Groundwater Projects

IRWM Projects

The Merced Integrated Regional Water Management (Merced IRWM) program is a collaborative effort to identify water management issues, needs, objectives, actions, and priorities to meet the long-term water needs of the Merced Region (the area of Merced County east of the San Joaquin River). Go to for more information.

Cressey Recharge Basin Expansion
As a conjunctive use District, MID has completed numerous conjunctive use projects and implemented practices promoting in-lieu recharge. One of these projects is the Cressey Recharge Basin, which was sucessfully completed in 2011. It is located north of Winton, south of an area that experienced a significant fall in groundwater levels. The static groundwater level in the vicinity of the basin is in excess of 100 feet from ground surface, which is atypical to the average in other areas of the District. MID is proposing to expand this recharge facility by adding another recharge basin just west of the existing basin. This project will add about another 15-acres of land for recharge in the area. The project will: 1) provide needed recharge to the basin, recharging in excess of 10,000 AF annually; 2) provide a recharge to mitigate for groundwater extraction in the basin (i.e. surface/groundwater exchange); 3) exercise MID water rights; and 4) act as a one-way regulating reservoir. CLICK HERE for all Project Details.

El Nido Recharge Basin
Based on the outcome of the work proposed in the AB303 grant application submitted to DWR in 2012, additional work will be performed to design and construct the El Nido Recharge Basin. Work will include design of the recharge basin, design of the water conveyance facilities, design of the monitoring network and data collection program, and development of operations guidelines. Based on the design, permits and approvals will be obtained prior to construction. Construction activities include construction of the basin, construction of the recharge facilities, drilling of monitoring wells, installation of flow meters and check structures, and surveying. After construction the basin will be monitored for two years to gage the success of the basin and modify the operations guidelines if necessary. CLICK HERE for all Project Details.

Highlands II - A Conjuntive Use Project
The purpose of this project is to construct a means to deliver surface water to an area that has been deemed as the “highlands” of the Merced Irrigation District. A pumping system is required to be constructed in order to deliver water to this high elevation land. Currently, the highlands are irrigated by a variety of small private wells servicing single properties and larger MID production wells distributing water through a network of aged concrete lines. This area has seen a significant decrease in both groundwater table elevation and groundwater quality that impacts growers and residents in the vicinity. The project will accomplish goals of increasing overall system efficiency by replacing several on-farm and MID wells with a single efficient booster station, decreasing unnecessary pumping, and encouraging the installation of efficient irrigation systems. The project expands conjunctive use where surface is used in ample years and GW is used in surface water shortage years. CLICK HERE for all Project Details.

Other Studies/Projects

Data Assessment (2002; DWR funding), which described the regional hydrogeologic setting of Eastern Merced County, compiled available water resources data and developed a data management plan for MAGPI members.

Conjunctive Use Site Assessment (2003; DWR funding), which compared and evaluated alternative artificial recharge sites.

Cressey Pilot Recharge Basin (ongoing; MID funding), which is providing very promising results with respect to infiltration rates for spreading basins.

Public Involvement (ongoing; DWR funding), aimed at improving coordination among MAGPI members and between MAGPI and other entities in the Basin