WEBINAR: Regulating Groundwater Quality Across SGMA, CV-Salts, and ILRP

Join Maven’s Notebook and the Local Government Commission on October 28th from 12:00-1:30pm for a panel discussion on how the Irrigated Lands Program (ILRP), the Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-Salts) initiative, and Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) can work together to support water quality improvements across the San Joaquin Valley.

Our panelists are:

  • Theresa “Tess” Dunham, Attorney with Kahn, Soares, & Conway LLP
  • Natalie Stork, Chief, Groundwater Management Program at State Water Resources Control Board
  • Jennifer Clary, California Director, Clean Water Action

The panel will be moderated by Daniel Cozad, Executive Director of the Central Valley Salinity Coalition.

The webinar is scheduled from 12:00pm to 1:30pm.

Click here to register.

Other upcoming groundwater events …

Water Markets, SGMA & California’s First Open-Source Water Accounting and Trading Platform, October 28th, 12-1:30pm*Presented by the Environmental Defense Fund.  Click here to register.

Virtual Conference: Building a Water-Resilient California, November 12, 17, 19 from 11am to 12pm.  Presented by the PPIC.  November 17 focuses on collaborative approaches to foster groundwater sustainability.  Click here to register.

*Both the water accounting platform webinar and the CV-SALTS webinar will be recorded and made available on the Groundwater Exchange platform.

NOTICE: Update to Bulletin 74, California Well Standards: DWR Convenes Technical Advisory Committee for Update of Well Standards

From the Department of Water Resources:

The Department of Water Resources will be updating DWR Bulletin 74, California Well Standards and is convening a Technical Advisory Committee to guide the update.

Technical Advisory Committee

Committee members will represent a wide range of stakeholders and will convene from March 2021 to March 2022. The committee will break out in smaller groups to focus on specific topics. Those topics include the four well types included in the standards: Water, monitoring, cathodic protection, and geothermal heat exchange. DWR’s technical team will consider recommendations from the committee when updating the standards.

If you are interested in joining the committee, please email Sharon Hu, Kearns & West, at shu@kearnswest.com, by October 9, 2020. Kearns & West is collecting the candidate list for the committee on behalf of DWR.

Public Review Process

Once the standards have been updated, DWR will release a public review draft and will hold public workshops to collect and consider public comments before finalizing the standards. DWR will submit the final standards to the Water Boards for adoption into the Model Well Ordinance. Following submission, DWR will train well designers, installers, inspectors, and regulators in the updated standards.

Engagement Opportunities

You can get involved in the update of the well standards in the following ways:

DWR UPDATES: Submit fall groundwater level data to CASGEM in October; Members wanted for Well Standards Technical Advisory Committee; Application deadline extended for SGMA Watershed Coordinator Grant Program; and more …

NEW Submit Fall Groundwater Level Data to CASGEM in October

Monitoring Entities for the California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) Program are asked to submit fall 2020 groundwater level measurements to the CASGEM Online System (OS) in October. The data is due within 30 days of collection, and no later than December 31.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) understands the COVID-19 pandemic and state emergency declarations may interfere with timely data collection. If fall data cannot be collected in a timely manner, then a “no measurement code” should be submitted.

Monitoring wells in a basin/subbasin that are not transferred to a groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) remain associated with the original agency and have automatically been designated as voluntary wells in the CASGEM OS. DWR encourages the continued monitoring of these wells because groundwater level data is important for understanding conditions within the basin.

For technical issues or questions, please connect with your Region Office CASGEM contact found on the CASGEM webpage.


NEW Members Wanted for Well Standards Technical Advisory Committee

DWR is forming a Technical Advisory Committee for the update to DWR Bulletin 74, California Well Standards. The committee will convene from March 2021 to March 2022 and members will break out into smaller groups to focus on specific issues.

If you’re interested in joining the committee, please email Julie Haas by October 9, 2020, at Julie.Haas@water.ca.gov.

Submit ideas or comments related to California Well Standards on the Bulletin 74 comment portal and sign up to receive emailed updates and announcements.


NEW Application Deadline Extended for SGMA Watershed Coordinator Grant Program

The application deadline for the California Department of Conservation SGMA Watershed Coordinator Grant Program has been extended to October 15, 2020, because of the statewide fire emergency.

The grant provides funds for watershed coordinator positions and projects in high- and medium-priority basins. Special districts, GSAs, GSAs with approved alternatives, nonprofit groups, local governments, and tribes may apply.

For questions, email wcp@conservation.ca.gov or call (916) 324-0850.


NEW DWR Publishes Article on Community Member Involvement in Groundwater Planning

A new digital article Clean, Reliable Water: How to Get a Seat at the Table for Groundwater Planning is available on the DWR website. The article explains how community members can be involved in groundwater planning.

Additional articles can be viewed on the DWR Updates webpage.


