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learn about the mcmullin area's water bank project


Strategically located between the Kings and San Joaquin Rivers in California’s Central Valley, the Aquaterra Water Bank increases the resiliency and flexibility of water suppliers across the State while improving sustainability of local groundwater resources.

1.8 million acre-feet storage capacity

Generous aquifer storage
The McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency has the potential to store 1.8 million acre feet of water in the underlying aquifer, close to San Luis Reservoir's 2 million acre feet capacity.

208,000 acre-foot recharge capacity

Ideal soil type and location
Nearly 3,900 acres of recharge sites located in areas ideally suited for water percolation into the groundwater aquifer. The area features highly porous sands supporting high infiltration rates and recovery ease.

770 cubic feet per second of new conveyance

Import and export capacity
At project build out, three conveyance inputs/outputs will deliver water to and from multiple major water systems into the Aquaterra Water Bank recharge sites. Extraction wells will recover up to 146,000 acre feet per year.

Ideally situated near major water systems

Multiple potential users
Between two rivers and with connections to the State Water Project and Central Valley Project, the Aquaterra Water Bank is ideally located to be a strategic storage facility for users throughout the state.


Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration Available for Public Comment
The Aquaterra Water Bank Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration is now available for public comment from March 19, 2024 through April 18th, 2024. Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), an Initial Study is conducted to determine the environmental impacts of a proposed project. Click the button below to review the Aquaterra Draft Initial Study/Mitigated Declaration (IS/MND).

How to Submit a Public Comment:
Landowners and other interested stakeholders can provide comments on the Aquaterra Water Bank Draft IS/MND in three ways:
1. Email comments to
2. Hand deliver or mail to MAGSA’s office at 275 S. Madera Avenue, Suite 301, Kerman, CA 93630. 
3. Submit a comment through the form below.

Please submit your public comment no later than 5:00 PM on April 18th, 2024.

how aquaterra water bank works

Groundwater banking is similar to financial banking. A water bank uses the empty space in groundwater aquifers for partners to “deposit” water, storing the water during wet periods, allowing them to “withdraw” it for use during dry years. Accurate accounting of deposits and withdrawals is maintained. There are two basic methods for putting water into water bank storage:

Direct recharge: adding surface water supplies for recharge in basins or on-farm to percolate water into the aquifer

In-lieu agreements: surface water supplies are provided to overlying landowners to be used “in lieu” (instead of) of groundwater pumping. The amount of water that otherwise would have been pumped becomes the banked water.

The groundwater that is stored is later recovered from the aquifer when needed through extraction wells.

aquaterra conveyance

Water entering Aquaterra Water Bank canals will be pumped to MAGSA’s east side as ground elevations increase. Gravity flow conveyance will bring water from the east back west.

McMullin Expansion Project intermediate pump stations like the one modeled below will move water east to recharge locations. The McMullin Expansion Project canal and pump stations are the second phase of an existing flood capture and recharge project completed in early 2019. The Expansion Project will increase conveyance at the James Bypass from 150 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 450 cfs and expand groundwater recharge potential on farmlands to an estimated 15,000 acres.


Contact us for more information


Water Bank Draft Subscription Agreement and Feasibility Study 

Submit this form below to download the Aquaterra Water Bank Draft Subscription Agreement and Feasibility Study.

Public Scoping Session

MAGSA is dedicated to providing its landowners and stakeholders ample time and opportunity to comment on the proposed Aquaterra Water Bank project. Landowners and other interested stakeholders were able to submit comments a number of ways during the 30-day public scoping period beginning November 3, 2021 and ending December 3, 2021. Stakeholders were invited to learn more and comment on the project becoming a federally approved water bank at a Public Scoping Webinar on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. View the webinar recording and presentation slides below.