SGMA in the News

Upcoming groundwater events

August 1, 2019

Maurice Hall: Holistic and inclusive groundwater management and SGMA

August 14, Riverside 6pm to 8pm

In his David Keith Todd Distinguished lecture for 2019, Maurice Hall will share his vision on how more holistic and inclusive groundwater management can increase the resilience of our water supply and sustain and enhance the services that groundwater basins provide for a wide range of stakeholders. Maurice will share some suggestions on how the flexibility offered by California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act allows for innovative approaches that support multiple benefits and how engaging stakeholders beyond water interests in shaping groundwater management can lead to more resilient rural communities and strengthen regional cooperation.

For more information and to register, click here.  You do not have to be a member to attend.


WEBINAR: Groundwater Recharge & Environmental Flows: Balancing Our Depleted Supplies & Ecosystem Needs

August 16, 12pm to 1:30pm

Groundwater managers across the state are looking to groundwater recharge as a potential solution to their community’s water challenges. Come join the NGO Groundwater Collaborative for a conversation on the statewide efforts looking at recharge, environmental flows, water rights, and permitting from a panel of experts on the topic. Presentations will be followed by 20-30 minutes of Q&A discussion, so come prepared to engage!

Click here to register.


Pond Planning and Groundwater Recharge Workshop

August 17, Redway (Northern California)

SRF and Sanctuary Forest will host a Pond Planning and Groundwater Recharge Workshop and Field Tour this summer to highlight rainwater catchment ponds and groundwater recharge concepts and opportunities. Presentations will focus on Redwood Creek planning efforts and conceptual designs for the Marshall Ranch flow enhancement planning project, Sanctuary Forest’s pioneering recharge efforts, and expert presentations on groundwater hydrology. The workshop will include a field tour to the Sanctuary Forest Baker Creek project shown above.

Click here for more information and to register for this workshop.


Central Valley Drinking Water – Solutions to Groundwater Contamination Workshop

August 20, Clovis
August 21, Bakersfield

These workshops, presented by the American Groundwater Trust, will discuss:

  • Overall condition of drinking water quality in Central Valley communities
  • Health and economic impacts of inadequate drinking water
  • SGMA requirements related to the availability of safe drinking water
  • Jurisdictional authority/responsibility for ensuring the availability of safe drinking water
  • The natural or anthropogenic origins of chemicals and compounds of concern
  • How correct well drilling, construction and monitoring can have a positive impact on water quality
  • Water quality testing capabilities and the interpretation of test results
  • Water quality treatment technologies, how they work and what they cost
  • Legal remedies for recovering treatment costs by communities, utilities and water agencies
  • How to find funding for capital investment in water infrastructure improvements
  • Case studies of contamination reduction/ removal

Limited number of free registrations available.

Click here to register for Fresno.
Click here to register for Bakersfield.


DWR to host GSP submittal workshops

August 20, 21, 22

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) GSP Reporting System workshop will assist those submitting groundwater sustainability plans(GSPs). The workshop is free, but space is limited so reservations are encouraged and are on a first-come basis.

During the workshop, DWR staff will present information on the updated SGMA Portal, provide step-by-step instructions for GSP submittal, demonstrate the new tool, and answer questions.

Register for the workshops:

Tuesday, Aug. 20, in Fresno;
Wednesday, Aug. 21, in Bakersfield;
Thursday, Aug. 22, webcast/Sacramento


Incentivizing Groundwater Recharge: A Berkeley Law Symposium

September 10, Berkeley

Groundwater aquifers continue to be depleted as pumping exceeds recharge in many regions of the world, adversely affecting human and environmental systems. Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is one crucial strategy to bringing these groundwater resources into sustainable balance. However, understanding is sorely lacking about how to effectively incentivize MAR, and how to navigate the institutions relevant to MAR.

This symposium will seek to fill these knowledge gaps, addressing key questions including: Who benefits from groundwater recharge? What conditions are necessary for a recharge project to succeed? How can implementation be incentivized? How should recharge projects be governed? What emerging and novel techniques hold promise for future MAR?

The symposium aims to move the conversation on MAR forward. To this end, presenters will highlight successful and novel recharge projects from across the U.S.. Experts will also speak to scientific, legal, and management issues in recharge, and how they influence potential incentive schemes. These insights will help inform practitioners and scholars about recharge and chart a path towards developing a broadly applicable framework for enabling recharge.

Click here for more information and to register.


Radio show: An Update On How The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Is Working

August 1, 2019

“When California adopted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014, it became the last Western state to regulate its groundwater. If local groundwater agencies fail to submit plans to the state by 2020, the law says state water agencies could take over management of groundwater, a resource that’s critically important to Valley agriculture.

Moderator Kathleen Schock got an update on how the work is progressing locally from Gary Serrato, executive director of the North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency, Christina Beckstead, executive director of Madera County Farm Bureau, and David Orth with New Current Water and Land.”

