SGMA in the News

This week at the Groundwater Exchange …

October 25, 2018

Hello!

There are interesting groundwater events coming up I want to alert you to:

On Saturday, October 27, Self Help Enterprises is hosting a Groundwater Sustainability Workshop in Visalia from 10am to 3pm.  To RSVP, contact: Sonia Sanchez, (559) 802-1689, SoniaS@selfhelpenterprises.org

On Wednesday, October 31st, a SGMA Survival Roundtable at the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State from 2pm to 4pm.  Waterwrights.net and DisinfectWater present a discussion about the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014.  Click here for more information and to register.

On Monday, November 5, a groundwater recharge workshop in Acampo from 9am to 12pm.   Presented by Sustainable Conservation, the workshop will focus on how farmers, landowners and water districts can use active and fallow farmland to increase groundwater recharge while avoiding crop health problems, minimizing nutrient leaching and disruption of annual farm operations. Click here for more information and to register.

For more groundwater events, check out our groundwater calendar.   And be sure to send us your groundwater-related events for inclusion.

Category: This week

DR. JEFF MOUNT: Making groundwater a centerpiece of managing the droughts of the future

October 24, 2018
Aerial view at Lake Oroville showing “The Enterprise Bridge” (Lumpkin Road) along the South Fork (above “The Green Bridge”).  Photo by DWR.
Four essential policy reforms are needed to reduce the social, economic, and environmental costs of future droughts, says Dr. Mount

From Maven’s Notebook:

California’s climate is changing. Hotter temperatures, a shrinking snowpack, shorter and more intense wet seasons, rising sea level, and more volatile precipitation—with wetter wet years and drier dry years—are stressing the state’s water management system. Recent climate projections indicate that the pace of change will increase. To avoid unwanted social, economic, and environmental consequences, the water system will need to adapt to greater climate extremes and growing water scarcity.

Dr.Jeff Mount is senior fellow with the Public Policy Institute of California, Water Policy Center. At the Western Groundwater Congress, hosted by Groundwater Resources Association of California, he argued that managing groundwater resources sustainably is the most important climate adaptation measure that the state can implement, and discussed four essential reforms are needed to reduce the social, economic, and environmental costs of future droughts. … “

Read the article from Maven’s Notebook here:  DR. JEFF MOUNT: Making groundwater a centerpiece of managing the droughts of the future


Ventura County: Groundwater allocation between cities and agriculture up for discussion

October 24, 2018

From the Ventura County Star:

“A state water management agency will consider a new pumping allocation formula on Wednesday that city officials fear will lead to higher water rates.  The Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency board is expected to vote on an ordinance that sets pumping allocation for agricultural and municipal users.

The proposal calls for municipal and industrial users to pump no more than 35,000 acre-feet of groundwater a year, representing less than 40 percent of the total allocation.  There are two groups that pump water from the Oxnard and Pleasant Valley basins — agricultural and municipal and industrial. Negotiations have been taking place for years with the groundwater management agency as it prepares a sustainability plan under state conservation mandates. … ”

Read more from the Ventura County Star here:  Ventura County:  Groundwater allocation between cities and agriculture up for discussion

Category: News Article

Public workshop to discuss sustainable groundwater management in Sierra Valley

October 22, 2018

From Plumas County News:

“The public will have an opportunity to learn about local implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in the Sierra Valley Basin at a workshop Thursday, Oct. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Sierra Christian Church, 81059 Highway 70, in Beckwourth. … “

Continue reading at Plumas County News here:  Public workshop to discuss sustainable groundwater management in Sierra Valley

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley: Johnson cites aggressive schedule for GSP development

October 21, 2018

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“With a tightening deadline to submit a groundwater sustainability plan to the state, the IWV Groundwater Authority’s water resources manager plans to move more aggressively in the development process.  Steve Johnson, the water resources manager and Stetson Engineers, Inc. president, highlighted that fact Thursday during the Groundwater Authority’s board meeting.

Johnson said that given the Groundwater Authority’s tight timeline to complete and submit the sustainability plan, Stetson Engineers will be pursuing an aggressive schedule to get components done. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley: Johnson cites aggressive schedule for GSP development

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority talk health and safety, imported water

October 21, 2018

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“Health and safety concerns became a topic of discussion at Thursday’s Indian Wells Valley Groundwater board meeting when Ridgecrest resident Nick Panzer broached the subject.  Speaking during public comment, Panzer presented a letter to board addressing possible water allocations down the road as the Groundwater Authority prepares its sustainability plan.

“We must end overdraft in our basin,” Panzer said. “That means we must reduce pumping from about 28,000 acre feet a year to about 7,000 acre-feet per year.” … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority talk health and safety, imported water

Category: News Article

Paso Robles: Defending pumping

October 19, 2018

From New Times San Luis Obispo:

“A Santa Clara County jury served four Paso Robles-area government agencies a victory in court on Sept. 24, concluding in a unanimous ruling that those public water purveyors had established a right to pump from the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin—even in adverse conditions, like a drought.

After a month-long trial stemming from a 2013 lawsuit filed by private landowners, the jury ruled that the agencies—San Luis Obispo County, the city of Paso Robles, Templeton Community Services District (CSD), and San Miguel CSD—successfully proved that they’d established overriding rights to basin water between 1981 and 1990, when the aquifer was in a state of overdraft. … ”

Read more from New Times SLO here:  Defending pumping

Category: News Article

California Leans Heavily on its Groundwater, But Will a Court Decision Tip the Scales Against More Pumping?

October 19, 2018

From Western Water:

“In 1983, a landmark California Supreme Court ruling forced Los Angeles to cut back its take of water from Eastern Sierra creeks that fed Mono Lake. Some 35 years later, an appellate court concluded the same public trust doctrine that applied in the Mono Lake case also applies to groundwater that feeds a navigable river in a picturesque corner of far Northern California. But will this latest ruling have the same impact on California water resources as the historic Mono Lake decision?”

Read more from Western Water here:  California Leans Heavily on its Groundwater, But Will a Court Decision Tip the Scales Against More Pumping?

Category: News Article

Why California law requires a clear benefit for groundwater recharge

October 18, 2018

From Water Deeply:

Researchers at the University of California recently highlighted a flaw in state law that may prohibit diverting streamflow to recharge groundwater. The problem is that groundwater recharge by itself is not considered a “beneficial use” under state law, and meeting that definition is a requirement to obtain a permit to divert water.

Officials at the State Water Resources Control Board, which oversees water rights, say the reality is not so clear-cut. In fact, existing rules allow most groundwater recharge projects to obtain a water right. It’s just that they may not be awarded that right for the act of recharge by itself. The applicant would have to specifically target some ancillary benefit of recharge, such as salinity control in an aquifer or reversing land subsidence caused by overpumping groundwater. … ”

Read more from Water Deeply here:  Why California law requires a clear benefit for groundwater recharge

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s light agenda features POAM, Prop 1 status

October 18, 2018

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority meets Thursday at 11 a.m. at Ridgecrest City Council council chambers, 100 W. California Ave.

The Groundwater Authority board will have a light agenda, including a report from Steve Johnson, the water resources manager and president of Stetson Engineers.  Johnson’s report will include discussion of the Groundwater Authority’s Plan of Action and Milestones, which serves as the agency’s roadmap in developing the Groundwater Sustainability Plan, as well as topics including the status of a Proposition 1 grant application, and updates on the pumping fee status and schedule. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s light agenda features POAM, Prop 1 status

Category: News Article