From the Sierra Wave:
“The Owens Valley Groundwater Authority is currently soliciting Statements of Interest from local individuals, entities or groups interested in participating as an “Interested Party,” which has a voting interest in the OVGA Board.
The OVGA was created to comply with California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requirement that local agencies sustainably manage groundwater in the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin. The basin includes the Owens, Round, Chalfant, Hammil, and Benton Valleys as well as Fish Slough. … ”
Read more from Sierra Wave here: Owens Valley Groundwater Authority seeks statements of interest
From the Sierra Wave:
“As if Fred Stump didn’t make his position on specific groups joining the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority board as voting members clear enough at last month’s meeting, the Mono County Supervisor doubled down Monday afternoon, objecting on ethical terms.
“This is an ethical issue,” he said at the end of a discussion on letters to be sent to potential associate members and interested parties in order to gauge interest. “I’m against votes for government agencies, businesses and special interest groups,” he said. “I want to take the decision on voting (privileges) back to our individual boards.” … ”
Read more from the Sierra Wave here: Report from the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority meeting
“Mutual water companies and environmental groups have been waiting a year to find out what their participation in the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority might look like. The question of Associate Members and Interested Parties was on last Thursday’s agenda, but potential members of either category may never get a seat at the table.
The Joint Powers Authority that set the guidelines for the formation of the Owens Valley basin’s groundwater sustainability agency spelled out participation of groups other than governmental agencies. It was complicated, but gave a voice to groups outside the immediate circle. … “
Read more from the Sierra Wave here: Apparently, size matters to some on the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority board
“The San Benito County Water District (SBCWD) is initiating a Groundwater Sustainability Plan in compliance with California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The plan is being done in partnership with the Santa Clara Valley Water District. The development of this plan, which is required to be in place by 2022, encourages community involvement and input, according to a recent press release.
The public is invited to attend and participate in the first workshop, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Hollister Veterans’ Memorial Building, Room 218 at 649 San Benito Street in Hollister. Refreshments will be provided. … ”
Read more from Benitolink here: San Benito: Community invited to first workshop on Groundwater Sustainability Plan
From New Times SLO:
“Agencies overlying the 780-square-mile basin are tasked with writing a 20-year groundwater sustainability plan to submit to the state by 2020, and San Luis Obispo County and water basin officials are holding forums with affected property owners in the seven basin “sub areas” to gather their thoughts on the process and what they want in future groundwater levels.
Several dozen Creston landowners attended and inundated hydrologist Derrik Williams with questions and concerns. Many expressed skepticism toward the data on the conditions of the basin, and took issue with the boundaries of the Creston sub-area, which includes the wine region of El Pomar near Templeton. … “
Read more from New Times SLO here: Creston landowners voice qualms about Paso water management
From the San Luis Obispo Tribune:
“Water management agencies in North County are making big decisions about the future of the Paso Robles Basin — including setting future targets for groundwater levels.
That matters because the agencies will eventually propose restrictions to cut back demand — or projects to increase supply to meet those targets in the aim of sustainability, said Carolyn Berg with San Luis Obispo County Public Works Department.
When the rate of pumping is greater than the rate of infiltration, the water table drops and shallower wells run dry. This bureaucratic process will determine what is an acceptable level for the water table. … “
Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here: Worried about North County water? Here’s how to speak your mind on groundwater levels
“The Paso Robles Groundwater Basin is critically over-drafted and county leaders continue to work on a plan to fix that.
So far, water experts and district leaders have drafted 5 out of 13 chapters of the state-mandated Groundwater Sustainability Plan. They need to submit the full plan to the state by Jan. 31, 2020.
In the meantime, they’re looking for public comment. … “
Read more from KSBY here: Public input needed for future of Paso Robles groundwater basin
From Stanford’s Water in the West:
“For local communities, complying with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), the law passed in 2014 that was California’s first statewide framework for managing groundwater, has been no easy task.
A recent study in the journal California Agriculture examined some of the challenges rising to the surface in large, agriculturally-oriented basins as local governments form groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs), particularly for agricultural water users who have been pumping groundwater with private rights for decades. These GSAs are required to develop groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) by 2020 in critically overdrafted basins, or by 2022 in other high and medium priority basins.
The analysis highlights that creating effective governance at the basin scale, while still accounting for the interests of agricultural water users, is best pursued through multi-level governance structures that include nongovernmental entities, such as nonprofits, farmers, and ranchers. … “
Read more from Water in the West here: Can California’s groundwater basins be managed collaboratively?
From Stanford’s Water in the West:
“Prior to the passage of the landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014, groundwater withdrawals in California were largely unregulated. As part of initial compliance with this Act’s requirements, groundwater basins designated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) as high or medium priority must form new agencies—Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs)—by June 30 of this year. These agencies will be responsible for developing and implementing plans to ensure that each basin is managed sustainably within 20 years of plan adoption.
DWR estimates that the 127 high and medium priority basins account for 96 percent of groundwater pumping in the state. However, basins like the San Mateo Plain Subbasin (Basin) that are not currently used as a primary water supply source (and thus have been categorized as low and very low priority and not subject to SGMA regulations), are increasingly being looked at to serve as a supplemental water supply. This blog post follows the public process that the County of San Mateo initiated last year to better understand the Basin. … “
Read more from Stanford’s Water in the West here: San Mateo Plain Groundwater Subbasin: A Local Case Study