McMullin On-Farm Recharge
McMullin On-Farm Flood Capture and Recharge (OFFCR)
San Joaquin Valley is an agriculturally productive region of California, reliant on both surface water and groundwater for crop irrigation. This region also suffers from persistent groundwater overdraft and flooding risks partly due to desynchronized precipitation availability and irrigation needs. Flood flow capture used for groundwater recharge can help mitigate both overdraft and flooding issues.
Based on previous successful On-Farm Flood Flow Capture results, the McMullin OFFCR is a multi-phase project that when finalized will have capacity to convey 500 cfs to 16,000 acres of agricultural land. Conveyance systems produced in this project will serve the dual purpose of flood recharge management and crop irrigation with the collaboration of participating farms. Conveyance structures will include a series of canals, pumps and turnouts to capture and divert flood flows. Groundwater recharge is more economically competitive than surface water storage (e.g. reservoirs) and includes the important benefit of preserving existing underground storage capacity. It is critical that we maintain these underground storage structures as they are likely to play a crucial role for water security in the face of climate change.
McMullin On-Farm Recharge (Phase 1)
Capturing Flood Flows for On-Farm Recharge and Flood Risks Mitigation. 2016 – present.
Provost & Pritchard, Kings River Conservation District, Terranova Ranch Inc., University of California, Davis (UCD) Department of Land, Air and Water Resources
Department of Water Resources (DWR) and matching funds from participants.
In this phase of the project, conveyance structures (e.g. canals, pumps, turnouts) will be designed, built and managed to achieve 150 cfs capacity of flood flow conveyance from the north fork of Kings River (James Bypass) to be distributed over 5,575 acres of adjacent agricultural land. Bachand & Associates will provide expertise in conceptual design and technical aspects of this project. Design for this phase of the conveyance systems have been completed, construction of the conveyance structures is currently underway.
McMullin Expansion (Phase 2)
Flood Flow Capture Expansion for On-Farm Recharge and Flood Risks Mitigation. 2018 – present.
Provost & Pritchard, Kings River Conservation District, Terranova Ranch Inc., Tetra Tech, Sustainable Conservation, Raisin City Water District
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and matching funds from participants through the EQIP and PL-566 programs.
Expanding upon the McMullin On-Farm Recharge project, this project increases capacity of water conveyance to 350 cfs by using existing Phase 1 structures and expanding additional structures to bring recharge to an additional 7,000 acres of agricultural land adjacent to Phase 1 areas. This phase of the project also aims to integrate recharge practices to comply with SGMA mandates and structures developed will be used to accommodate future expansion to 500 cfs capacity.
Cagle, S., A Farmer’s Quest to Beat California’s Waves of Drought and Deluge. Wired. Published April 2022. Available at Wired.
McEwen, L., On-farm recharge pioneer invested in water savings. AgAlert. Published June 22, 2022. Available at AgAlert.
Whitcomb, I., Mapping a State's Secret Water. Sierra, The Magazine of the Sierra Club. Published July 2022. Available at Sierra.