REMINDER Written Translation Services Available

DWR’s written translation service is available to help with communication to non-English speaking constituents. Translation services for materials are available in Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Applicants can submit up to 5,000 words per basin/subbasin.

For details, visit the Written Translation tab on the Assistance and Engagement webpage.


REMINDER Public Meetings Can Be Held Remotely During Pandemic

Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20 encourages elected officials to conduct public meetings by teleconference or other electronic venue during the pandemic. The order temporarily waives requirements in the Bagley-Keene Act and Brown Act as long as specific requirements are met. The order applies to GSAs and others involved in the implementation of SGMA.


REMINDER Submit Your GSP Initial Notification

Before starting a GSP, agencies are required to notify DWR in writing using the SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System. The portal allows edits to be made to previously submitted Initial Notifications, including the ability to withdraw a submittal.

For more information, contact the regional coordinators in DWR’s four Regional Offices. For assistance with the system, email Monica.Reis@water.ca.gov.


Connect with Your Basin Point of Contact

DWR has designated basin points of contact to assist local agencies as they develop and implement their plans and to assist with applications for Technical Support Services and Facilitation Support Services.

For regional inquiries, contact sgmp_rc@water.ca.gov.

For general inquiries, contact sgmps@water.ca.gov.

Research Briefs: CA Farmer Perspectives on Groundwater Management

From the Water Foundation:

Producing food requires large water resources, and in California, thousands of farms are mostly or solely reliant on groundwater sources. While farmers are integral stakeholders in sustainable groundwater management, the perceptions of individual farmers regarding water policy and management are not well understood.

Food system and natural resources researchers at the University of Vermont surveyed Yolo County farmers in 2017 to understand their perspectives on SGMA, water management practices, and policy preferences. In 2019, with support from the Water Foundation, Meredith Niles at the University of Vermont and Courtney Hammond Wagner at Stanford University expanded their survey and analysis to farmers in Fresno, Madera, and San Luis Obispo counties, in partnership with local county farm bureaus.

Together, these four county-level surveys of 690 farmers revealed many similarities in farmers’ perspectives, despite agricultural and sociocultural differences. …

Click here to continue reading at the Water Foundation.

See also: To Achieve Sustainable Groundwater Management, CA Needs a Bigger, Inclusive Table, commentary by Alesandra Nájera and Mike Myatt

Sustainable for Whom? The Impact of Groundwater Sustainability Plans on Domestic Wells

From UC Davis Center for Regional Change:

Studies estimate that 1.5 – 2.5 million Californians rely on domestic wells to meet their household water needs (Johnson and Belitz 2015; Dieter et al. 2018; Pace et al. 2020). But because domestic wells are often shallow, they are also often sensitive to changes in groundwater levels. As such, sustainable groundwater management has an important role to play in safeguarding the health and safety of residents and the achievement of California’s recognized Human Right to Water. 

This report analyzes 41 Groundwater Sustainability Plans in 19 critical priority subbasins in California (in the San Joaquin Valley, Central California, and the Central Coast) to assess monitoring network coverage and the vulnerability of domestic wells to minimum thresholds (MTs), or the lowest groundwater level considered sustainable. …

Click here to read this article and download the report.

NOTICE: DWR Sustainable Groundwater Management Office announces updates for translation services

From the Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Office:

DWR’s Written Translation Service is available to help groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs), or other groups assisting in local SGMA implementation efforts, communicate groundwater management activities with their non-English speaking constituents.

GSAs, or other groups, can submit written notices, letters, forms, presentations, fact sheets, pamphlets, and other materials to DWR for translation into one or more of the following languages: Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.  

A couple updates have been made to the Service:

  • The word limit has increased from 1,500 words to 5,000 words per groundwater basin/subbasin.
  • Applicants can now submit Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint files that include formatting. Please note that content spacing and formatting may be affected through the translation process and should be checked prior to finalization by the applicant.

For details, visit the Written Translation tab on the Assistance and Engagement webpage and to submit a request, fill out the short online application.  

SGMO NEWS: New funding opportunities, Read DWR articles on groundwater level change maps and stream gages, and more …

From the Department of Water Resources, Sustainable Groundwater Management Office:

NEW SGM Grant Program Draft Proposal Solicitation Package: Public Comment Open and Meeting Scheduled

Public comment is open for the draft Proposal Solicitation Package for the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR)  Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant Program. During the first round of funding, $26 million will be available for critically overdrafted basins for projects that will assist with the implementation of groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs). A second round of funding will be available beginning in 2022 and will have approximately $62 million available for projects for high- and medium-priority basins.

Public Webinar Meeting

  • September 3, 2020
  • 10 a.m. to Noon
  • The meeting will be recorded for later viewing.

