The two projects will add an additional 1,035 acre-feet of annual groundwater recharge capacity for a resilient groundwater supply to benefit landowners and nearby community residents
The Fresno Irrigation District’s (FID) Savory Pond Project and City of Kerman Lyons Park Basin Project were awarded $1.4 million included in a total award of $4.8 million to the Kings Subbasin from the CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) SGMA Implementation Grant program.
Both projects located in the North Kings GSA will directly achieve sustainability goals by capturing surplus surface water for groundwater aquifer recharge. The Savory Pond Expansion Project also provides a direct benefit to a disadvantaged community, Shady Lakes Mobile Home Park, and several private well owners located near the project.
“Groundwater recharge projects are not only critical to achieving a sustainable groundwater supply under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), but they also serve an important purpose for our local landowners and community residents,” stated Kassy Chauhan, North Kings GSA Executive Director. “We have to increase our capacity to store surface water in wet years to develop a secure water supply even during dry years for irrigation and drinking water. This grant enables us to do just that.”
The Savory Pond Project will result in a 30-acre basin to recharge on average an additional 900 acre-feet of groundwater annually. An acre-foot is enough water to cover a football field one foot deep. The multi-benefit project received support from residents in the nearby Disadvantaged Community (DAC) Shady Lakes Mobile Home Park for its capacity to improve groundwater levels and increase supply reliability. The project results will also benefit other groundwater users including growers and nearby domestic well owners.
The Lyons Park Basin Project modifications will provide an additional 135 acre-feet of annual recharge to benefit DAC residents within the City of Kerman and those in the surrounding area.
The groundwater recharge projects will move the North Kings GSA closer to achieving sustainability by SGMA’s 2040 deadline while securing water supply for growers and community residents relying on wells for fresh water. This is especially important as we enter a critically dry year. Developing infrastructure now helps prepare for future wet years when there is extra rain and snowmelt to capture and sink into the aquifer. This groundwater recharge creates a buffer water supply for use during drier years without sacrificing progress made on achieving a sustainable supply.
The Kings Subbasin grant application included two additional projects as part of the total $4.8 million award, one each in the Kings River East and South Kings GSAs. The SGMA Implementation Grant is funded by Proposition 68 and administered by DWR. This first round awarded $26 million to six subbasins to cover project costs associated with implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in critically overdrafted basins. Another $77 million will be available in a second round for medium- and high-priority (including critically overdrafted) basins. The North Kings GSA is considered under SGMA to be critically overdrafted.