As groundwater sustainability agencies prepare their plans to meet the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), they will likely utilize a variety of tools to achieve sustainability. For groundwater basins in overdraft, groundwater production allocations may be a vital tool; however, SGMA explicitly states that it does not alter water rights, which means groundwater sustainability agencies have to carefully navigate between the confines of water rights and SGMA requirements in developing and implementing their groundwater sustainability plans.
At ACWA’s fall conference, a panel discussed the legal framework, different types of groundwater rights, lessons learned from existing groundwater production allocation programs, and potential pitfalls and practical approaches to developing a groundwater sustainability plans with production allocations as a component to reaching sustainability goals.
Seated on the panel:
- Wendy Wang, an attorney with Best Best and Krieger
- Eric Robinson, an attorney with Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann and Girard
- Dr. Jill Weinberger, a hydrogeologist with Dudek
Here’s what they had to say.