Madera Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Revisions 

Client: Madera County

Funder: DWR SGMA Grant

Location: Madera Subbasin, Madera County, CA

Date: 2022-2023

In fall 2022, Davids Engineering, Inc. (DE) was contracted by Madera County on behalf of the Madera Subbasin Joint Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to support their revisions to the Madera Subbasin Joint GSP in response to comments received from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). The Madera Subbasin Joint GSP was developed jointly by four GSAs that represent approximately 94% of the Subbasin area: the City of Madera GSA, the County of Madera GSA – Madera Subbasin, the Madera Irrigation District (MID) GSA, and the Madera Water District (MWD) GSA. These four GSAs are collectively referred to as the Joint GSP GSAs. In DWR’s September 2022 “incomplete” determination for the Joint GSP and the other three GSPs in the Madera Subbasin (Subbasin), DWR identified four deficiencies pertaining to (1) failure to demonstrate sufficient coordination between GSPs on the sustainability goal, water budget, and descriptions of undesirable results, (2) insufficient information and consistent rationale related to establishment of minimum thresholds for chronic lowering of groundwater levels, (3) failure to sufficiently demonstrate that undesirable results related to land subsidence are not present and are not likely to occur in the Subbasin, and (4) failure to sufficiently demonstrate that interconnected surface water are not present and are not likely to occur in the Subbasin.

Over the 180-day period from September 2022 to March 2023, DE supported the Joint GSP GSAs in developing and implementing a strategy for the GSP revisions and consulting with DWR staff to discuss and verify that the revisions were on track toward approval. Serving on behalf of and at the direction of the Joint GSP GSAs, DE led and supported technical revisions across all GSPs (Joint GSP and the other three GSPs) through weekly and biweekly technical coordination meetings, several formal consultation meetings with DWR, and other touchpoints to work through the many technical and policy decisions involved in the GSP revisions. DE also teamed with Luhdorff & Scalmanini Consulting Engineers (LSCE) to complete various hydrogeologic technical analyses and revisions to the GSP document related to these discussions and decisions.

During the GSP revisions process, DE supported the GSAs in the initial development of a domestic well mitigation program Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to address and mitigate domestic well impact concerns in the Subbasin related to groundwater level decline.

In December 2023, DWR formally approved the revised GSPs for the Madera Subbasin. Throughout this time, the GSAs have proceeded in earnest with GSP implementation, and have continued to document their efforts and evaluate groundwater conditions each year in the GSP Annual Reports. The GSAs are now looking toward the five-year periodic evaluation and update process for the GSPs. DE is contracted with the Joint GSP GSAs to complete the five-year periodic evaluation and update process for the Joint GSP, which is due to DWR no later than January 31, 2025.

All Projects

Tehama County Groundwater Sustainability Plan Implementation 

Colusa Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Revisions

Madera Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Revisions 

Chowchilla Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Revisions

Moore Siphon Replacement Project

Dos Rios Ranch SB88 Compliance and Crop Planning Analysis

Hart Ranch On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Improvements

Orland Project Distribution System Modernization

Water Management Plan Compliance Mapping

Agricultural Development Feasibility Assessment

Analysis of Effects of Water Management on Evapotranspiration from Managed Wetlands

Garden Highway Mutual Water Company Water Control Projects

Richvale Irrigation District Phase I Infrastructure Modernization

Joint Water Districts Board SCADA

Sutter Mutual Water Company Modernization Support

Shasta Valley Groundwater Monitoring

Time Series Evapotranspiration and Applied Water Estimates from Remote Sensing

Customer Delivery Measurement Data Collection and Accounting (RemoteTracker Implementation)

SGMA Technical Support Services and Prop 1 Stressed Basin Grant Project

Efficiency Conservation Definite Plan and Conservation Program

Boundary Outflow Measurements

Oakdale Irrigation District Agricultural Water Management Plan

Yuba Water Agency Agricultural Water Managment Plan

Feather River Agricultural Water Management Plan (FRRAWMP)

Colusa Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Development

Madera and Chowchilla Subbasins Groundwater Sustainability Plans

2022 Verification Project for Madera County GSAs

Little Shasta River Efficiency Study

Mill Creek Flow Measurement Improvements

Kettle Spring Improvement Project

Antelope Creek Fish Passage Improvement Project

Conservation Planning and Operations Decision Support