In 2022 the Mid-Kaweah GSA implemented an Emergency Ordinance to allocate groundwater extractions, measured as evapotranspiration (ET), and to limit the amount of ET used per acre. This Emergency Ordinance was put into place to address the ongoing drought. The MKGSA also implemented a remote ET tracking system and developed an online tool called the Water Dashboard, which allows growers to see their allocations and ET usage in real-time.
In January 2023, after several atmospheric rivers hit the Central Valley, the District began a winter flood and irrigation release. Immediately upon making water available for irrigation, 80+ landowners began taking water. During the winter months, very little ET is taking place, so much of the water applied to the field during irrigation is actually returned to the groundwater system. This is tracked and reported on the Water Dashboard as a groundwater credit. The program was very successful. Prior to SGMA, the District winter diversions rate was approximately 350 cubic feet per second (CFS). Upon our early release of irrigation supplies our diversion rate was approximately 750 CFS, essentially doubling our winter recharge activities. For the month of January 2023, the District imported approximately 36,000 acre-feet into our District, which is 65,000 acres. This was a record for the District.
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