July 2019

S G M A … it’ s what’s for dinner! By now, every farmer has heard of SGMA, the Sustainable Ground – water Management Act of 2014. If you haven’t, it’s because your radio is turned off, you no longer receive snail-mail or like most; and choose not to participate in another form of regulation. Since 2015, your County Farm Bureau Board and Executive Di – rector Christina Beckstead have been intimately participating in the SGMA conversation. Christina is attending every possible meeting offered by our County Supervisors, Madera Irrigation District, water forum, conference call, group text, all of it, in hopes to better-understand how SGMA will interfere with our members’ farming operations. A few things to know about SGMA: SGMA is the road to groundwater sustainability by 2020. SGMA will affect your groundwater pumping. SGMA will establish new responsibilities to share groundwater. SGMA will change how we use land and water. SGMA focuses on managing six undesirable results, including lowering groundwater levels, reduction of storage, sea – water intrusion, degraded quality, land subsidence and surface water depletion. SGMA encourages local communities to work together to develop effective GSP’s (Groundwater Sustainability Plan) and encourages neighboring basins to find common, acceptable solutions.

Basins not managed locally, or unsustainably managed, will have plans written and implemented by the State Water Resources Control Board. Yikes! Groundwater is an essential re – source and we need it for our farms, cities and other uses, today and to – morrow. SGMA seeks to ensure reliable groundwater supplies in the future through long-term ground – water management across California. What does this mean to you?

First, which Ground Water Sustainability Agency (GSA) represents your farm or ranch? To find out, see this integrative map http://www.maderacountywater. com/maps/madera-subbasin/. Lastly, get involved ASAP! Although the GSP is nearly completed, the GSP will change, shape and mold in over the next 20 years until groundwater sustainability is achieved. Get involved, the future of your farming operation depends on it!

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