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 contact@mercedsubbasingsa.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 AgreementThe MSGSA will be accepting applications from September 1, 2022, through October 31, 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 a public workshop regarding the LRP on September 8, 2022 which is linked below. The MSGSA anticipates holding an additional public workshop in mid-October.

Resources

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Document

Water Year 2023 LRP Application

Phase 1 LRP Template Agreement

 
Tractor in field. Photo courtesy of Merced County.
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