SGMA in the news …

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

State tells Napa County to form agency to monitor Napa Valley groundwater:  “California has told Napa County to form a local groundwater agency to ensure the underground reservoir that nurtures world-famous wine country is being kept in good shape.  The county submitted more than 1,000 pages of documents to try to avoid that outcome. It argued that the groundwater basin is already being managed sustainably and is nowhere near to being sucked dry.  But the state Department of Water Resources earlier this month reaffirmed a tentative verdict announced in July by rejecting a county appeal. … ”  Read more from the Napa Valley Register here: State tells Napa County to form agency to monitor Napa Valley groundwater

BAY AREA

Zone 7 applies for $500,000 grant from state:  “In order to better plan for safeguarding and preserving the Livermore-Amador Valley water supply, Zone 7 Water Agency is turning to the state and applying for a $500,000 grant that would help achieve their goals.  Zone 7 is the sole Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) for the Livermore Valley Groundwater Basin, which it has overseen for more than 45 years. … ”  Read more from the Livermore Independent here: Zone 7 applies for $500,000 grant from state

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

Water in the bank: Coalition of agencies develops ‘historic’ sustainable groundwater plan:  “There’s progress to report in the momentous task of ensuring that San Joaquin County and surrounding communities have enough water to meet anticipated needs for the next 20 years.  Earlier this month, the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Authority — or ESJGWA, comprised of 16 area agencies including cities, counties and water districts — recommended that each of its member agencies adopt a mutually agreed upon Groundwater Sustainability Plan by Jan. 8. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here: Water in the bank: Coalition of agencies develops ‘historic’ sustainable groundwater plan

Greater Kaweah GSA to partner on easing climate change impacts:  “As California’s groundwater aquifers continue to deplete at what experts consider to be an alarming rate, the state passed a comprehensive groundwater management law in 2014 that is changing how this precious resource is used for the next 20 years and beyond.  Under the law, the state established groundwater sustainability agencies, which are tasked with drafting extensive plans on managing groundwater for their designated water basins. The Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), which is one of three for the Kaweah subbasin, covers most of the subbasin throughout Tulare and Kings counties. … ”  Read more from the Foothills Sun-Gazette here: Greater Kaweah GSA to partner on easing climate change impacts

Locals gear up for fight to keep Kings River water away from Kern district:  “Just as they did more than two generations ago, Kern County farmers are looking to another Central Valley river to the north to refill their groundwater shortfall.  But this time around, natives in the Kings River watershed are “sharpening their knives” to fight off what they say is a desperate water grab.  The sprawling Semitropic Water Storage District, in the northwest corner of Kern County, has filed an application with the State Water Resources Control Board claiming the Kings River Water Association has forfeited two of its floodwater licenses by not using that water. ... ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Locals gear up for fight to keep Kings River water away from Kern district

Video: Kern County In Depth: Ground water regulations:  “The state legislature in 2014 passed the groundwater sustainability management act, a sweeping and unprecedented attempt to halt the widespread depletion of groundwater basins up and down the state.  The implementation of SGMA, as it’s called, will make California the last state in the western U.S. to regulate access to and use of our groundwater supplies.  Since 2014, newly formed groundwater sustainability agencies, or GSA’s have been hammering out the details of how they will comply with this state law…an extremely complicated and contentious endeavour. … ”  Read more from KGET here: Video: Kern County In Depth: Ground water regulations

Water in Tehachapi: A precious commodity in the past and in our future:  “Historically, water is often valued more than gold, runs short of supply, and is even more needed now than in Tehachapi’s past.  Let’s take a look at the water situation in the greater Tehachapi area from the days of old to the present. … ”  Read more from the Tehachapi News here:  Water in Tehachapi: A precious commodity in the past and in our future

CENTRAL COAST

Finished Paso basin sustainability plan awaits final approval:  “Sidestepping continued grumbles from the agricultural industry, the Paso Robles Basin Cooperative Committee recommended final approval of a finished groundwater sustainability plan on Nov. 20, a move that precipitates its submission to the California Department of Water Resources.  The 20-year groundwater plan, required by state law, aims to bring the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin back into balance. … ”  Read more from New Times SLO here: Finished Paso basin sustainability plan awaits final approval

OWENS VALLEY/EASTERN SIERRA

Paiute traditions inform water management practices in once-lush Owens Valley:  “About 250 miles north of Los Angeles, there is a long valley known to the Big Pine and Bishop Northern Paiute people of the Owens Valley — the Nüümü (Paiute) and Newe (Shoshone) — as Payahüünadü, “The Land of Flowing Water.”  For at least 15,000 years, these Northern Paiute tribes have tended their homeland, more recently also known as the Owens Valley. The beloved region of green, well-tended gardens and wetlands, nestled between mountain ranges to the east and west, along California’s eastern edge, was nurtured by extensive and sophisticated irrigation ditches the Northern Paiute built and maintained to channel water from the seasonal, and wildly fluctuating snowmelt flowing down from the nearby Sierra Mountain Range. … ”  Read more from KCET here: Paiute traditions inform water management practices in once-lush Owens Valley

Lawsuit aims to save desert ag: Draft groundwater sustainability plan would end large-scale agriculture in Indian Wells Valley:  “Water managers trying to bring groundwater into balance in the severely overdrafted Indian Wells Valley basin near Ridgecrest laid out a draft plan last month that would essentially mean the end of large-scale agriculture in that desert region.  “We are giving options to (ag) pumpers so they understand they have a limited future here and can make the best decisions for their businesses,” said Kern County Supervisor Mick Gleason, who represents the area and sits on the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board. … ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: Lawsuit aims to save desert ag: Draft groundwater sustainability plan would end large-scale agriculture in Indian Wells Valley

Ridgecrest: Spelling out post-GSP water fee types:  “With the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority moving at increasing speed to wrap up the development of a groundwater sustainability plan by Jan. 31, the question posed is: how will one pay for administration costs and projects the plan proposes.  Ridgecrest City Attorney Keith Lemieux, who is part of the IWVGA’s legal team, provided an overview on mechanisms that would ensure revenue streams over in the coming decades. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Ridgecrest: Spelling out post-GSP water fee types

Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Water District board discusses GSP impact:  “The Indian Wells Valley Water District board discussed its own place in the IWV Groundwater Authority and how its groundwater sustainability would impact them after its implementation.  Board member Ron Kicinski noted that with the release of the entire draft GSP to the IWVGA’s advisory committees and to the public in general, questions will be coming.  The water district is one of five voting member agencies on the IWVGA, with the others being Kern County, the City of Ridgecrest, Inyo and San Bernardino counties. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Indian Wells Valley Water District board discusses GSP impact

Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority report: positive 2020 budget requires increased pump fee:  “Budget discussions will be the top item for the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority as it tackles its 2020 finances at its board meeting on Thursday. The open session starts at 11 a.m. in the Ridgecrest City Hall council chambers, 100 W. California Ave.  According to a staff report, the budget IWVGA initially faced a negative balance of $515,718 by the end of 2020, in part due to underperforming pump fee revenues and the required projected expenses for running the groundwater authority. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority report: positive 2020 budget requires increased pump fee

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Santa Clarita: Water heads name advisers to groundwater agency:  “It wasn’t easy for water officials tasked with hammering out a plan to manage the Santa Clarita Valley’s groundwater to find seven people to serve as the agency’s advisory group, but on Monday, they approved a list of double the number they sought.  Members of the Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency met Monday afternoon for special meeting, in part, to define which volunteers would serve as groundwater advisers. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Valley Signal here: Santa Clarita: Water heads name advisers to groundwater agency