“We’re having one of the best rainfall seasons in years, with drought conditions easing for much of the state. But one of the nation’s leading oceanographers says there’s much more involved before the impacts of the drought are completely gone, and that it could take years to replenish groundwater supplies.
Former NASA oceanographer Dr. Bill Patzert says while we had the possibility of El Nino conditions going into the rainfall season, which could have magnified rain amounts, it didn’t happen. Patzert says El Nino was “El No-Show”. … ”
Read more from KCLU here: Patzert says not so fast with declaring drought over; groundwater recovery could take years
ASU scientists using latest space technology to assess the health of a large aquifer system in California’s San Joaquin Valley
“A team of Arizona State University scientists has been using the latest space technology, combined with ground measurements, to assess the health of one of the nation’s most important sources of underground water, a large aquifer system located in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
The team, comprised of School of Earth and Space Exploration researchers Chandrakanta Ojha, Susanna Werth and Manoochehr Shirzaei, focused on the San Joaquin Valley’s most recent drought period, from 2012 to 2015, measuring both groundwater loss and aquifer storage loss. The results of their findings have been recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research. … ”
Read more from Arizona State University here: ASU scientists using latest space technology to assess the health of a large aquifer system in California’s San Joaquin Valley
“Candice Meneghin serves on the board of the Fillmore and Piru Basins (FPB) Groundwater Sustainability Agency as an environmental representative for the Santa Clara River Environmental Groundwater Committee. She also serves on the board of a local nonprofit, Friends of the Santa Clara River, which both fills the Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) seat as the environmental lead for the committee on the Fillmore and Piru Basins GSA, and fills the environmental representative seat on the Mound Basin GSA on the low Santa Clara River.
She spoke to Clean Water Action’s communications manager about her work representing environmental interests in the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) process. … ”
Read more from the We All Live Downstream blog here: Community participation in Groundwater Sustainability: Ventura County
“After nearly three decades of groundwater monitoring, the federal government’s foremost Earth science agency has collected enough data to begin identifying long-term pollution trends in the country’s largest aquifers. A few trends, that is, but not many.
Two clear patterns that the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment found are that concentrations of chloride and sodium are climbing nationally, while in farm regions in California and southern Georgia, nitrate levels have increased. … ”
Read more from Circle of Blue here: Is U.S. Groundwater Quality Getting Better or Worse? It’s Hard to Say
“The Friant Water Authority Tuesday morning issued the following statement regarding the flooding in Strathmore last weekend with the hope of clearing up some possible misunderstandings as to the cause of the flooding:
“The flooding experienced in a residential neighborhood in Strathmore near the Friant-Kern Canal over the weekend is not due to overtopping of the Friant-Kern Canal’s banks — which did not occur — and is also not related to subsidence problems or conveyance restrictions on the Friant-Kern Canal, but rather to drainage from Frazier Creek. The Friant-Kern Canal’s integrity has not been compromised. … ”
Read more from the Porterville Recorder here: Friant Water Authority: FWA: Strathmore flooding not the result of canal subsidence or overflow
“North County political leaders responsible for the health of the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin are launching discussions about which multi-million-dollar water projects could help solve the aquifer’s woes—and how basin pumpers will pay for them.
In the future, the basin, which serves much of Paso Robles wine country, could start receiving water from the State Water Project, Lake Nacimiento, and/or the Salinas Dam. … ”
Read more from New Times SLO here: Paso Robles groundwater committee seeks public input on supply projects, pumping fees
“Implementing the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act—which requires overdrafted groundwater basins to achieve balance between supply and demand by the 2040s—could require taking at east 500,000 acres of irrigated cropland out of production in the San Joaquin Valley.
While some lands will be converted to uses such as solar energy, groundwater recharge, and restored habitat, there are no current plans for most of this acreage. We talked to Soapy Mulholland, president and CEO of Sequoia Riverlands Trust, about this impending challenge.
PPIC: What key challenges does this land use transition pose?
Soapy Mulholland: The challenges of managing this amount of land if it’s fallowed piecemeal―5 acres here, 30 there—are huge. A hodgepodge of retired lands would be very difficult to manage and restore. … “
Read more from the PPIC Blog here: The challenges of changing land use in the San Joaquin Valley
“The San Joaquin Valley is in a time of great change. Decades of groundwater overuse have caused drinking water and irrigation wells to go dry, increased the amount of energy required to pump water, harmed ecosystems, and reduced the reserves available to cope with future droughts.
Groundwater overdraft has also caused land to sink, damaging major regional infrastructure, including canals that deliver water across the state. These problems spurred the enactment of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which requires local water users across California to bring groundwater use to sustainable levels by the early 2040s.
With California’s largest groundwater deficit, the San Joaquin Valley is ground zero for implementing SGMA. … ”
Read more from the PPIC blog here: A winning approach for managing groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley
“When it opened in 1951, the Friant-Kern Canal carried at least 4,000 cubic feet of water per second along its route from Millerton Lake, north of Fresno, to Bakersfield.
Then something unfortunate happened. A 25-mile stretch of land between Terra Bella and Pixley began to sink, and kept sinking, to the point that the canal’s gravity-powered water flow has slowed to about 1,700 cubic feet per second.
The subsidence, caused by over-pumping of groundwater during drought years, means 60 percent less drinking and irrigation water can be delivered to communities along the 152-mile conveyance. … ”
Read more from Bakersfield.com here: Engineers design repairs to sunken section of Friant-Kern Canal while politicians look for funding
“San Luis Obispo County supervisors are exploring what it’d take to bolster the county’s authority in issuing groundwater well permits.
Following a report about groundwater conditions in the Adelaida region of the North County on Feb. 26, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to have its staff look at how it could increase the level of review and discretion the county has over approving or denying well applications. … ”
Read more from New Times SLO here: SLO County eyes new rules on well drilling