State water agencies, the California Water Data Consortium (Consortium) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced a new partnership today to make an open-source groundwater accounting platform freely available to help groundwater sustainability agencies manage the transition to sustainable supplies.
Collaborative efforts are underway among the Department of Water Resources (DWR), the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board), the Consortium and EDF to adapt and scale the groundwater accounting platform that was co-developed by EDF and Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District with technical support from Sitka Technology Group, OpenET, WestWater Research, and Olsson Engineering and funding from the Water Foundation, among other supporters. Use of the groundwater accounting platform is entirely voluntary.
“Our goal is to help groundwater managers more easily and cost-effectively track water use across their agencies and coordinate within and across basins to find the most effective approach for enabling sustainable groundwater management,” said Steven Springhorn, acting deputy director at DWR for statewide groundwater management. “The accounting platform developed by EDF is a valuable tool for local decision making, and the Water Data Consortium is a natural fit for ensuring the platform meets local and state needs long term.”
Click here to continue reading this press release from the Department of Water Resources.
SEE ALSO: 3 ways this accounting platform will help California groundwater agencies transition to sustainable supplies, from the Growing Returns blog
“In California, the amount of water exiting aquifers under the state’s most productive farming region far surpasses the amount of water trickling back in. That rampant overdraft has caused land across much of the region to sink like a squeezed out sponge, permanently depleting groundwater storage capacity and damaging infrastructure.
The trend—and a 2014 mandate for sustainable groundwater management in the state—has ignited interest in replenishing aquifers in California’s Central Valley through managed flooding of the ground above them. But until now there has been no reliable way to know where this type of remedy will be most effective. … ”
Read more from Futurity here: Can sensor data save California’s aquifers?
“About 60 people turned out Wednesday afternoon at the Paso Library Conference Room for a special meeting of the Paso Basin Cooperative Committee.
The committee includes Chairperson John Hamon, (who requested a new chair be elected at the next meeting), Joe Parent of San Miguel, Vice Chair and County Supervisor John Peschong and Secretary Willy Cunha of Shandon-San Juan.
Those committee members all attended yesterday, although John Hamon left early to attend Ash Wednesday ceremonies, so alternate committee member Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin filled in for the latter part of the meeting. … ”
Read more from the Paso Robles Daily News here: Dozens attend special Paso Basin Cooperative Committee meeting
” … For decades, farmers and businesses have pumped groundwater out of California’s aquifers, the permeable layers of rock that hold water underground, and the results have been frightening. As aquifers drain faster than rain can replenish them, the ground actually sinks, a phenomenon called “subsidence.” In areas where building and roads rest atop the ground, this can cause damage. …
If California is going to prevent further depletion of aquifers and survive droughts like the one that afflicted it from 2011 to 2017, the state will need to manage its groundwater usage. In the central valley, a group of organizations is working on a project that could stem the tide by combining two technologies: the internet of things (IoT) and Blockchain. … ”
Read more from Digital Trends here: Blockchain is overhyped, but it’s also perfect for California’s drought problem
“The passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 was a watershed moment, establishing the first statewide framework for managing California’s critical groundwater resources. Under this framework, one of the key challenges facing newly formed local government agencies responsible for groundwater management is to establish and implement quantitative metrics for sustainability.
To help local agencies do this, a new report from Water in the West examines how four special act districts in California have used quantitative thresholds to adaptively manage groundwater.
These case studies provide valuable insights on the development and implementation of performance metrics and will be important in guiding local agencies. … ”
Read more from Stanford News here: Measuring success in groundwater management
From the Ridgecrest News Review:
The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority has continually discussed its need for additional well data needed to draft an adequate Groundwater Sustain-ability Plan for IWV pumpers. Recently, the Authority heard a brief presentation from Lee Knudtson of Wellntell, who offered an opportunity to upgrade the Authority’s well-monitoring capabilities.
“We’ve invented a tool for monitoring water levels and pumping activity from domestic wells and small ag wells,” said Knudtson. “Several federal and state agencies have adopted our technologies because they’re easy to use and less expensive.”
To continue reading at the Ridgecrest News & Review, click here: Well monitoring tech offered to Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority
From the Ridgecrest Independent:
“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority had its first meeting since November 2018 on Jan. 17. All representatives were present with the exception of Ryan Klaush from Bureau of Land Management because of the government shutdown. There was a moment of silence for furloughed workers.
This was also the first board of directors meeting for Ridgecrest City Councilman Loren Scott Hayman since being appointed to the position.
The board approved the appointment of Judie Decker as a policy advisory committee representative for Eastern Kern County Resource Conservation District. Mick Gleason personally thanked Decker for her service on the board. … ”
Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s first meeting of 2019 meeting features presentations, appointments
From the Oroville Mercury Register:
“Butte County may soon have a better idea of what lies beneath its surface, thanks in part to the Kingdom of Denmark. Starting in late November, a helicopter took off for several days from the Orland airport to fly a pattern over an area between Chico and Orland, and southeast into Butte Valley. Dangling beneath the helicopter was a hoop loaded with devices that created a weak magnetic field and instruments that measured how that interacted with layers beneath the soil.
Christina Buck with the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation explained that underground there are layers of sands and gravels that hold water, divided by layers of clay and silt that block water passage to different degrees. … ”
Read more from the Oroville Mercury-Register here: Butte County: Helicopter survey should aid groundwater planning
From Environmental Monitor:
“In drought-stressed areas like California where every drop in the aquifer counts, seismic noise may be the key to monitoring water. Harvard University PhD student and principal investigator Tim Clements spoke to EM about this recent work, and how it might be a game changer for water watchers across the country.
“The inspiration for this research was the historic drought in California from 2011 to 2017,” explains Clements. “This was the driest period in recorded history in the state. We started this research after California had implemented the first mandatory water restrictions in state history in 2015.” … “
Read more from Environmental Monitor here: Tracking aquifer water with seismic noise