Water flows into one of MID’s groundwater recharge basins.
Following 10 years of studies and construction, the Cressey-Winton Recharge Basin received its first flows of MID water from Lake McClure in 2011. It helped replenish eastern Merced’s aquifer with more than 1,300 acre feet in less than three months.
Read General Manager, John Sweigard's editorial on:
District Co-Sponsors Planning Effort For Water Supply
The City of Merced, Merced Irrigation District and UC Merced have studied water issues, practices, demand and needs of Eastern Merced County to ensure the region will have a reliable water supply for the next 40 years.
Known as the Merced Water Supply Plan Update, it is an extension of the 1992-95 planning effort that resulted in the Merced Water Supply Plan. The Update study has revealed that Eastern Merced County faces the challenges of continued declines in groundwater levels, increased regulations, population growth, shifts in land use, agricultural practices and other impacts. If no action is taken, a significant decline in groundwater levels is predicted throughout the Water Plan study area.
The Preferred Course of Action
How best to deal with these challenges was the focus of the planning process. The preferred course of action outlined includes construction of groundwater recharge facilities of 1,000 to 1,400 acres. (A series of small basins, which collectively total about 1 - 2 times the surface area of Lake Yosemite.) These recharge facilities would be built once regional governance issues are resolved. Both the City and the District would institute additional measures with the City focusing on conservation and the District concentrating on system enhancements.
Both agencies, along with other key beneficiaries of the Updated Plan, need to determine how to address a number of issues such as potential governance, regional cost sharing and infrastructure priorities.
To view the complete Merced Water Supply Plan Update, download the following PDF files:
The table below reflects the annual cumulative groundwater pumping totals for combined local urban vs. MID's groundwater pumping totals.