From Maven’s Notebook:
“Dr. Andy Fisher is a professor at UC Santa Cruz and Director of UC Water, as well as the founder of the Recharge Initiative, a focused effort to protect, enhance, and improve the availability and reliability of groundwater resources. Dr. Fisher focuses on stormwater capture and recharge, including development of a metered recharge pilot project in the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency where he looks at stormwater quality and at using GIS to map ideal locations for groundwater infiltration.
In this seminar presented by the State Water Board’s STORMS program, Dr. Fisher discussed the stormwater projects he’s been working on in the Pajaro Valley, stepping through the process of mapping, modeling, measuring, and then ultimately monetizing or incentivizing groundwater recharge. … “
From Andrew T. Fisher at the PPIC Blog:
“Water levels in many of California’s groundwater basins have dropped too far, too fast in recent years, prompting a wave of experimental projects to augment the natural recharge of aquifers. But funding is a missing element in many of these efforts. A new local program to provide incentives for groundwater recharge could be replicated in other parts of the state.
Most Californians who use groundwater do not pay to use it. Instead, in many basins, property owners with an “overlying right” to water underground are free to extract as much as they need for “reasonable and beneficial use,” as loosely defined by state law, paying only for the costs of pumping.
The state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, enacted in 2014, empowers local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to impose fees in support of long-term water resource management and develop funding mechanisms for projects that conserve water and augment available supplies. … “
From Lori Pottinger at the PPIC Blog:
“Farmers use the lion’s share of California’s groundwater, but they also do the most to rebuild depleted reserves of this critically important water source. We talked to Graham Fogg—a groundwater expert at UC Davis and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network—about farmland groundwater recharge.
PPIC: How do farms recharge groundwater? … “
From Ellen Hanak at the PPIC Blog:
“California is not alone in facing serious groundwater challenges—overuse is causing water tables to fall in many parts of the globe. Sharing ideas on how to protect and restore this important resource is the theme of a special opinion forum on the global groundwater crisis in The Desert Sun. Ten experts from the US West, Ethiopia, South Africa, India, and Peru weighed in.
My commentary focused on groundwater’s role as an “unsung hero” in California’s latest drought, and the need to manage it more carefully to ensure its critical role in getting agriculture through future droughts. This doesn’t mean restricting pumping in the midst of the drought—as tempting as that might be—because that could worsen the economic impacts of water shortages. Instead, it means rolling up our sleeves to develop and implement long-term management plans—a path made easier by the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014. … “
From Lori Pottinger at the PPIC Blog:
“In nature, water and land are intimately entwined. But in the human landscape, we’ve created divides. Communities across the state separate water and land use, and this can lead to inconsistency, inefficiency, and conflict. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) recently convened a series of workshops in rural California on aligning land and water planning for long-term sustainability. Debbie Franco is OPR’s community and rural affairs advisor and local drought liaison, and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center’s advisory council. We talked to her about this ongoing process.
PPIC: What was the purpose of these workshops, and what common themes did you hear? … “