Groundwater management efforts have long been a priority for the many water users and agencies that Davids Engineering (DE) serves. When the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was passed in 2014, it further heightened the groundwater focus statewide, by requiring agencies to work towards achieving long-term groundwater sustainability.
Last month, groundwater sustainability agencies hit a historic milestone when the Department of Water Resources announced its first round of funding for the SGMA implementation projects through the Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant Program. $150 million was awarded to 20 different agencies who are responsible for managing critically over drafted groundwater basins across California.
DE partnered with groundwater sustainability agencies in the Chowchilla and Madera Subbasins to coordinate the development of two successful joint grant applications which led to funding through DWR’s SGM grant program. DE’s involvement in the development of the grant applications included: gathering proposed project ideas and project descriptions, orchestrating meetings to discuss and rank the projects to prioritize funding, and then ultimately assembling the final application for each subbasin.
Agencies in the Chowchilla Subbasin and Madera Subbasin each received a combined total of $7.6 million dollars that will mainly be used for projects to enhance groundwater recharge, while some additional funding will be used towards updates and revisions to their Groundwater Sustainability Plans.
Within the Chowchilla Subbasin, three specific projects were highlighted. The Triangle T Water District proposed the Poso Pipeline Extension Project which will extend the pipeline for approximately 1.5 miles to bring in more surface water and provide recharge benefits to an area that has historically relied on groundwater. The Sierra Vista Mutual Water Company proposed to develop and construct approximately 30 acres of recharge basins. Madera County will focus their efforts on their Eastside Bypass Flood Flow Recharge Program which will include the development and construction of facilities to deliver flood water from the Eastside Bypass to permanent, dedicated recharge basins and to agricultural fields.
In the Madera Subbasin, Madera Water District will be using the funding to install infrastructure needed to bring additional surface water into their District through Madera Lake. Root Creek Water District will be working on an In-Lieu Pipeline Expansion Project to extend an existing pipeline about two miles to supply water to approximately 1,100 acres of agricultural land that has historically relied on groundwater. Madera County will also be developing and constructing facilities to deliver flood water from the Chowchilla Bypass to permanent, dedicated recharge basins and to agricultural fields (similar to the Chowchilla Subbasin).
DE is pleased to have assisted the Chowchilla and Madera Subbasin groundwater sustainability agencies in the first round of grant funding. Our experience with these local projects, together with our extensive experience with water management across California have uniquely positioned us to respond to the many demands of sustainable groundwater management that are faced by water users and agencies. Moving forward, DE will be continuing our partnerships with agencies in the area and will be specifically working with Madera County to design and implement their flood flow recharge projects in the Chowchilla and Madera Subbasins. DE will also be supporting the necessary updates and revisions to their Groundwater Sustainability Plans.