SGMA in the News

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority passes pump fee ordinance

July 21, 2018

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board voted 3-1 to formally adopt an ordinance imposing a monthly volumetric groundwater extraction fee on major pumpers at its Thursday meeting.

Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden voted no, as directed by the city council on Wednesday. Inyo County’s representative was not present. San Bernardino County representative Bob Page voted by telephone conference.

The fee will impose a fee of $30 per acre-foot pumped on major pumpers in the valley, including the IWV Water District, Searles Valley Minerals, and agricultural interests. The fee aims to fill a $930,000 budget gap in the development of a groundwater sustainability plan required by the Department of Water Resources by Jan. 31, 2020.

Click here to continue reading at the Ridgecrest Independent.

Category: News Article

Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency aims to tackle groundwater problems

July 21, 2018

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

A diverse group of public officials, agency representatives and citizens are working to tackle one of the most pressing issues dogging the region — the continued depletion of groundwater reserves.

“There’s not a lot of water available for recharge and there’s not going to be one project that is going to get us to the finish line,” said Darcy Pruitt of the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency, a group mandated by state law to develop a sustainability plan for local aquifers. “It’s and, not or.”

Click here to continue reading at the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Category: News Article

ASU scientists use satellites to measure vital underground water resources

July 20, 2018

From Arizona State University:

The availability of water from underground aquifers is vital to the basic needs of more than 1.5 billion people worldwide, including those of us who live in the western United States. In recent decades, however, the overpumping of groundwater, combined with drought, has caused some aquifers to permanently lose essential storage capacity.

With the hope of providing water resource managers with better tools to help keep aquifers healthy, a team of scientists from Arizona State University and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are using the latest space technology to look underneath Earth’s surface to measure this precious natural resource.

They’ve focused their efforts on one of the world’s largest aquifer systems, located in California’s Central Valley, measuring both its groundwater volume and its storage capacity. The results of their most recent findings in this groundbreaking study have been recently published in Water Resources Research.

Click here to continue reading from Arizona State University.

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley Water District to unveil hydrological conceptual model on Friday

July 20, 2018

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

The Indian Wells Valley Water District will present a Hydrological Conceptual Model of the Indian Wells Valley at 9 a.m. on Friday at Ridgecrest City Hall.

The model was developed by the Danish company Ramboll. It uses geophysical data collected by SkyTEM during its aerial survey as well as information from several hundred geophysical well logs, driller’s logs and information from previous seismic studies.

The IWV Water District, Mojave Pistachios, Searles Valley Minerals, Coso Operating Company, and Meadowbrook Dairy are involved in the project.

Click here to continue reading at the Ridgecrest Independent.

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley: Pump fee adoption on the table at next Groundwater Authority meeting

July 19, 2018

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“Major pumpers in the Indian Wells Valley groundwater basin will likely face an extraction fee following Thursday’s IWV Groundwater Authority board meeting, set for 10 a.m. at Ridgecrest City Hall, 100 W.California Ave.

The board will consider and vote on formally adopting the groundwater authority extraction fee, which assesses a monthly volumetric fee of $30 per acre-foot pumped. The fee aims to fill a $930,000 budget gap in the development of a groundwater sustainability plan required by the Department of Water Resources by Jan. 31, 2020. … “

Continue reading at the Ridgecrest Independent by clicking here.


Owens Valley Groundwater Authority meetings get interesting

July 18, 2018

From the Sierra Wave:

Owens Valley Groundwater Authority meetings are a little like watching a chess match. Not really adrenaline inducing, but there’s a lot going on between moves.

Last Thursday’s meeting is a good example.

The question before the 11-member board dealt with the re-prioritization of the Owens Valley basin from medium to high—a new wrinkle from the Department of Water Resources to slam a 42-point whammy on basins that export water.

Continue reading this article by clicking here.

Category: News Article

Thirsty vineyard, Big Ag test landmark aquifer law

July 17, 2018

From E&E News:

When Roberta Jaffe and her husband planted their small vineyard, one factor trumped all others: groundwater.

Knowing that this isolated valley in south-central California relies on a depleted aquifer, the couple “dry farmed” their Condor’s Hope Ranch, using 5 percent or less of the water required by a conventional vineyard.

“For us, it is very much about farming in a way that is harmonious with the environment,” Jaffe said. “This is what we see as what this environment can handle.”

So Jaffe was alarmed when Harvard University’s endowment fund installed an 850-acre conventional vineyard just down the road in 2014 — and drilled 14 wells.

Continue reading at E&E News by clicking here.

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley Water District board airs concerns

July 14, 2018

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

A hint of exasperation and modicum of frustration emanated from Indian Wells Valley Water District board members on Monday when discussing the upcoming IWV Groundwater Authority July 19 meeting.

When water district general manager Don Zdeba said an outline of the upcoming meeting should give a good idea of what will be discussed, board president Ron Kicinski was the first to voice frustration.

“I’m not sure there’s a whole for us to discuss,” Kicinski said, referencing the water district. “We’ve continued to ask for a finance committee, continued to ask that the preliminary fees for the plan implementation be reduced or eliminated if possible. I don’t know what to say anymore.”

Continue reading at the Ridgecrest Independent by clicking here.

Category: News Article

The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water

July 13, 2018

From the Sacramento Bee:

Completed during Harry Truman’s presidency, the Friant-Kern Canal has been a workhorse in California’s elaborate man-made water-delivery network. It’s a low-tech concrete marvel that operates purely on gravity, capable of efficiently piping billions of gallons of water to cities and farms on a 152-mile journey along the east side of the fertile San Joaquin Valley.

Until now.

The Friant-Kern has been crippled by a phenomenon known as subsidence. The canal is sinking as the Valley floor beneath it slowly caves in, brought down by years of groundwater extraction by the region’s farmers.

Category: News Article

With an eye toward the future, Marina Coast Water District looks to reduce dependence on groundwater

July 13, 2018

From Monterey Weekly:

“Since its inception, the Marina Coast Water District has relied on groundwater for its water supply, the majority of which comes from the deep aquifer, an ancient, finite water supply believed to be more than 20,000 years old.

But with the ever-advancing threat of seawater intrusion, an increase in agricultural wells pumping from the deep aquifer, and to fulfill contractual obligations with the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, Marina Coast is looking to further augment its water supply and increase its water security. … “

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Category: News Article