Turlock Groundwater Basin Association
Formation of the Association
The Turlock Groundwater Basin Association (TGBA) was initially formed in 1995 by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide a forum for local agencies to work together and to develop an initial Basin-wide Groundwater Management Plan (Plan) for the Turlock Groundwater Basin (or Subbasin). The initial plan, developed to comply with AB 3030, was adopted by local agencies in 1997. The formal MOU terminated on its own terms in December 1997. However, the agencies continued to meet regularly to coordinate groundwater management activities.
After continuing to meet for several years without a formal agreement, the agencies decided to reform the TGBA with a second MOU adopted in 2001. The Parties entered into this second MOU in order to coordinate continued implementation of the Plan. The second MOU remains in place today, and provides the foundation for TGBA activities. The MOU recognizes that:
- Groundwater and surface water resources within the Turlock Groundwater Basin are vitally important resources, in that they provide the foundation to maintain current and fulfill future agricultural, domestic, municipal and industrial needs, as well as other needs, and to maintain the economic viability and prosperity of the Subbasin area.
- The Stanislaus/Merced County area is one of the world’s foremost agricultural areas; and the agricultural industry has played a major role in the development of the economy of the Stanislaus/Merced area. In an era of increasing competition for the area’s finite water resources, it is important to understand and plan for the utilization of all the area’s water resources in order to preserve all elements of the local economy vital to the area’s well-being.
In signing onto the MOU, the Parties recognized that:
- They desired to form an Association to provide a mechanism for the Parties to collectively implement the Groundwater Management Plan and the purposes and the goals of the MOU.
- Non-coordinated action by water providers and users within the Basin could result in counterproductive competition for finite resources resulting in adverse impacts to the groundwater and surface water supplies with the Subbasin.
- Creation of an Association for water suppliers within the Subbasin is important to protect the groundwater and surface water resources and will assist in meeting the needs of all users of such resources within the Subbasin.
- That local management of water resources is desirable in order that local control be maintained over such resources.
Purpose and Goals:
- To provide a mechanism to coordinate the implementation of the Plan and other groundwater management activities.
- To create an association of the Parties to enhance the ability to obtain funding to carry out the Plan and related groundwater management projects.
- To provide information and guidance for the management, preservation, protection, and enhancement of the Subbasin.
The TGBA has engaged in a variety of activities, including, but not limited to:
- Development of a coordinated groundwater monitoring program.
- Compliance with the California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) Program requirements.
- Various groundwater studies.
- Completed the first Basin-wide Groundwater Management Plan in 1997 which was adopted by local agencies for their respective portion of the Subbasin.
- Completed an update to the Basin-wide Groundwater Management Plan in 2008, which was adopted by local agencies to amend and supersede the initial plan.
- Applied for and received a Local Groundwater Assistance Grant from the Department of Water Resources to study the far eastern side of the Subbasin. Completion of the grant is ongoing.
- Supported efforts by its member agencies and other local agencies to obtain grant funding that would benefit the local area.
- Worked collaboratively to provide information for the development of various groundwater models.