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Madera Irrigation District Settles Lawsuits with Madera County, March 25, 2024

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By Joel Hastings

The board of directors of the Madera Irrigation District and the MID Groundwater Sustainability Agency met in closed session on March 22, 2024, approving settlement agreements for its two lawsuits brought against Madera County and the Madera GSA. The unanimous vote in favor of the agreements was announced at the conclusion of the meeting shortly after 1 p.m.Lidco Inc.

The principal suit by MID alleging deficiencies in the Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the Madera Subbasin had been filed in December 2021. Hearings on this case had been postponed several times into 2024. Much more significantly, the Revised GSP for the Madera Subbasin was approved by the Department of Water Resources in December 2023. After this approval was announced, Madera ID sent a letter dated March 6, 2024, to Madera County and the other five GSAs that are part of the Subbasin and the GSP. This letter pointed out that all of the commitments in the GSP made by the Irrigation District had been completed, in effect 16 years early. Further, the letter said Madera ID would support joint efforts at domestic well mitigation as might be required in the Plan, while providing technical assistance as needed for the preparation of the required five-year review. The letter refers to the Revised GSP as “flawed” but it did offer to settle its lawsuits against the county.Brandt Water Treatment

Subsequently, attorneys for MID and the county prepared the settlement agreements approved by both county officials and the MID board effective March 22.

MID had brought a second suit against the county in August 2022, alleging violations of the Freedom of Information Act against the county. The settlement for this suit was approved by both parties also, with the county agreeing to pay $75,000 to MID to cover its legal fees.TechnoFlo

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Madera Irrigation District – 12152 Road 28 ¼ Madera, CA 93637  phone 559/673-3514

Staff: General Manager -Thomas Greci, Assistant GM – Dina Nolan

Board: Jim Erickson, President; Carl Janzen, Vice-President; Tim DaSilva, Brian Davis and David Loquaci

HISTORY: From The Madera Irrigation District (MID or District) encompasses an area of approximately 139,665 acres. MID operates a primarily gravity irrigation distribution system with approximately 300 miles of open flow canal systems as well as 150 miles of large diameter pipelines.

The District has a Central Valley Project (CVP) repayment contract with United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) providing up to 85,000 acre feet (AF) of Class 1 and 186,000 AF of Class 2 water per year from the Friant Division (Millerton Lake). The CVP water is released from Millerton Lake through the Friant Dam, and then conveyed through the Madera Canal for delivery into the District’s service area. The District also entered into a CVP repayment contract with the USBR for the yield from the Hidden Unit (Hensley Lake). Under the Hidden Unit contract, the average annual supply available to the District is approximately 24,000 AF per year.

DWR SGMA # 5-022.06