Groundwater management and safe drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley

To support the state’s implementation of SGMA and its continued progress on the human right to water, the Water Foundation commissioned an analysis of 26 GSPs in the San Joaquin Valley to understand how private domestic drinking water wells in the region will be affected on the path to sustainability. Among its key findings, the analysis estimates that the goals in these San Joaquin Valley GSPs, if not proactively addressed, will result in:

  • Between roughly 4,000 and 12,000 partially or completely dry drinking water wells by 2040
  • Between roughly 46,000 and 127,000 people who lose some or all of their primary water supply by 2040
  • Between $88 million to $359 million in costs to restore access to drinking water

State regulatory agencies must now work with these GSAs over the next two years to implement SGMA in a manner that avoids these impacts or finds suitable replacement for lost water supplies to ensure the right to water for all California residents.

Click here to read more and download report.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Reclamation launches WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant funding opportunity and extends drought resiliency project deadline; Webinar tomorrow

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

The Bureau of Reclamation is launching the 2021 WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant funding opportunity that support water management organizations developing projects that result in quantifiable and sustained water savings, increase the production of hydropower and support broader water reliability benefits. Applications for these grants are due on Sept. 17, 2020, at 4 p.m. MDT. Reclamation is also extending the deadline for the 2021 Drought Resiliency Projects funding opportunity while raising the maximum federal award for each of the two groups of projects.

These Reclamation grant programs support the Department of the Interior’s commitment to meeting the President’s Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West.

For the Water and Energy Efficiency Grants, funding is available in two groups. This program provides up to $500,000 per agreement for projects that can be completed in two years and up to $2 million per agreement for projects that can be completed in three years. Recipients must match the funding with a minimum 50% cost-share. Learn more about this available grant at www.grants.gov by searching for grant number BOR-DO-21-F001. Learn more about the Water and Energy Efficiency Grants at www.usbr.gov/WaterSMART/weeg.

The Drought Resiliency Projects funding opportunity announced on May 4, 2020, is being extended until August 5, 2020, at 4 p.m. MDT. The funding available for each project has been increased up to $500,000 for projects that can be completed in two years and up to $1.5 million for projects that can be completed in three years. The funding opportunity is available at www.grants.gov by searching funding opportunity number BOR-DO-20-F002. Learn more about the Drought Program at www.usbr.gov/drought.

Eligible applicants for funding include states, tribes, irrigation districts, water districts or other organizations with water and power delivery authority located in the western United States or territories. Alaska and Hawaii are also eligible to apply.

Through WaterSMART, Reclamation works cooperatively with states, tribes and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability through investments to modernize existing infrastructure and attention to local water conflicts. Visit www.usbr.gov/watersmart to learn more.

WEBINAR TOMORROW, THURSDAY JUNE 25TH AT 9AM

On Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 10:00 A.M. MDT/9:00 A.M. PST, Reclamation will be hosting a webinar for the Water Energy and Efficiency Grant and the Drought Resiliency Program funding opportunities. You may learn more about these funding opportunities at www.usbr.gov/watersmart.

The following is the link for the live event: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_MDhmMDM4OTYtNTA4Zi00MjRlLWFhZjctMTI2MjhhN2IzNmM1%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%220693b5ba-4b18-4d7b-9341-f32f400a5494%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22eb0a53f4-b368-4bfc-9604-84352ea366e1%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: New Department of Conservation SGMA Watershed Coordinator Grant Program

A new 2020 Sustainable Groundwater Management Watershed Coordinator (SGMA) Grant Program is being launched at the Department of Conservation.  Grants are being offered for watershed coordinators in parts of the state impacted by implementation of SGMA.

Information about the program can be found at https://www.conservation.ca.gov/dlrp/grant-programs/watershed.

A public review draft solicitation and application has been posted at https://www.conservation.ca.gov/dlrp/grant-programs/watershed/Document/2020%20WCP%20SGMA%20Solicition%20Public%20Review%20Draft%20Posting1.pdf.

Please contact Department of Conservation watershed program staff with questions or comments via email at wcp@conservation.ca.gov​ ​​or phone at (916) 324-0850.

