Coverage by Don Wright, Water Wrights:
“The Public Policy Institute of California held a seminar on Friday, February 22, 2019 at California State University Fresno’s Satellite Student Union. “Water and the Future of the San Joaquin Valley” was the title of the day’s event. This is also the title of the report prepared by PPIC and FSU.
Things kicked off at 8:30am with delicious sausage, egg and cheese English muffin sandwiches and fresh pastries with coffee and orange juice. Why even mention this? I go to a lot of meetings and I notice when folks start with a decent breakfast the day really does go better. PPIC has a reputation for staging pretty good shows and starting with good food really tied the “ag thing” together. They did something right because the room was packed with folks standing in the aisles. There were more than 300 people is my guess. … “
Click here to continue reading at Water Wrights: PPIC Seminar Fresno State February 22, 2019
“Local groundwater regulatory agencies set up under 2014 legislation in California are discussing future rationing schemes with irrigators as they scramble to submit long-term aquifer sustainability plans to the state by a deadline of early next year.
The plans are required by January 2020 for the state’s 21 most critically overdrafted or important basins. Most of those basins are in the San Joaquin Valley, where surface water cutbacks in recent years led to an overreliance on wells. … ”
Read more from the Western Farm Press here: Agencies plan for water rationing under SGMA
“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority meeting Thursday ended on a surprise note, when Commander Peter Benson delivered a letter from NAWS Commander Captain Paul Dale. Benson is the non-voting member representing the Department of the Navy on the groundwater authority board.
Dated Feb. 20, 2019, and addressed to the Indian Wells Valley Ground Water Authority Board of Directors, the letter states that it is intended as a formal communication that “Commander Navy Region Southwest (CNRSW), in consultation with U.S. Navy commands located within the Indian Wells Valley, deems groundwater resources as the number one encroachment concern/issue which has the potential to impact missions enabled on and around Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.”
It goes on to state that “Water sustainability is critical to NAWSCL’s mission accomplishment.” … ”
Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Navy to Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority: Groundwater ‘No. 1 encroachment issue’
“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority met at City Hall on Thursday morning, first with an hour-long closed session meeting, covering potential litigation, followed by a five-hour regular meeting.
The 2019 IWVGA budget was not approved, after several board members and a handful of residents voiced their concerns over the presentation. For starters, the budget that was presented was different from the one that was in the packet. A handful of numbers had been updated, including the total revenue (pump fee revenue and stressed counties grant revenue reimbursements) as well as a couple of lines in the expenditures section. … ”
Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: No budget approved, Navy weighs in at IWV Groundwater Authority meeting
Ellen Hanak, Alvar Escriva-Bou, and Sarge Green write:
“The San Joaquin Valley is on the brink of a major transition as it seeks to balance its groundwater accounts. California’s largest farming region has the state’s biggest groundwater deficit — almost 2 million acre-feet per year by our estimates.
To put it in context, that’s about one Don Pedro Reservoir’s worth of water a year. Groundwater overdraft — pumping more than is replenished over the long term — makes wells go dry, increases energy required to pump water and causes land to sink, which in turn damages major regional infrastructure. These harmful impacts have become increasingly costly to address. … ”
Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Analysis says to end Valley’s groundwater overdraft, farmland must be retired
“The city of Roseville is taking full advantage of the recent storms and water surplus going into Folsom Reservoir to fully test its groundwater storage plan. The city currently has six groundwater pumping stations that were used during the drought. But the stations have the ability to pump water back into the aquifer as well. The Folsom Dam currently has three gates open to release enough water so it has room to capture flood water. … ”
Read more from Fox 40 here: Roseville testing groundwater storage plan
Climate Change and Groundwater: Incorporating Climate Realities and Uncertainties into California’s Groundwater Planning
From the Union of Concerned Scientists and Stanford’s Water in the West:
Climate change is fundamentally transforming the way we manage water in the Western U.S. The recent Fourth California Climate Change Assessment lays out the many pressures facing water managers in California in detail. One key take-away of that Assessment is that past climate conditions will not be a good proxy for the state’s water future, and smarter strategies are needed to manage California’s water. Just one-third of the snowpack that the state has historically relied on as a natural water reservoir is projected to remain by 2100; hotter temperatures will dry out soils faster and earlier in the year; and the atmospheric rivers that already cause intense flooding in the state will likely carry more moisture as the atmosphere warms. All of this will require a transformation in the way that we, here in California and elsewhere, plan for our water future.
Continue reading at the Union of Concerned Scientists here: Climate Change and Groundwater: Incorporating Climate Realities and Uncertainties into California’s Groundwater Planning
From the Ridgecrest News Review:
The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority has continually discussed its need for additional well data needed to draft an adequate Groundwater Sustain-ability Plan for IWV pumpers. Recently, the Authority heard a brief presentation from Lee Knudtson of Wellntell, who offered an opportunity to upgrade the Authority’s well-monitoring capabilities.
“We’ve invented a tool for monitoring water levels and pumping activity from domestic wells and small ag wells,” said Knudtson. “Several federal and state agencies have adopted our technologies because they’re easy to use and less expensive.”
To continue reading at the Ridgecrest News & Review, click here: Well monitoring tech offered to Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority
The Freshwater Trust, IBM Research and SweetSense Inc. aim to make groundwater usage sustainable
From the Freshwater Trust:
The Freshwater Trust (TFT), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems, is partnering with IBM Research and SweetSense Inc. , a provider of low-cost satellite connected sensors, to pilot technologies which can accurately monitor and track groundwater use in one of the largest and most at risk aquifers in North America. Additional research support will be provided by the University of Colorado Boulder.
Jointly funded by the Water Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the project’s scientists and engineers will demonstrate how the blockchain and remote Internet of Things (IoT) sensors can accurately measure groundwater usage transparently, and in real-time.
The sensors will transmit water extraction data to orbiting satellites and then to the IBM Blockchain Platform hosted in the IBM Cloud. The blockchain will record of all data exchanges or transactions made in an append-only, immutable ledger. The blockchain also uses “smart contracts,” whereby transactions are automatically executed when the conditions are matched.
From the Department of Water Resources:
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced final decisions for groundwater basin boundary modifications requested by local agencies as part of the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Draft results were released in November 2018 and finalized after a public comment period, a public meeting, and a public presentation to the California Water Commission. The final basin boundaries incorporate comments received during this period and resulted in the revision of three of the original draft decisions.
“SGMA is a central feature of the sustainable water future of California and the department is working with locals to successfully implement this landmark legislation,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “These final decisions on basin boundaries move local water agencies forward as they work to bring their basins into balance.”
Under SGMA, basin boundaries define the geographical area included in each groundwater basin. Once basin boundaries are finalized, the basins are then prioritized to determine which will be required to develop groundwater sustainability plans.
Of the 517 groundwater basins and subbasins in California, local agencies submitted 43 requests for basin modifications for either scientific or jurisdictional reasons. Scientific modifications are based on geologic or hydrologic conditions, while jurisdictional modifications change boundaries to promote sustainable groundwater management.
DWR staff reviewed all information provided with the requests and approved modifications that met the requirements of the Basin Boundary Regulations. In the draft decision, DWR approved 33, denied seven, and partially approved three modification requests. In the final decision, 35 requests were approved, four were denied, and four were partially approved. Partially approved means some portions of the modification requests were adequately supported by the information provided and were approved, while other portions were not and were denied.