Madera groundwater plans kicked back by state for not protecting domestic wells, ignoring subsidence
The state kicked Madera County groundwater plans back for a redo on Thursday, noting, in particular, that they had set water levels so low it could endanger hundreds of domestic wells. The plans also all but ignored ongoing damage to roads, bridges and canals caused by sinking land, subsidence, opting mostly to “monitor” the situation. That isn’t good enough, according to Department of Water Resources staff, who reviewed the Groundwater Sustainability Plans as part of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. SGMA requires over pumped aquifers be brought into balance by 2040. The seven Madera subbasin groundwater sustainability agencies, which submitted four plans, now have 180 days to correct the problems and resubmit their plans.