WATER MARKET INSIDER: California Water Prices on the Rise

The Water Market Insider is published by WestWater Research, an economic consulting firm providing valuation, market analysis, planning, and transaction advisory services to the water resources sector.

The current issue of The Water Market Insider explores how the spot-market price of water observed across California responds to certain hydrologic, institutional, and management indicators. Prices are found to respond to water scarcity, which is driven by natural factors, policy decisions, and water management. Price transparency in California’s water market has increased significantly with the launch of the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index (NQH2O), a first of its kind index that provides a benchmark for the spot-market price of water rights transacted across the state.

Click here to read this issue of The Water Market Insider.

REPORT: Groundwater Management and Safe Drinking Water in the San Joaquin Valley

From the Water Foundation:

To support the state’s implementation of SGMA and its continued progress on the human right to water, the Water Foundation commissioned an analysis of 26 GSPs in the San Joaquin Valley to understand how private domestic drinking water wells in the region will be affected on the path to sustainability. Among its key findings, the analysis estimates that the goals in these San Joaquin Valley GSPs, if not proactively addressed, will result in:

        • Between roughly 4,000 and 12,000 partially or completely dry drinking water wells by 2040
        • Between roughly 46,000 and 127,000 people who lose some or all of their primary water supply by 2040
        • Between $88 million to $359 million in costs to restore access to drinking water

State regulatory agencies must now work with these GSAs over the next two years to implement SGMA in a manner that avoids these impacts or finds suitable replacement for lost water supplies to ensure the right to water for all California residents. Further, more analysis beyond the scope of this analysis is required to explore the effect of GSPs on other areas of concern, such as impacts on the environment and on important infrastructure due to land subsidence.

Click here to download the report.

NEW REPORT: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Water Security through Resilience

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Institute for Water Resources (IWR) released a report titled Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Water Security through Resilience.

With the water needs of society increasing and becoming increasingly diverse, water management and planning are more challenging than ever. Water security in all its forms is as important, but seems progressively difficult to achieve. Additional water storage and flood risk management is needed, but major new surface infrastructure projects seem unlikely.  Water storage underground (managed aquifer recharge, or MAR) is an alternative to augment surface storage and increase resilience of USACE projects while improving the Nation’s water security.

MAR is a term that covers artificial recharge, aquifer storage and recovery, riverbank and riverbed filtration, groundwater banking, and other mechanisms of purposeful water recharge to aquifers for later recovery.  MAR use has grown rapidly over the last two decades, progressing from an often-experimental concept to a management tool used in over 1000 sites around the world.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and its partners have engaged, or considered engaging, in the use of MAR in a variety of settings and purposes, throughout the United States. These purposes include:

      • Flood risk management -Recharge of floodwaters, in combination with surface storage, can dampen the flood peak.
      • Aquatic ecosystem restoration – Discharging stored groundwater may help maintain timely environmental flows.
      • Drought resilience – MAR can provide back-up storage for multi-year droughts without losses due to evaporation.
      • Salt-water intrusion prevention – Replenishing coastal aquifers can provide additional agricultural and potable water supply while keeping salt water at a safe distance.
      • Multi-purpose projects – Urban water projects can combine wastewater reuse, wetlands restoration, recreational and educational opportunities, and MAR.

This report examines how MAR has been, is being, or could be used in conjunction with USACE Civil Works water resources projects. The report summarizes some of USACE’s authorities for using MAR, provides numerous examples of USACE activities involving MAR, reviews the experience of other US government agencies and Departments, and considers how MAR can be integrated into the USACE civil works planning process and new initiatives.

The report is available for free download from the IWR Library.

Learn More

For more information, visit:

NEW RESEARCH: Shrub encroachment on grasslands can increase groundwater recharge

From the University of California Riverside:

Grasslands across the globe, which support the majority of the world’s grazing animals, have been transitioning to shrublands in a process that scientists call “woody plant encroachment.”

Managed grazing of drylands is the most extensive form of land use on the planet, which has led to widespread efforts to reverse this trend and restore grass cover due to the belief that it results in less water entering streams and groundwater aquifers.

