SGMA in the News

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

Groundwater: Local agencies await finalized basin priorities

October 17, 2018

From Ag Alert:

“As local agencies tackle the task of writing groundwater sustainability plans for basins around California, two ongoing processes will affect both the number and the scope of those plans.

Next month, the state Department of Water Resources plans to finalize its rankings of basins and sub-basins that will need to produce groundwater management plans by early 2022. Next spring, DWR plans to finalize boundaries for 43 basins where local agencies requested changes before writing their plans.

Meanwhile, agencies overseeing critically overdrafted basins must have their sustainability plans finished in about 15 months—by Jan. 31, 2020. … “

Read more from Ag Alert here:  Groundwater: Local agencies await finalized basin priorities

Category: News Article

The Connection between Groundwater and Surface Water

October 15, 2018

From the PPIC Blog:

“When the California Legislature created the “modern” water rights regulatory system more than a century ago, it focused exclusively on surface water, exempting groundwater from the permitting system. Yet in most watersheds, surface water and groundwater are closely linked. Actions that change one often have an impact on the other. The arbitrary legal divide has made it harder to manage the state’s water. But a recent law and a new court decision have done a better job of connecting surface water and groundwater.

When rain falls or snow melts in the foothills and mountains of California, water follows several pathways downhill and into rivers and streams. Some water moves across the land or through deep soils and weathered bedrock, arriving in rivers hours to weeks after rain or snowmelt. And some percolates deep into the ground, becoming groundwater. … “

Read more from the PPIC blog here: The Connection between Groundwater and Surface Water

Category: PPIC Blog

METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT: Update on Southern California regional groundwater conditions

October 15, 2018
Data shows groundwater recharge in the region has declined by 1.1 MAF since 2000; storage remains at unhealthy levels

From Maven’s Notebook:

“At the October meeting of Metropolitan’s Water Planning and Stewardship Committee, Senior Engineer Matt Hacker updated the committee members on regional groundwater conditions, including groundwater production, recharge, and storage conditions.

There are 88 groundwater basins and subbasins within the Metropolitan service area.  Groundwater provides over 1/3rd of the region’s water supplies.  89% of the basins within the Metropolitan service area either are adjudicated or managed. … “

Continue reading at Maven’s Notebook here:  METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT: Update on Southern California regional groundwater conditions