SGMA in the News

After local outcry, a Harvard-owned vineyard project faces environmental review

March 7, 2019

“California farmer Brenton Kelly still remembers how the Cuyama Valley used to be.  The valley, located in California’s Central Coast region, has long been home to an abundance of wildlife.

Historically, the land has been used for cattle pastures, and featured “beautiful rolling grassy hill” and an “amazing wildflower show,” according to Kelly.  These days, however, the land has been taken over by large commercial farms and vineyards, Kelly said. … ”

Read more from the Harvard Crimson here:  After local outcry, a Harvard-owned vineyard project faces environmental review

Category: News Article

Madera County growers tackle water issues

March 7, 2019

“Local growers and others met last week for a triple tour of Madera County water users Friday and an on-farm groundwater recharge workshop Wednesday.

What we’re trying to do is get different types of beneficial users together so that they can listen to each other’s successes and challenges,” said county Water and Natural Resources Department director Stephanie Anagnoson about the tours.

Participants visited AgriLand Farming Company in Chowchilla, Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Fairmead, and the Ellis Recharge Basin in northeast Madera. The stops were part of a special meeting of the Advisory Committee for area groundwater sustainability agencies. … ”

Read more from the Madera Tribune here:  Madera County growers tackle water issues

Category: News Article

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