Groundwater News

For the first time, California has established a framework to work toward sustainable, local management of groundwater through the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. As the early stages of the act have been implemented across the state, discussion and controversy surrounding groundwater in California have increased. Here is a collection of news articles, op eds, and other groundwater-related materials and recommended websites to learn more.

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act challenges the diversity of California farms

California Agriculture

“Farms of all scales will be required to comply with SGMA and the management plans established by their local GSAs; however, farms of different scales have varying human and financial resources. As such, compliance with SGMA requirements is likely to be manageable for some growers but severely burdensome for others.”

Lessons for SGMA from other State-Local Collaborations

California WaterBlog, February 4, 2018

“California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is known primarily for establishing statewide requirements for sustainable groundwater management.  But the statute did another important thing: it introduced an intriguing yet relatively rare model of state and local governance into groundwater management.”

First-of-a-Kind Agreement in Colorado Could Aid West’s Ailing Rivers

Water Deeply, February 2, 2018

“A plan developed by ranchers and the Colorado Water Trust to help keep water in the state’s Crystal River could have far-reaching implications in the West if the model proves successful.”

New frontiers await groundwater recharge projects

Capital Press, February 2, 2018

“UC scientists have been working with growers throughout the valley to find fields with soils conducive to recharge and set up pilot projects, as have groups such as the Almond Board. State-funded aquifer recharge projects already underway put at least 306,727 acre-feet of water per year back into the ground, according to Stanford University estimates.”

The Future of Groundwater in California: Lessons in sustainable management from across the western U.S.

Environmental Defense Fund, January 2018

“The case studies illustrate the importance of building trust, having sufficient data, using a portfolio of management approaches, assuring performance, and having access to funding. These themes will be crucial to the successful implementation of California’s landmark groundwater legislation, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).”

As California Groundwater Regulation Unfolds, Some Feel Left Out

Water Deeply, January 22, 2018

“Clary said many groundwater sustainability agencies are fixated on meeting the 2020 deadline to complete their groundwater sustainability plans. It’s a monumental task that requires gathering data on groundwater volume in each basin, measuring recharge and extraction rates and assessing effects on nearby streams and other surface water, among other things. […] Caught up in all that work, some have put off reaching out to disadvantaged communities that rely on groundwater, private well owners who extract water for their own household use and even small domestic water utilities. All these groups have a role in achieving groundwater sustainability, but might know nothing of the process and its complexity.”

Study: Farmer input critical in creating water plans

Capital Press, January 18, 2018

“Niles and Wagner conducted their study after a 2016 report by UC-Berkeley water law expert Michael Kiparsky asserted that much of the success of SGMA would revolve around the ‘social acceptance’ of policies by users. Social acceptance involves users’ ‘perceptions of fairness, efficacy and other value-based dimensions that can raise tensions and lack clear, unambiguous solutions,’ Niles and Wagner wrote.

Social acceptance is likely to become more important as the emphasis shifts to writing sustainability plans, which will have to include measurable objectives and detailed steps for controlling groundwater use, they wrote.” 

Stanislaus County Deploys California’s First Innovative EGRP® Infiltration System

Markets Insider, December 18, 2017

“By accelerating infiltration into and through the near-surface soils, EGRP® technology increases the volume of storm water that can be stored, infiltrated, and ultimately recharged. Excess surface water that would have pooled or run off is captured and filtered below grade—offering improved water quality, reduced flooding, and accelerated groundwater recharge for locations throughout California and beyond.”


More Articles

For more SGMA news, information, and materials, visit the Water Maven’s website .