Listen to radio show from KVPR here: Radio show: An Update On How The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Is Working

Category: News Article

What Does Groundwater Have to Do with the Delta? A Lot

August 1, 2019

Susan Tatayon, Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council,  writes:

“California has a vast water supply not just in its lakes, rivers, and estuaries, but also underground. For years, California’s cities and farms have depended on this unseen resource, especially in the southern part of the state where rainfall is low, surface water is scarce, and demand is high. In fact, underground aquifers provide about 40 percent of California’s water supply in a normal year and significantly more in dry years.

Groundwater is also something that, until recently, was largely absent from the state’s water management oversight; this changed in 2014 with the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). For the first time in its history, California established minimum standards for sustainable groundwater management.

If local resource managers fail to meet these standards, this legislation authorizes the state to intervene to protect groundwater basins. SGMA is an earth-shaking move toward managing California’s groundwater and surface water as an interconnected system. … ”

Read more from the Delta Stewardship Council’s blog here:  What Does Groundwater Have to Do with the Delta? A Lot

Category: Blogs

To better manage groundwater, first understand it

August 1, 2019

“It may be out of sight, but it should not be out of mind.  Water hidden beneath the earth’s surface comprises 98% of the planet’s fresh water. On average, this groundwater provides a third of all total water consumed, and its preciousness is ever more palpable since Cape Town’s water crisis sent shock waves rippling around the world.

Despite this, its regulation is far from ideal – especially now that drought conditions are intensifying around the globe and people are increasingly drilling downwards.

Before we even start to improve groundwater management, we must better understand and measure it, says international groundwater expert Craig Simmons, from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. … ”

Read more from Cosmos here:  To better manage groundwater, first understand it

Category: News Article

Thirsty for sustainability: Is Paso Robles any closer to solving its groundwater problem?

August 1, 2019

“On a blistering hot July day in San Miguel, Robert Galbraith, 68, bends down and scoops up two handfuls of dry soil. He spreads his fingers and lets the dirt fall back to his fallowed ground.  The motion is symbolic of how Galbraith feels his family farm is slipping away from him.

A San Luis Obispo County policy regulating pumping from the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin has hamstrung how Galbraith can farm his land. … ”

Read more from New Times SLO here:  Thirsty for sustainability: Is Paso Robles any closer to solving its groundwater problem?

Category: News Article

Merced: Groundwater Sustainability Plan up for public review

July 31, 2019

Over the past 18 months, the three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in the Merced Subbasin have worked together to develop a Draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) that is now available for public review and comment.

The three GSAs are as follows: Merced Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MSGSA), Merced Irrigation-Urban Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MIUGSA), and Turner Island Groundwater Sustainability Agency (TIWDGSA-1). … ”

Read more from the Merced Times here: Merced: Groundwater Sustainability Plan up for public review


Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District launching new pilot program

July 26, 2019

“For years, water has been a hot topic of debate for many throughout Kern County and the Central Valley.  Farmers, in particular, have been engaged in a battle over their water usage for seemingly forever. That’s one reason why one local water district is trying a new approach.

“A water market, in essence, that allowed users or landowners within our district to manage the resource more effectively,” Eric Averett, of the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, said. … ”

Read more from Bakersfield Now here: Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District launching new pilot program

Category: News Article
Keywords: Water Markets

Ridgecrest: Banking water for LADWP? Kicinski talks groundwater with Rotary Club

July 26, 2019

““We are real close to defining exactly what stability is and how it is going to affect the valley,” said Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority Chair Ron Kicinski to the Rotary Club of China Lake on Wednesday. Kincinksi, who also serves on the IWV Water Board, made it clear he was speaking as a member of the IWVGA.

Specifically, Kicinski said the model at the moment is that sustainability is being defined at using around 12,000 acre-feet a year of water. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Banking water for LADWP? Kicinski talks groundwater with Rotary Club

Category: News Article

Calaveras County: Comment period on sustainable groundwater plan closes Aug. 25

July 25, 2019

“The deadline for Calaveras County residents in the northwest part of the county to comment on the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Authority’s (ESJGA) Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) is Aug. 25.

For Calaveras County, the plan pertains to about 500 combined residents between Wallace Lake Estates and Valley Springs that rely on groundwater, according to Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) Water Resources Program Manager Peter Martin. Impacts from future activities would mostly be for large water users, like farmers or municipalities, he added. … ”

Read more from the Calaveras Enterprise here: Calaveras County: Comment period on sustainable groundwater plan closes Aug. 25


Close to $3 million of water has reached Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basin

July 24, 2019

“Close to $3 million worth of water has rushed down the Santa Clara River over the past several weeks to recharge groundwater basins in the Oxnard Plain.  The release was part of a deal between the United Water Conservation District and Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency to help recharge aquifers still struggling after years of drought.

United told the Fox Canyon board it could purchase extra water from the California Water Project thanks to a particularly wet winter statewide. Fox Canyon then would buy roughly 15,000 acre-feet of water once it made it to spreading ponds near Oxnard and Camarillo. … ”

Read more from the Ventura County Star here: Close to $3 million of water has reached Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basin