings Basin Water Authority; an entity that represents the Integrated Water Management Plan for this location. IRWMP brings project funding. However, it’s relatively expensive. Cameron suggested joining as an interested party at this time to save money. Raisin City is a member as is Fresno County and there’s the possibility of one of them shepherding in the GSA.

Under directors’ reports Cameron said the overdraft figure for the Kings River Sub Basin has dropped to 125,000 a/f and that is good news for a positive shift due to recalibrating the years studied. Choosing a different 10-year block to set as the base period brought about some very helpful figures. I’m not sure what the agreement was about but Mid Valley WD has signed an agreement with James ID and that can also be viewed as a positive development. The MAGSA doesn’t have districted surface supplies so pumping is a water staple. It has to work cooperatively with its neighbors more than ever now.

P&P Engineer Lynn Groundwater spoke about the development of the GSP timeline. She said the deadline is getting close. Yes, it is getting close. You have your Christmas shopping finished, your yard and home in immaculate shape and your car detailed? That’s nothing compared to what putting together a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for a GSA that coordinates with all the other GSA’s GSPs.

The next meeting will be November 7th. The meeting went into closed session.

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Copyright 2018 by Don A. Wright

SGMA The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 calls for the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Areas within Basins and Sub-basins to develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans.

McMullin Area GSA – The McMullin Area GSA member agencies are Fresno County, Raisin City Water District and the Mid Valley Water District. Located in Western Fresno County MMAGSA is one of seven GSAs in the Kings River Sub Basin.