SGMA in the News

In Borrego Springs Tourism, Farming Industries Face Uncertainty With Looming Water Cuts

March 7, 2019

“Although part of San Diego County, Borrego Springs is definitely off the beaten path. The small community is a two-hour drive from downtown San Diego.

“The remoteness of ourselves — there’s no freeway coming here,” said Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce President Patrick Sampson, who is also general manager of the La Casa Del Zorro resort.   “If you’re going to Borrego Springs — you’re coming to Borrego Springs.” … ”

Read more from KPBS here:  In Borrego Springs Tourism, Farming Industries Face Uncertainty With Looming Water Cuts

Category: News Article

California uses blockchain and IoT to manage groundwater use

March 6, 2019

” … For decades, farmers and businesses have pumped groundwater out of California’s aquifers, the permeable layers of rock that hold water underground, and the results have been frightening. As aquifers drain faster than rain can replenish them, the ground actually sinks, a phenomenon called “subsidence.” In areas where building and roads rest atop the ground, this can cause damage. …

If California is going to prevent further depletion of aquifers and survive droughts like the one that afflicted it from 2011 to 2017, the state will need to manage its groundwater usage. In the central valley, a group of organizations is working on a project that could stem the tide by combining two technologies: the internet of things (IoT) and Blockchain. … ”

Read more from Digital Trends here:  Blockchain is overhyped, but it’s also perfect for California’s drought problem

Category: News Article

Measuring success in groundwater management

March 6, 2019

“The passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 was a watershed moment, establishing the first statewide framework for managing California’s critical groundwater resources. Under this framework, one of the key challenges facing newly formed local government agencies responsible for groundwater management is to establish and implement quantitative metrics for sustainability.

To help local agencies do this, a new report from Water in the West examines how four special act districts in California have used quantitative thresholds to adaptively manage groundwater.

These case studies provide valuable insights on the development and implementation of performance metrics and will be important in guiding local agencies. … ”

Read more from Stanford News here:  Measuring success in groundwater management

Wet winter aids groundwater replenishment

March 6, 2019

“Heavy rains this winter will help replenish groundwater aquifers and benefit projects that use excess surface water to recharge groundwater basins. Water managers say such projects will be key to addressing California’s groundwater woes.

At the California Department of Water Resources, planners focus on a voluntary strategy known as Flood-MAR, which stands for “managed aquifer recharge.” The strategy combines floodwater operations and groundwater management in an effort to benefit working landscapes, and could also aid local groundwater agencies as they implement the state Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires overdrafted groundwater basins to be in balance by the 2040s. … ”

Read more from Ag Alert here:  Wet winter aids groundwater replenishment

Category: News Article

Community Participation in Groundwater Sustainability: A Tale of Two Rivers

March 6, 2019

“In some California basins, sustainable groundwater management can mean the difference between whether a species goes extinct or a community’s drinking water becomes contaminated. The stakes are high.

Felice Pace, an activist who works for the North Coast Stream Flow Coalition, talks to Clean Water Action about salmon, surface flows, and the importance of community involvement in the Smith and Scott River Groundwater Sustainability Plans.”

Continue reading at the We All Live Downstream blog  by clicking here.

Colusa County: A series of town hall meetings on groundwater

March 6, 2019

“The Colusa County Groundwater Authority – in coordination with the Colusa County Groundwater Commission – will be hosting a series of town-hall style public outreach meetings, providing landowners the opportunity to hear the latest updates and local implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. … ” 

Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  A series of town hall meetings on groundwater

Category: News Article

Russian River: Groundwater, our invisible but critical water source

March 6, 2019

Ann DuBay writes,

“You can’t see them. You can’t swim in them. But groundwater aquifers are one of the most important sources of water in the North Coast. Aquifers are water-rich underground areas. They aren’t like lakes or pools but are composed of water-filled areas between rocks, sands, and gravels.  Plants and animals benefit from groundwater when it’s near the surface, and feeds creeks and streams.

Humans tap into aquifers through wells used for drinking, irrigating crops and operating businesses. People who live in rural areas rely almost exclusively on groundwater, and while cities in Sonoma and Mendocino counties get most of their water from the Russian River, groundwater provides a critical back-up source that is used during droughts or in emergencies. … ”

Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here:  Russian River:  Groundwater, our invisible but critical water source

Category: News Article

A massive aquifer lies beneath the Mojave Desert. Could it help solve California’s water problem?

March 4, 2019

“The landscape here is more Martian than Earthly, rust and tan plains that rise in the distance to form the Old Woman Mountains to the east and the Bristols and Marbles to the north and west.  Almost everything here is protected by the federal government.

The opportunity or threat, depending on your point of view, lies beneath the dusty surface that, after a recent rain, blooms with sprays of yellow desert dandelion.

There is water here in the Mojave Desert. A lot of it. … ”

Read more from the Washington Post here:  A massive aquifer lies beneath the Mojave Desert. Could it help solve California’s water problem?

Category: News Article

Groundwater in Siskiyou County: Understanding the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

February 28, 2019

“The Groundwater Sustainability Agency of Siskiyou County, in association with the Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District will host a public workshop regarding groundwater and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act on Thursday, March 14, from 2–6 p.m.

The meeting will take place at the Best Western Miner’s Inn Convention Center in Yreka and will include a review of what SGMA is; the role of Department of Water Resources; Siskiyou County’s roles and responsibilities; current status of SGMA implementation and on-going matters related to groundwater and SGMA both locally and statewide. … ”

Read more from the Siskiyou Daily News here: Groundwater in Siskiyou County: Understanding the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

CA IRRIGATION INSTITUTE: Groundwater Sustainability Plan development: How is it going on the ground?

February 27, 2019
A San Joaquin Valley perspective, a Sacramento Valley perspective, a researcher’s perspective and a consultant’s perspective on GSP development

Since the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014, people across the state have been working to implement the legislation.  With Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) formed to manage the groundwater basins that are subject to SGMA, the agencies now turn to the major task at hand: developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan that will meet the requirements of the legislation.

Developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan is a complex and intensive process and the deadline for plan adoption is coming up fast.  Critically-overdrafted basins have less than a year; their Groundwater Sustainability Plans must be adopted by January 31, 2020.  All other GSAs must adopt their plans by January 31, 2022.

So how are GSAs around the state progressing in developing their plans?  At the recent California Irrigation Institute conference, four speakers gave their perspective on plan development.  Seated on the panel was Jerritt Martin, the Deputy General Manager at Central California Irrigation District (CCID); Mary Fahey, Program Manager for the Colusa Groundwater Authority and Water Resources Manager for Colusa County; Tara Moran, Research Associate and Program Lead for Sustainable Groundwater at Stanford’s Water in the West; and Dan Dooley, principal with New Current Water and Land LLC, a strategic consulting firm on water and land-related issues.

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