From Andrew T. Fisher at the PPIC Blog:
“Water levels in many of California’s groundwater basins have dropped too far, too fast in recent years, prompting a wave of experimental projects to augment the natural recharge of aquifers. But funding is a missing element in many of these efforts. A new local program to provide incentives for groundwater recharge could be replicated in other parts of the state.
Most Californians who use groundwater do not pay to use it. Instead, in many basins, property owners with an “overlying right” to water underground are free to extract as much as they need for “reasonable and beneficial use,” as loosely defined by state law, paying only for the costs of pumping.
The state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, enacted in 2014, empowers local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to impose fees in support of long-term water resource management and develop funding mechanisms for projects that conserve water and augment available supplies. … “