From Maven’s Notebook:
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, was passed in 2014 during a period of critically dry years; the legislation was intended to stop the adverse impacts occurring due to the severe overpumping of groundwater basins. SGMA required groundwater basins to form a local groundwater sustainability agency and develop a groundwater sustainability plan to achieve sustainability in their groundwater basins within 20 years. Eight years into implementation, all GSAs have submitted the first groundwater sustainability plans and are beginning to implement them. For SGMA, the rubber is just now starting to hit the road.
The law will most impact the San Joaquin Valley, as most groundwater basins in the valley have been designated as critically overdrafted. At the Urban Water Institute’s annual spring meeting, a panel discussed the challenges that San Joaquin Valley farmers face and how they are responding.
Seated on the panel were Jason Phillips, CEO of the Friant Water Authority; Dr. David Sunding, an economist and professor at UC Berkeley; and Jack Rice, farmer and consultant.