This year’s record water year has led to a unique opportunity for North Fork Kings GSA growers to contribute to groundwater sustainability through grower recharge – the application of using available surface water during wet years to recharge the aquifer beneath grower’s land.
Reid Potter, a grower in the North Fork Kings GSA, was one of several within the agency to take the opportunity to perform grower recharge. To perform recharge, Reid flooded the open fields on his ranch. He also identified nearby landowners with surface water and open fields to help them perform recharge on their land.
Reid has a long history of farming, beginning in 1970 with his father’s purchase of a ranch within the North Fork Kings GSA area, which Reid took over in 2009.
Reid began practicing grower recharge on open land in March 2023. A major motivator for Reid’s participation was the status of the 2022-23 water year.
“Last year really hit home for me. I spent more time last summer working on wells in three months than in 40 years. So, this year when we had all this water, I knew I had to do something,” Reid said.
Although he’s doing what he can to make his land sustainable, Reid acknowledges that having more growers participate will be what it takes to make an impact and secure sustainability within the North Fork Kings GSA.
“We’re all in this together, and we have to help each other. We could solve our problems if we got everybody involved – if we can get a big part of the GSA involved,” he said.
Since practicing grower recharge, Reid has encouraged others in the GSA to understand its importance and do the same.
“It’s easy to talk about it [grower recharge], but when you do it, and people see it, it’s like, ‘okay, that’s something I can do.’ It’s not rocket science,” said Reid.
Reid strongly encourages others within the North Fork Kings GSA to contact General Manager Justin Mendes to learn more about practicing grower recharge.
To learn more about practicing recharge on your land, call us at 559.242.6118 or email General Manager Justin Mendes at firstname.lastname@example.org.