SGMA in the News

Ridgecrest: Banking water for LADWP? Kicinski talks groundwater with Rotary Club

July 26, 2019

““We are real close to defining exactly what stability is and how it is going to affect the valley,” said Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority Chair Ron Kicinski to the Rotary Club of China Lake on Wednesday. Kincinksi, who also serves on the IWV Water Board, made it clear he was speaking as a member of the IWVGA.

Specifically, Kicinski said the model at the moment is that sustainability is being defined at using around 12,000 acre-feet a year of water. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Banking water for LADWP? Kicinski talks groundwater with Rotary Club

Category: News Article

Calaveras County: Comment period on sustainable groundwater plan closes Aug. 25

July 25, 2019

“The deadline for Calaveras County residents in the northwest part of the county to comment on the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Authority’s (ESJGA) Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) is Aug. 25.

For Calaveras County, the plan pertains to about 500 combined residents between Wallace Lake Estates and Valley Springs that rely on groundwater, according to Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) Water Resources Program Manager Peter Martin. Impacts from future activities would mostly be for large water users, like farmers or municipalities, he added. … ”

Read more from the Calaveras Enterprise here: Calaveras County: Comment period on sustainable groundwater plan closes Aug. 25

Close to $3 million of water has reached Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basin

July 24, 2019

“Close to $3 million worth of water has rushed down the Santa Clara River over the past several weeks to recharge groundwater basins in the Oxnard Plain.  The release was part of a deal between the United Water Conservation District and Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency to help recharge aquifers still struggling after years of drought.

United told the Fox Canyon board it could purchase extra water from the California Water Project thanks to a particularly wet winter statewide. Fox Canyon then would buy roughly 15,000 acre-feet of water once it made it to spreading ponds near Oxnard and Camarillo. … ”

Read more from the Ventura County Star here: Close to $3 million of water has reached Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basin

This week at the Groundwater Exchange: New pages and capabilities added

July 10, 2019

We’ve been hard at work, interfacing the Groundwater Exchange with the California Water Library!

New pages for projects and actions now include documents from the California Water Library.  Pick a topic and explore:

Groundwater Recharge,
Conjunctive Use,
Stormwater Capture,
Recycled Water,
Agricultural Water Use Efficiency,
Urban Water Use Efficiency,
Markets and Trading,
Water Allocation Systems

You can access all of these from the Projects and Actions page which is accessible from the home page of the Groundwater Exchange.

We’ve also added a new page on SGMA and land use.

More new pages on the way!

Category: This week

GSA SUMMIT: SGMA and Land Use Issues

July 10, 2019
A lush agricultural scene in San Luis Obispo County in Central California. Photo by John Chacon / California Department of Water Resources
Panel discusses land use issues, including well permitting, land fallowing, general plans and SGMA, and more …

Groundwater is intimately connected with the landscape and land use that it underlies.  How land is developed above can change both water demand and how much water can be recharged, and inappropriate land use and poor land management can cause chronic groundwater quality problems.

At the Second Annual Groundwater Sustainability Agency Summit, hosted by the Groundwater Resources Association in June of 2019, a panel shared their perspectives and experiences with the interplay of land use planning and Groundwater Sustainability Plan development.

Seated on the panel:

The panel was moderated by Marcus Trotta with Sonoma Water.

Land use planning and well permitting go hand in hand and really drive the water use in all of our basins and the decisions related to that,” began Marcus Trotta.  “Like many aspects of SGMA, there’s general guidance provided in SGMA in the GSP regulations, mostly related to notification and consideration, consultation requirements, and it’s really up to the local GSAs to figure out what exactly that looks like and how they are going to be addressing those requirements in their GSPs and during the implementation phase.”

We’re fortunate to have a panel of four experts and practitioners throughout the state to share their perspectives and information on their experiences in things like well permitting, how that relates to GSP development, metering considerations, general plan and other types of planning documents and how those get integrated with their GSPs, managing stakeholder expectations and perspectives, and then some unique issues that have come up in some of these basins, like exempt lands that are in their basins.”

Click here to read this article at Maven’s Notebook.

Lessons learned from the State’s first Groundwater Sustainability Plan

July 10, 2019

“All eyes were on the Borrego Valley this spring, and not just for their second “super bloom” in two years.

The Borrego Valley GSA is the first in the state to release a full draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan; a new management framework required under 2014 legislation. Many are looking to the Borrego Valley GSP as a test case for the other 138 agencies currently drafting their plans, and the many stakeholders anxiously awaiting those plans. … ”

Continue reading from the Local Government Commission’s Livable Places newsletter here: Lessons Learned from the State’s first Groundwater Sustainability Plan

Category: News Article

Challenges and opportunities for integrating small and rural drinking water stakeholders in SGMA implementation

July 10, 2019

Kristin Dobbin, Jessica Mendoza and Michael Kuo write,

“The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is an historic opportunity to achieve long-term sustainable groundwater management and protect drinking water supplies for hundreds of small and rural low-income communities, especially in the San Joaquin Valley.

Past research indicates that few of these communities are represented in the Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) formed to implement the new law. This raises questions about the extent such communities are involved in groundwater reform and potential concerns about how small and rural drinking-water interests are being incorporated into Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). … ”

Read more from the California Water Blog here: Challenges and opportunities for integrating small and rural drinking water stakeholders in SGMA implementation

Got Surface Water? Groundwater-only Lands in the San Joaquin Valley

July 10, 2019

Jelena Jezdimirovic, Ellen Hanak, and Alvar Escriva-Bou write,

“The San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest agricultural region—has the largest groundwater deficit in the state. However, water scarcity is not experienced equally across the valley.

Some areas receive abundant surface water to support cropland irrigation and drinking water supplies. Most others supplement their use with groundwater. Still others have no surface water access and depend entirely on groundwater.

Water users in these groundwater-only areas are particularly vulnerable to pumping restrictions under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)—the state-mandated effort to balance groundwater basins. … ”

Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Got Surface Water? Groundwater-only Lands in the San Joaquin Valley

Category: PPIC Blog

Agricultural water agencies refine efficiency plans

July 10, 2019

“Agricultural water suppliers must develop annual water budgets and drought plans that meet requirements of recently enacted legislation, and are meeting with state officials to comply with the updated law—a process that could ultimately affect water costs for California farmers and ranchers.

California Farm Bureau Federation Director of Water Resources Danny Merkley said the process stems from 2009 law, and updates passed last year, which require the state Department of Water Resources to consult with agricultural stakeholders to quantify water-use efficiency. … ”

Read more from Ag Alert here:  Agricultural water agencies refine efficiency plans

Category: News Article

Legal alert: Irrigation District May Refuse Water Delivery to Rule Violators

July 10, 2019

“An irrigation district may adopt and enforce reasonable rules related to water service, and may terminate water delivery for failure to comply with such rules, a California appellate court ruled. Although this case involved an irrigation district, the decision may also strengthen other water providers’ authority to adopt and enforce rules relating to water service.

In Inzana v. Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors, the issue was the District’s rule prohibiting planting “in, on, over, or across” any District easement or right of way in a manner that interferes with its maintenance or operation obligations. The District rules also say that the District can terminate water service to any landowner who fails or refuses to comply with any District rules or regulations. … ”

Read more from BB&K here:  Irrigation District May Refuse Water Delivery to Rule Violators

Category: News Article
Keywords: Enforcement