SGMA in the News

SGMA IMPLEMENTATION: Sharing Groundwater: A Robust Framework and Implementation Roadmap for Sustainable Groundwater Management in California

July 26, 2017

From Maven’s Notebook:

“Undoubtedly for some, the specter of the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is a fearsome and expensive thing, fraught with difficulties and expensive science. But what if there was actually a simpler way to manage groundwater in a way that can provide opportunity and wealth for the community? At a recent presentation in Bakersfield hosted by the Water Association of Kern County, Professor Mike Young gave his framework for creating such a system. … “

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


The hidden opportunity for water storage in California

June 1, 2017

From Maurice Hall at the Growing Returns blog:

“California’s historic winter ended the drought in many parts of the state and piled up record levels of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With so much precipitation, surface water infrastructure – our network of dams, reservoirs and levees – has been called into action like never before, and in some cases has struggled to handle the influx of flows.With spring temperatures on the rise, snowmelt and runoff have accelerated, adding another wave of stress to the system. And with snowpack still at 192% of average, there is even more runoff on the way.

So where will all this water go? … “

Read more from the Growing Returns blog by clicking here.


Relationships and incentives: My secret ingredients for better resource management

May 22, 2017

From Ann Hayden at the Growing Returns blog:

“Stewardship of our land and water resources has always played a central role in my life.

I grew up “out in the country,” as we call it, on a-five acre “farm” in Yolo County, California – large enough for raising pigs and sheep, which my older brothers and I would show at the annual 4-H Fair in nearby Woodland.

Living in the Central Valley, we could always count on very hot, dry summers and occasional consecutive dry years, which inevitably were followed by years of heavy rains and even flooding. From a very young age, I understood how important it was to be smart about how we managed our water supply and the surrounding landscape for people, wildlife and the environment. … “

Click here to continue reading at the Growing Returns blog.


Bringing Big, Small Farms Together to Manage Water

May 4, 2017

From Jelena Jezdimirovic at the PPIC Blog:

“Agriculture is by far the biggest water user in the San Joaquin Valley, accounting for 89 percent of the region’s annual net water use. As such, the farm sector will have to play a crucial role in tackling the valley’s various water challenges―from sustainably managing groundwater resources to addressing a number of water-related environmental and public health concerns. Valley farms vary greatly in size, and broad regional solutions to the valley’s resource management challenges must take this into account.

Water Stress and a Changing San Joaquin Valley looked at the number of irrigated farms in the valley and their corresponding acreage over time. The valley is home to nearly 20,000 such farms, including some of California’s largest, but also numerous small and mid-size ones. … “

Continue reading at the PPIC Blog here.

Category: PPIC Blog

San Mateo Plain Groundwater Subbasin: A Local Case Study

April 26, 2017

From Stanford’s Water in the West:

“Prior to the passage of the landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014, groundwater withdrawals in California were largely unregulated. As part of initial compliance with this Act’s requirements, groundwater basins designated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) as high or medium priority must form new agencies—Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs)—by June 30 of this year. These agencies will be responsible for developing and implementing plans to ensure that each basin is managed sustainably within 20 years of plan adoption.

DWR estimates that the 127 high and medium priority basins account for 96 percent of groundwater pumping in the state. However, basins like the San Mateo Plain Subbasin (Basin) that are not currently used as a primary water supply source (and thus have been categorized as low and very low priority and not subject to SGMA regulations), are increasingly being looked at to serve as a supplemental water supply. This blog post follows the public process that the County of San Mateo initiated last year to better understand the Basin. … “

Read more from Stanford’s Water in the West here: San Mateo Plain Groundwater Subbasin: A Local Case Study


Banking on Groundwater

March 21, 2017

From Lori Pottinger at the PPIC Blog:

“California’s groundwater basins can store much more water than surface reservoirs. After years of unchecked depletion of many groundwater basins, communities are now coming together to figure out how to manage them sustainably. We talked to Helen Dahlke, a hydrologist at UC Davis and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center’s research network, about efforts to recharge groundwater basins to help bring them back into balance.

PPIC: Where do we stand with groundwater recharge? … “

Continue reading at the PPIC Blog by clicking here.

Category: PPIC Blog

Stanford scientists map seawater threat to California Central Coast aquifers

March 13, 2017

From Stanford News:

“Researchers from Stanford and the University of Calgary have transformed pulses of electrical current sent 1,000 feet underground into a picture of where seawater has infiltrated freshwater aquifers along the Monterey Bay coastline.

The findings, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Hydrology but are available online now, help explain factors controlling this phenomenon, called saltwater intrusion, and could help improve the groundwater models that local water managers use to make decisions about pumping groundwater to meet drinking or farming needs. … “

Read more from Stanford News here: Stanford scientists map seawater threat to California Central Coast aquifers

Category: News Article

Groundwater: Act Locally, Think Sustainably

March 1, 2017

From Lori Pottinger at the PPIC Blog:

“The complex challenges that the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act aims to resolve don’t lend themselves to quick fixes. With the deadline for the first major step—forming “groundwater sustainability agencies” in affected basins—coming up in June, we asked Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, about progress to date.

PPIC: How are California communities doing in implementing the law so far? … “

Continue reading at the PPIC Blog by clicking here.

Category: PPIC Blog
Keywords: Agriculture

Making the Groundwater Law Work

December 15, 2016

From Lori Pottinger at the PPIC Blog:

“California was one of the last western states to regulate the use of groundwater. Now, the state’s landmark law mandating sustainable use of this critical resource is significantly changing how communities manage it. We talked to Thomas Harter—a groundwater expert at UC Davis and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center’s research network—about implementing the 2014 law, which he calls “the most important water legislation in 50 years.”

PPIC: What are the key components of groundwater sustainability?

Thomas Harter: The state law is based on six “commandments” that interpret what groundwater sustainability means: thou shall not draw down water levels too far, deplete storage in the aquifer, degrade water quality, allow seawater intrusion, cause land to subside, or use groundwater in ways that reduces other people’s surface water or harms ecosystems. … “

Continue reading at the PPIC Blog by clicking here.

Category: PPIC Blog

DR. ANDY FISHER: Enhancing groundwater recharge with stormwater

September 20, 2016

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. … “

Continue reading at Maven’s Notebook by clicking here.