From Sierra Wave:
“The decision to go high or low was more than a political strategy popularized by Michele Obama. For the Owens Valley Groundwater Authority it represented a total commitment to groundwater sustainability under state regulations.
Here’s the deal: the Owens Valley groundwater basin was ranked as a medium priority, requiring the development of a groundwater agency and sustainability plan. Local use would have landed the basin in the low category but the exports by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power landed the valley in the medium range. … “
From the Ridgecrest Independent:
“The Indian Wells Valley Water District board offered up its thoughts on the IWV Groundwater Authority ahead of the latter agency’s meeting today.
At the heart of those concerns was the continued request for a standing finance committee and questions on the Groundwater Authority’s budget as it prepares a groundwater sustainability plan for the IWV basin.
Peter Brown, the Water District’s representative on the board, said he submitted questions on the budget back in June. … “
From the Ridgecrest Independent:
“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board of directors may face a light agenda as it meets Thursday morning.
According to the agenda packet, the Groundwater Authority board will hear from Steve Johnson of Stetson Engineers, who acts as the agency’s water resources manager.
Johnson will also report on the status of the agency’s Proposition 1 grant that it was awarded from the state, reports on the status and schedule of the groundwater extraction fee adopted in July and the first draft of a GSP outline. … “
From the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics, University of California:
Groundwater markets offer a cost-effective means of meeting management goals under the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Using data from the Coachella Valley groundwater basin, we quantify the economic impacts of trade in one of California’s most important agricultural regions. Facilitating groundwater trade under a mandatory basin-wide “cap” on pumping will reduce disruptions to the local economy and keep land in production, relative to a scenario where trade is prohibited.
Specialty Crop Expansion in the Sacramento Valley- An Exploration of Groundwater Recharge Opportunities
From the Northern California Water Association Blog:
Sacramento Area Council of Government (SACOG)’s Sustainable Water Management Strategies for Specialty Crop Expansion in the Sacramento Valley examined scenarios to consider optimal locations for strategic flooding of cropland to maximize groundwater infiltration and improve water supply reliability for continued specialty crop production and related economic activities.
The work completed has identified attributes in our region’s open space land that facilitate infiltration and those that limit groundwater recharge potential. The project also examined ways these flooding scenarios may provide habitat benefits. The project included a contractual study component to complement RUCS staff work and build upon in-kind services from industry stakeholders, including specialty crop stakeholders, and water resource managers. The contractual work provided technical support and subject-area expertise in groundwater recharge science. This included the collection of environmental data to underpin scenario analysis and enhance the RUCS toolkit; including regional water balances and other factors that impact recharge (e.g. soil type permeability).
From The Signal:
“SCV Water filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Whittaker Corporation, seeking to cover the cost of removing two harmful contaminants — volatile organic compounds and perchlorate — from the Santa Clarita Valley groundwater basin.
The suit was filed in the U.S. Central District Court of California, comes ahead of just months ahead of when Whittaker claims it will be
“Despite the recent news accounts and public relations charm campaign to depict the Whittaker site cleanup as ‘nearly complete,’ the legacy of their historic contamination of the community’s groundwater basin remains to be fully addressed,” said Matt Stone, general manager of SCV Water, in a prepared statement Thursday. … “
From Maven’s Notebook:
“Flood-MAR is an integrated water resource management strategy that uses flood waters resulting from rainfall or snowmelt for managed aquifer recharge on agricultural lands and working landscapes. Flood-MAR can also be implemented at multiple scales, from individual landowners diverting flood water with existing infrastructure to using extensive detention/recharge areas and modernizing flood management infrastructure and operations.
With the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act as well as the effects of climate change necessitating changes in how water is managed in California, Flood Managed Aquifer Recharge, or Flood-MAR, potentially presents a sustainable strategy that can simultaneously accommodate longer and deeper droughts along with more severe and frequent flooding.
In a July 2018 webinar, Kamyar Guivetchi, Manager of the Division of Statewide Integrated Water Management with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), discussed the importance of the Flood MAR concept and what DWR and other state agencies are doing to advance the concept. … “
From the Business Journal:
“Groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) in Tulare, Fresno, Kings and Kern counties have until 2020 to develop plans for long-term viability of their regions’ supplies. In other California counties where state officials deem the groundwater overdraft problem less critical, their GSAs will have until 2022 to finalize their plans.
Once those plans are done, the various groups will have 20 years to implement them, with a common goal of halting in their areas the overdraft of groundwater.
The law requiring these plans, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), already is having a big effect on prices for agricultural land, particularly in the areas from Madera County down to Kern county, where some of the most severe over drafting in the state commonly occurs. … “
“Last summer, some 250 local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) were formed―the first step in meeting the requirements of California’s historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Now these agencies face the difficult task of developing and implementing plans to bring their groundwater basins into balance over the next 20 years.
A recent event by the Groundwater Resources Association of California explored groundwater governance, and laid out ways that locals will need to cooperate to manage groundwater for long-term sustainability. Here are four key takeaways. … “
From Water Deeply:
“California’s new groundwater management law is not a sports car. It moves more like a wagon train. The rules do not require critically overdrafted aquifers to achieve “sustainability” until 2040. But 22 years from now, once they finally get there, lives will be transformed.
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), adopted in 2014, will change more than groundwater. The requirement to end overdraft will also transform land use, a massive side effect yet to be widely recognized.
Parts of California will literally look different once the law takes full effect. It could put some farmers out of business. It could change how others farm. … “
Read more from Water Deeply here: California Groundwater Law Means Big Changes Above Ground, Too