A new study led by Adam Schreiner-McGraw, a postdoctoral hydrology researcher at the University of California, Riverside, modeled shrub encroachment on a sloping landscape and reached a startling conclusion: Shrub encroachment on slopes can increase the amount of water that goes into groundwater storage. The effect of shrubs is so powerful that it even counterbalances the lower annual rainfall amounts expected during climate change.

Click here to continue reading this article.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES: Groundwater remediation, DWR’s Technical and Facilitation Support Services

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Proposition 68 Groundwater Treatment and Remediation Grant Program SDAC Solicitation

From the State Water Board:

The Division of Financial Assistance (DFA) is administering the Proposition 68 Groundwater Treatment and Remediation Grant Program. We are pleased to announce a new streamlined solicitation for Severely Disadvantaged Communities (SDAC).  For those interested, more information is available on the Proposition 68 Groundwater Treatment and Remediation Grant Program website.

This solicitation will close July 17, 2020 at 5:00 pm.

If you have any questions, please contact us at gwquality.funding@waterboards.ca.gov, Subject Line: Prop 68 Groundwater Treatment and Remediation Grant Program SDAC Proposal Solicitation.


SUPPORT FOR GSP DEVELOPMENT: DWR’s Technical and Facilitation Support Services

DWR’s Technical Support Services (TSS) supports Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) as they develop and implement their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). TSSs goal is to provide education, data, and tools to GSAs at both regional and statewide scales to build the capacity needed to achieve sustainability. TSS is available to GSAs through our Region Offices or contractors pending funding availability.

Click here for a 2-page fact sheet on DWR’s technical services.

DWR’s Facilitation Support Services (FSS) help local agencies work through challenging water management situations. Under SGMA, groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) shall encourage the active involvement of diverse social, cultural, and economic interests and consider all beneficial uses and users of groundwater when developing and implementing groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs). Sometimes GSAs need the help of professional facilitators to foster discussions among diverse water management interests and local agencies.

Learn more about DWR’s Technical and Facilitation Support Services by going to this page and scrolling down to Technical and Facilitation tabs.

NOW AVAILABLE: Local Government Commission’s New Virtual Engagement Best Practices Guide

From the Local Government Commission:

The current COVID-19 shelter-in-place conditions are shifting much of our work and engagement to virtual settings.

To help you and your community adapt to these new circumstances, LGC has developed the following guide to Virtual Engagement Best Practices.

This 12-page guidebook walks you through some of the most important considerations in developing your virtual engagement event, highlighting some of LGC’s lessons learned through our 35+ years experiencing connecting leaders and engaging communities.

We hope this guide will help you and your community develop more effective, interactive virtual events during this unprecedented time. Please share this resource broadly with your networks.

Click here for the Guide to Virtual Engagement Best Practices.

VIRTUAL CONFERENCE: 3rd Annual GSA Summit

2020 marks the beginning of a new decade – and the five year anniversary of SGMA implementation!

The Third Annual GSA Summit, now a virtual event held June 10-11, is an opportunity to celebrate a significant milestone with the first round of GSP submittals (due at the end of January) and to exchange information, ideas and best practices for successful GSP development and implementation.

This year’s discussion sessions will include new information and approaches to topics such as:

  • Lessons learned from 2020 GSPs
  • Best approaches for effective stakeholder engagement
  • How to coordinate GSA governance with other government agencies
  • Different ways to establish sustainable management criteria
  • Input on GSP development from various stakeholder groups
  • Data gap assessment and GSP implementation

Keynote speakers from State Board and DWR will provide reflections on the SGMA legislation development and implementation and provide insights on future program developments.

Don’t miss this opportunity for SGMA practitioners to learn from each other, identify best practices, and reflect on past SGMA successes and prepare for future implementation opportunities.

Join us for this event over 1 or 2 days, from the comfort of your home, and feel connected to the SGMA and professional groundwater community in this challenging time.

Funding available for GSA board, staff and committee members, as well as community members and not-for-profit organizations involved in GSP development.

Click here for more information and to register.