Phase 1 Land Repurposing Program
The Merced Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MSGSA) is implementing a Land Repurposing Program (LRP) as part of Phase 1 of its two phase approach to implementation of the Merced Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). Click on the links to the resources below to learn more about the Phase 1 LRP and how to apply.
Per the Merced Subbasin GSP and subsequent MSGSA Resolutions, the MSGSA has committed to achieving a reduction in consumptive groundwater use in its jurisdictional area of at least 15,000 acre-feet per year (AFY) by the end of Water Year 2025 (Phase 1), increasing to substantially greater reductions by 2040 (Phase 2 ). The MSGSA has resolved to achieve the 2025 consumptive use reduction target primarily through voluntary land repurposing, which generally means changing land use practices (i.e. cropping, irrigation methods, etc.) from higher water use to lower water use – including temporary fallowing. The MSGSA has designed the Phase 1 LRP to encourage landowner participation through the use of an incentive payment system driven by landowner applications.
If the MSGSA is not successful in achieving its groundwater consumptive use reduction targets through land repurposing, the MSGSA Board will likely take other actions to reduce consumptive groundwater use. If reductions do not occur, the Merced Subbasin will be at risk of being declared “probationary” and subject to State intervention, including fees and State-enforced pumping restrictions.
Those landowners within the MSGSA wishing to participate in the LRP should complete an LRP Application. LRP Applications can be submitted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 2222 M Street, Merced CA 95340 Attn: Lacey McBride, Merced County Water Resources Manager.
Applicants are encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document and the Phase 1 LRP Template Agreement. The MSGSA will be accepting applications from September 1, 2022, through November 15, 2022, for land repurposing beginning in water year 2023. The MSGSA will notify applicants whether their applications are approved by mid-December 2022. Application selection for approval will be based on an objective scoring framework (see how applications are scored in the FAQ). The MSGSA held two public workshops regarding the LRP during the application period (see below for workshop materials).
Land Repurposing Presentations before the Governing Board
- September 16, 2021 Presentation
- February 10, 2022 Presentation and Land Repurposing Survey results
- August 11, 2022 Presentation
- September 8, 2022 Land Repurposing Workshop Recording
- October 18, 2022 Land Repurposing Workshop Slides
- EDF Advancing Strategic Land Repurposing and Groundwater Sustainability in California – March 2021