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Posted on: November 30, 2018

Merced Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Planning Continues

Merced SGMA Map

The three groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) in the Merced Subbasin1 are hosting two community workshops to provide an update on the status of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) being developed for the Merced Subbasin. The community workshops are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Planada Community Center, Main Hall
9167 Stanford Ave., Planada, CA

Thursday, December 13, 2018
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Franklin Elementary School, Multipurpose Room
2736 Franklin Rd., Merced, CA

Both workshops will cover the following topics for discussion and input from participants: (1) Where we are in the GSP process, (2) What the preliminary water budgets show about groundwater overdraft in the Merced Subbasin, and (3) What are some of the possible management actions and projects to offset groundwater deficits shown in the water budgets. Spanish translation will be available at the workshops.

Larry Harris, Turner Island Water District GSA, noted, "These workshops are a great opportunity for ranchers, farmers, landowners, residents, and businesses in the Planada, Franklin, and Merced area to learn about, discuss, ask questions, and provide input about the discussion topics."

"The Groundwater Sustainability Plan is the first step for everyone using groundwater in the Merced Subbasin to work together to bring our groundwater into a sustainable balance by 2040," noted Bob Kelley, Chair, Merced Subbasin GSA.

"We are reaching into the communities of Planada and Franklin to encourage people that rely on well water and irrigated agriculture to participate as the Groundwater Sustainability Plan is developed," added Hicham ElTal, Chair, Merced Irrigation-Urban GSA.

For more information about the GSP, visit

Merced Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agency, Merced Irrigation-Urban Groundwater Sustainability Agency, Turner Island Groundwater Sustainability Agency.

Roles and Responsibilities for Developing the Merced Subbasin GSP

Governing Boards

Consistent with the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), water management and land management agencies in Merced Subbasin formed three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs): the Merced Irrigation-Urban Groundwater Sustainability Agency, the Merced Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agency, and the Turner Island Water District Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The three GSAs are collaborating on developing one Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) for the entire Merced Groundwater Subbasin by January 2020. To develop the Plan, the GSAs will review groundwater conditions and identify means to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Merced Groundwater Subbasin.

Coordinating Committee

The three GSAs for the Merced Groundwater Subbasin have formed a Coordinating Committee of senior staff and governing board members to coordinate day-to-day planning activities and public outreach. Meetings of the Coordinating Committee will be noticed and open to the public and are held the fourth Monday of the month.

Stakeholder Committee

The three GSAs have also approved the formation of a Stakeholder Committee. The Stakeholder Committee serves as community representatives to advise the Coordinating Committee and the GSA governing boards on groundwater conditions, management issues and needs, and projects and management actions to improve sustainability in the basin. Meetings of the Stakeholder Committee are open to the public and are held the fourth Monday of the month.

General Public, Landowners, Farmers, Ranchers in the Merced Subbasin

The public’s role is to provide input as the GSP is developed. Members of the public can submit comments and questions through the GSP website or consider attending a Board meeting, Coordinating Committee meeting, Stakeholder Committee meeting, or a Community Workshop to learn more, ask questions, and provide input.

Merced Subbasin Boundaries

Merced SGMA Map (Large)

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