SGMA in the News

Coachella Valley groundwater levels show`significant increases’

May 1, 2019

“Groundwater levels throughout most of the Coachella Valley have increased significantly over the past decade, according to an annual analysis released today by the local water district.

The Coachella Valley Water District submitted two annual reports for the 2017-18 water year to the California Department of Water Resources, one on the Indio Subbasin and the other on the Mission Creek Subbasin, which make up most of the valley’s aquifer. … ”

Read more from Channel 3 here:  Coachella Valley groundwater levels show`significant increases’

Category: News Article

Seawater Intrusion: Understanding a Growing Threat to Freshwater

April 24, 2019

A crucial source of water for arid regions around the world faces a threat that has remained very difficult to predict or manage, until now. A Stanford-led team of researchers used remote sensing to identify areas of saltwater intrusion, a common cause of drinking water contamination in coastal areas – home to approximately 40 percent of the global population. Their novel solution, published in the Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, could provide valuable insight into aquifer systems, and increase the likelihood of freshwater security worldwide.

“Saltwater intrusion can have huge ecological and economic impacts. Accurately mapping and monitoring where saltwater is in the subsurface is critical for managing freshwater resources in coastal systems. With this new research, we aim to provide water managers with another tool to understand and manage these systems,” said Meredith Goebel, lead author and Environmental Geophysics Ph.D. candidate in Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.

Continue reading at Stanford News here:  Understanding a Growing Threat to Freshwater


California groundwater management, science-policy interfaces, and the legacies of artificial legal distinctions

April 24, 2019

“One of the many noteworthy features of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is that it requires local government agencies to consider and address the effects of groundwater management upon interconnected surface water.

That requirement is an important step towards rationalizing California water management, which has long treated groundwater and surface water as separate resources.  The requirement also is part of a larger story about evolving science and policy in a changing world. … “

Continue reading at the Legal Planet Blog here:  California groundwater management, science-policy interfaces, and the legacies of artificial legal distinctions

Category: Legal Planet

Cooperation Preserves Pauma Valley Groundwater

April 24, 2019

Instead of waiting for Yuima Valley’s precious groundwater supplies to dry up, the Yuima Municipal Water District and local farmers are working cooperatively to create a sustainable long-term strategy for maintaining the region’s economy and quality of life by proactively managing the valley’s aquifer. …

Yuima farmers also have relied on groundwater supplies for decades. Crops such as citrus and avocado flourish in the valley, nestled between Palomar Mountain and Valley Center.

But Yuima farmers want a different kind of future than they see unfolding in other groundwater-dependent areas of arid West. … “

Read more from the Water News Network here:   Cooperation Preserves Pauma Valley Groundwater

Category: News Article

Community Participation in Groundwater Sustainability: The City of Weed

April 24, 2019

Angelina Cook is an environmental activist based in Siskiyou county. She advocates for including the City of Weed in the Shasta Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plan and working to protect the city’s groundwater from expanded pumping by private bottling companies. Clean Water Action’s communications manager interviewed Angelina about her experiences.

1. What basin/basins are you currently working in/involved with?

Shasta Valley Groundwater Basin

2. What has been your experience of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) process?

Read more at the We All Live Downstream blog here:  Community Participation in Groundwater Sustainability: The City of Weed


Can sensor data save California’s aquifers? 

April 24, 2019

“In California, the amount of water exiting aquifers under the state’s most productive farming region far surpasses the amount of water trickling back in. That rampant overdraft has caused land across much of the region to sink like a squeezed out sponge, permanently depleting groundwater storage capacity and damaging infrastructure.

The trend—and a 2014 mandate for sustainable groundwater management in the state—has ignited interest in replenishing aquifers in California’s Central Valley through managed flooding of the ground above them. But until now there has been no reliable way to know where this type of remedy will be most effective. … ”

Read more from Futurity here:  Can sensor data save California’s aquifers?


Mission Springs Water District representative: “We’ve been hijacked by Desert Water Agency”

April 23, 2019

“A report from a citizen advisory committee in Desert Hot Springs is asking lawmakers in Sacramento to “re-work” a state law, which went into effect in 2015, that allowed the Desert Water Agency in Palm Springs to take over management authority of the groundwater distributed by the Mission Springs Water District, to people living in Desert Hot Springs and surrounding areas.

That 2015 law, called the “Sustainable Groundwater Management Act” is designed to use local water agencies for the first time, to help the state control and account for the use of groundwater in California. … “

Read more from KESQ here:  Mission Springs Water District representative: “We’ve been hijacked by Desert Water Agency”

Keywords: Governance

Owens Valley Groundwater Authority one step away from adding board seats

April 22, 2019

““Fast paced” and “Owens Valley Groundwater Authority meeting” have never appeared in the same sentence in the year-and-a-half since the Authority was formed. But, Thursday’s session was different, in large part due to the hours of wrangling, discussion and closed sessions that preceded it.

The board members approved agreements with entities’ staff and consulting services from Bob Harrington.

In addition, hold onto your hats, the board came to a consensus on how to allow additional board seats. The final vote will come at its May 23 meeting. So, it’s not a done deal, but it’s very close. … ”

Read more from the Sierra Wave here:  Owens Valley Groundwater Authority one step away from adding board seats

Keywords: Governance

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority behind schedule on modeling, hears latest on water importation

April 21, 2019

“At the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority meeting Thursday, the board heard the latest about its water marketer, the Capital Core Group.  General Manager Don Zdeba reported that since the last board meeting the agreement with Capital Core has been executed and signed.  Water Resources Manager Steve Johnson of Stetson Engineers reported that Stetson has been coordinating with Capital Core as well. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority behind schedule on modeling, hears latest on water importation

Category: News Article
Keywords: Imported Water

PANEL PRESENTATION: Funding options for Groundwater Sustainability Agencies

April 17, 2019
Presentation reviews the GSA fee authorities granted in SGMA, looks at the various fees enacted by some GSAs, and a case study of how one GSA set their fees

As Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) work to develop their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs), funding the development of those plans will become essential.  The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) grants specific fee authorities to GSAs, making a distinction between fees that can be charged prior to adoption of a GSP, and those fees that can be charged after the GSP is adopted.

At the American Groundwater Trust conference held in February, 2019, Attorney Jena Shoaf Acos reviewed the statutory provisions of SGMA as it relates to GSA fee authorities; Attorney Mack Carlson reviewed the fees that have been put in place by other GSAs; and fee consultant Mark Hildebrand walked through a case study of how a GSA determined what fee they would charge.

Click here to continue reading at Maven’s Notebook.