Click here to register Public Comment Comments can be emailed to Kelley List at SGWP@water.ca.gov. Comments can be mailed to:

Kelley List DWR Financial Assistance Branch Division of Regional Assistance P.O. Box 942836 Sacramento, CA 95814

Public comment ends September 18, 2020. DWR will release the final version and solicit proposals after reviewing submitted comments. For questions, please email SGWP@water.ca.gov.


NEW Federal WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants Offered

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants for Fiscal Year 2021. The matching grants provide funding to irrigation districts, water districts, tribes, states, and other entities with water or power delivery authority. Hydropower and water conservation projects are eligible for funding. Applications are due September 17, 2020. For more information, view the Bureau of Reclamation announcement.


NEW SGMA Watershed Coordinator Grant Program Holds Workshops

The California Department of Conservation will host one-hour workshops to answer questions about the SGMA Watershed Coordinator Grant Program application. The grants fund watershed coordinator positions and projects in high- and medium-priority basins. Special districts, groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs), GSAs with approved alternatives, nonprofit groups, local governments, and tribes may apply. Workshops

  • August 6, 2020, at 2:30 p.m.
  • August 11, 2020, at 1 p.m.

Click here to register.

Grant applications are due September 15, 2020. For questions and workshop registration, email wcp@conservation.ca.gov or call (916) 324-0850.


NEW Read DWR Articles on Groundwater Level Change Maps and Stream Gages

New articles on Seasonal Maps Provide Snapshot of State Groundwater Levels and Stream Gages Help Californians Better Understand Water Resources are available on the DWR website. The projects highlighted in the articles are part of DWR’s technical assistance offered to GSAs implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Additional articles can be viewed on the DWR Updates webpage.


REMINDER Public Meetings Can Be Held Remotely During Pandemic

Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20 encourages elected officials to conduct public meetings by teleconference or other electronic venue during the pandemic. The order temporarily waives requirements in the Bagley-Keene Act and Brown Act as long as specific requirements are met. The order applies to GSAs and others involved in the implementation of SGMA.


REMINDER Written Translation Services Available

DWR’s written translation service is available to help with communication to non-English speaking constituents. Translation services for materials are available in Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. For details, visit the Written Translation tab on the Assistance and Engagement webpage.


REMINDER Submit Your GSP Initial Notification

Before starting a GSP, agencies are required to notify DWR in writing using the SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System. The portal allows edits to be made to previously submitted Initial Notifications, including the ability to withdraw a submittal. For more information, contact the regional coordinators in DWR’s four Regional Offices. For assistance with the system, email monica.reis@water.ca.gov.


Connect with Your Basin Point of Contact

DWR has designated basin points of contact to assist local agencies as they develop and implement their plans and to assist with applications for Technical Support Services and Facilitation Support Services.

For regional inquiries, contact sgmp_rc@water.ca.gov. For general inquiries, contact sgmps@water.ca.gov.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Free training for small water systems; Grant program workshops; 3rd annual Western Groundwater Congress

FREE WEBINAR: Optimizing Performance & Accessing Funding to Improve Small Systems

August 11-12, 2020, 8:00 am – 11:00 am

This free training is made possible through the collaboration of the American Water Works (AWWA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Partnership for Safe Water. Topics covered include an in-depth introduction to water loss control, how to conduct a preliminary self-assessment, how to apply for USDA funding, and where to go for additional assistance.

Register here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AQ-LwBtjXxNXXFZztYHN7W6CDuuO7Hkn/view


SGMA Watershed Coordinator Grant Program Workshop

The Department of Conservation will host a workshop to answer potential applicants’ questions about the SGMA Watershed Coordinator Program application.

Please RSVP to wcp@conservation.ca.gov to register.

Information about the program can be found at: https://bit.ly/2P2T84S

The solicitation and application can be found at https://bit.ly/2CYx7lm

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


 

Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program – Virtual Public Meeting

On July 31, 2020, DWR announced a 45-day public comment period for the Draft SGM Grant Program Proposition 68 Implementation Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP). The public comment period will close at 5 p.m. on September 18, 2020.

A public meeting will be held September 3, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. to present the draft PSP and solicit comments. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, DWR will host the meeting as a GoTo Meeting webinar.

Click here to register.


VIRTUAL CONFERENCE: Western Groundwater Congress

In 2020, join your community of geologists, engineers and other groundwater thrill seekers for the third annual Western Groundwater Congress!

You’ll find four half-day sessions dedicated to Water Resources, SGMA, Contaminants and a myriad of Hot Topics  related to the furtherance of GRA’s vision of Sustainable Groundwater for All.

Technical sessions will run from 8:30am to 12:30pm each day of the event. The Virtual Exhibit Hall will be available for attendees to explore and make contact with exhibitors for the entirety of the event and there will be wellness activities and networking opportunities throughout the week.

Click here for more information.


View more California water-related events by clicking here.