The McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency met on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 remotely by Zoom. There was a recent article published by the Water Education Foundation about MAGSA and the Eastern Tule GSA. Very much worth reading. I tuned into the meeting a little early and everyone was in a pretty good mood. I’m in a pretty OK mood myself. I’ve just had some dental work right before this. As interesting as McMullin can be I think a nap would also be interesting. But then I’d miss out on the resolution of the Godzilla verses Mothra monitoring debate. All the cool kids are showing up for this one. Data management is very important to achieving SGMA’s goals and how that data is gathered is key.
Before the meeting began Directors Brian Pacheco and Don Cameron talked about the virus vaccine response. It was said the distribution in the Valley has been slow due to lack of supplies. It was also said don’t allow a Zoom meeting to go for more than 45 minutes to an hour. I don’t know if that applies to all Zoom meetings but it should to some.
The Meeting Begins
Chairman Jeevan Singh called the meeting at 2:04pm and Executive Officer Matt Hurley reminded everyone to mute when not speaking. The minutes were approved and Kings River Conservation District’s Brian Trevarrow presented the board with the financial statements, those where approved and the bills were paid. KRWD’s Cristel Tufenkjian posted the balance sheet as of December 31, 2021. Trevarrow explained what the numbers meant. He said the property tax revenue has been received and banked. Trevarrow said things are normal. Hurley said things will be shifting from planning to implementation and so far the budget is staying within parameters.
MAGSA is working with the Raisin City Water District on projects and a draft MOA is being developed. Hurley said the energy coming out of RCWD is positive and moving in a good direction. The cooperation is ongoing.
Amer Hussain, engineer with Geosyntec reported on the water trading workshops. He thanked everyone for participating and the workshops were very lively. They can be reviewed on the MAGSA website. Some of the highlights were showing how a water market can help meet the demand and what value marketing would add to the GSA. The workshop included exercises. A mock market with four buyers and four sellers was enacted. Hussain said it was interesting to find all the water wasn’t sold. It sounds like Adam Smith’s hand is invisible and the market was correcting itself. There were buyers entering into multiple deals with multiple sellers. These exercises and presentations served as a good introduction to the concept as it would pertain to MAGSA. Further reports and analysis will be conducted and brought back to the board. Hurley added in his opinion the workshop Hussain delivered was excellent and it did further the dissemination of information.
Hurley reported the agreement with Fresno State University for on farm evapotranspiration study obligates MAGSA to provide three weather tracking locations and that’s coming along and paid for by grants. In other grant news nothing has been turned down but no checks in the mail just yet either.
MAGSA has a contract with Water Management Professionals Inc. That’s Hurley’s company and is the actual contract between MAGSA and Hurley goes through WMP. Attorney Rob Donlan said the board has a copy of the agreement and the new term will be three years instead of one. Hurley must be doing something to keep his board happy and the board was unanimous in support of continuing with Hurley or more accurately Hurley’s company.
The big item today was monitoring and MAGSA has a draft policy document out in the wild. Comments have come back and Hurley said there were no material changes. This is the Groundwater Well Metering, Measurement, Monitoring policy. Director Matt Abercrombie asked about the timeline. Hurley said getting all the monitoring in place will take more than a year but getting the policy and regulations in place should be sooner. The board accepted the draft policy. What was the big deal I was expecting? I thought the yen and yang/Godzilla and Mothra was going to be between satellite and individual well monitoring. Sounds like all you flow meter salesmen best get over there.
Next Hurley said Provost & Pritchard is running the Kings Subbasin coordination services. MAGSA has a cost share with the other six GSAs in the subbasin. P&P are in the drivers seat for another year.
Tufenkjian gave highlights of the recent outreach efforts. She said web traffic and social media have been performing well. There was a video produced last December that was able to be used in the Water Education Foundation article that went statewide. She said the interested parties list reaches local landowners but the Twitter account is reaching further.
On an unrelated note; We’ve got to come up with alternatives to most of the social media out there. The tech censorship is ridiculous. Now that’s not to say what MAGSA is putting out is fake news, but Twitter and Fake Book and YouTube can’t keep saying 2+2=5 and remain viable. If they can do so then Big Brother has won.
The meeting then went into closed session at 2:48pm. Go be good to each other.
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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.
DWR Listing: Basin San Joaquin, Sub Basin Kings 5-022.08
Directors – Brian Pacheco, Jerry Rai, Gagan Batth, Jeevan Singh & Matt Abercrombie.
Staff – Matt Hurley, General Manager. Janelle Krattiger, District Counsel. Randy Hopkins, Engineer.