Proposed north Butte County water district stirring controversy
“A proposal for a new Butte County water district is wending its way through the approval process, and not everyone is happy about that. The Tuscan Water District would cover most of the northwestern county, excluding Chico. The area is dependent on well water. Under a recently approved state law, the amount of groundwater currently being pumped in the area will have to be reduced. Each well owner is currently on their own. No entity speaks for them as a group. Proponents say the Tuscan Water District would be that advocate for the whole area. However a handful of farming families own the majority of the land in the district, and opponents think they could stack the district’s board of directors to the detriment of the others. … ” Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: Proposed north Butte County water district stirring controversy
Butte Water Commission backs water district proposal
“A proposed water district in northwestern Butte County Wednesday won a split-vote endorsement from the Butte County Water Commission, after a lengthy public hearing. The commission voted 6-3 to recommend the Board of Supervisors support formation of the Tuscan Water District. Even though the vote was just advisory, there were two hours of public comment. When the supervisors take up the matter Sept. 14, their action will also just be advisory, as the Local Agency Formation Commission is the entity that will determine whether the district is formed. … ” Read more from the Oroville Mercury Register here: Butte Water Commission backs water district proposal
Cosumnes subbasin draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan available for public review
“A 20-year plan that will govern how people in south Sacramento County and parts of Amador County use groundwater and pay to sustain its availability has been released for public review and comment. Comments are due October 20, 2021.The plan includes broad-based fees on wells and water usage, with the largest portion of the funds generated earmarked for projects that are designed to increase the availability of groundwater in the future. The draft Cosumnes Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) is a state-mandated plan for achieving sustainable management of groundwater use in the southeastern portion of Sacramento County and parts of Amador County. … ” Read more from the Amador Ledger-Dispatch here: Cosumnes subbasin draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan available for public review
Cooperation, not opposition, is key to solving California’s groundwater management
Merced County supervisor Daron McDaniel and Calavaras County supervisor Jack Garamendi write, “Once again, we find ourselves in a drought and running out of water. For the second time in the past decade, we are enduring another frustrating and uncertain period, asking how we will sustain the citizens of California as well as the agriculture that feeds the world. Drought is not new to California and we have engineered one of the most comprehensive and complex systems on the planet to water our crops and people. What has changed is that the investments our grandparents made that allowed our state to bloom are now deteriorating, our water storage is inadequate, and we are woefully behind in managing the vast, but declining aquifer that runs throughout our state. … ” Read more from the Merced Sun-Star here: Cooperation, not opposition, is key to solving California’s groundwater management
Madera County residents and farmers face groundwater challenge of a lifetime
“Madera County is running out of time as groundwater levels plummet to new depths. Wells are going dry everywhere. Drillers have months-long waitlists. Residents are scrambling for water tanks. And farmers will soon face a reckoning after agriculture’s footprint, particularly nut trees, has more than doubled in the past 50 years — far outpacing irrigation supplies. There’s growing consensus among farmers, county officials and residents that Madera’s groundwater problem will be solved mainly by cutting water demand, not by waiting for more dams to be built or even recharging excess water into the aquifer. … ” Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Madera County residents and farmers face groundwater challenge of a lifetime
Madera commentary: Is anyone listening?
Tom Willey with T&D Willey Farms writes, “One courageous voice in our community has been sounding the alarm that our precious aquifer, lifeblood of our economy, households, and public facilities, is in imminent collapse. For the better part of this year, Matt Angell, managing partner of Madera Pumps Inc., has been reeling his video camera down failing wells across the county, stunned by the unprecedented conditions he is witnessing. Plunging water levels, well casings crushed and split like beer cans, and good wells reduced to a trickle of their recent selves, have Matt sounding the cry that our community must respond in equal measure to the challenge before us. We are not. Is anyone listening? … ” Continue reading at the Madera Tribune here: Madera commentary: Is anyone listening?
Some Monterey County growers are risking a fragile resource to survive the drought.
“In the midst of a widespread drought, Lakes San Antonio and Nacimiento, critically important reservoirs for Monterey County, are at their lowest capacity levels since 2017. When the lakes get low, the ability to get enough water to some agricultural growers gets complicated. Add politics and Covid to the mix and you get the scramble underway between the region’s sewage agency, the city of Salinas and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency to deliver water to thousands of acres of crops and protect a fragile underground water supply. … ” Read more from the Monterey County Weekly here: Some Monterey County growers are risking a fragile resource to survive the drought.
Edna Valley farmers, residents, and water companies collaborate on plan to stabilize groundwater basin
“Water wells in the Edna Valley used to be shallow: “You could put a well to 30 or 40 feet. Well that’s just kind of unrealistic [now],” Edna Valley Growers Mutual Company President Bob Schiebelhut said. Some of those shallow wells didn’t make it through the last drought, drying up and forcing landowners to drill a little deeper. Now in a new drought, Edna Valley farmers and residents are once again praying for rain, Schiebelhut said. But they’re also moving forward with SLO County and the city of SLO on a plan to make their groundwater more drought resilient. The 30-day comment period on a draft of that plan—which covers approximately 20 square miles from the city of San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly to Lopez Reservoir just before Orcutt Road meets Lopez Drive—ends on Sept. 19. … ” Read more from New Times SLO here: Edna Valley farmers, residents, and water companies collaborate on plan to stabilize groundwater basin
SLO County develops tools to sell, transfer, and exchange state water
“Fifth District SLO County Supervisor Debbie Arnold’s concerns about groundwater banking persist as the county takes steps to enable more flexibility for its unused State Water Project water. “I’ve been pretty clear all along, I don’t want to ever see our basins here in the county be used for groundwater banks at all, especially with state water,” Arnold said during the Aug. 24 Board of Supervisors meeting. “If we have excess state water, I think we start to concentrate—where we build the infrastructure to put it in above ground storage like Lopez [Lake], so that people in our county can use it. … But not groundwater banking.” … ” Read more from New Times SLO here: SLO County develops tools to sell, transfer, and exchange state water
Cuyama Valley groundwater basin joins growing list of post-SGMA comprehensive groundwater adjudications
“Facing depleting groundwater supplies, a group of landowners in the Cuyama Valley Groundwater Basin, which overlies parts of Ventura, Kern, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara Counties, filed a complaint for a comprehensive adjudication of all the groundwater rights in the basin. In the wake of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Act (“SGMA”), which requires regulation of groundwater for long-term sustainability, and as drought affects water supplies throughout California, a growing number of adjudications are being filed under the Comprehensive Groundwater Adjudication Statute, California Code of Civil Procedure sections 830 et seq. This is the fifth such adjudication filed since 2015, when the California Legislature revised the process for comprehensive groundwater adjudications. These adjudications resolve all water rights in a given groundwater basin. … ” Read more from O’Melveny here: Cuyama Valley groundwater basin joins growing list of post-SGMA comprehensive groundwater adjudications
Groundwater storage increases for local Chino Basin rights holders
“A San Bernardino County Superior Court judge today ruled that local agencies that pump water from the Chino Basin can store and access an additional six-month supply of groundwater, providing significant benefit for 1.5 million people across Inland Southern California. The ruling by Judge Stanford Reichert on this single element of the Chino Basin Optimum Basin Management Program (OBMP) means water providers in the region can retain use of the stockpiled groundwater, worth about $50 million, and have room for more. The Chino Basin Watermaster Board of Directors and staff and the cooperating agencies worked together to craft this solution over the course of several years. … ” Read more from ACWA Water News here: Groundwater storage increases for local Chino Basin rights holders