SGMA in the News

To better manage groundwater, first understand it

August 1, 2019

“It may be out of sight, but it should not be out of mind.  Water hidden beneath the earth’s surface comprises 98% of the planet’s fresh water. On average, this groundwater provides a third of all total water consumed, and its preciousness is ever more palpable since Cape Town’s water crisis sent shock waves rippling around the world.

Despite this, its regulation is far from ideal – especially now that drought conditions are intensifying around the globe and people are increasingly drilling downwards.

Before we even start to improve groundwater management, we must better understand and measure it, says international groundwater expert Craig Simmons, from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. … ”

Read more from Cosmos here:  To better manage groundwater, first understand it

Category: News Article

Thirsty for sustainability: Is Paso Robles any closer to solving its groundwater problem?

August 1, 2019

“On a blistering hot July day in San Miguel, Robert Galbraith, 68, bends down and scoops up two handfuls of dry soil. He spreads his fingers and lets the dirt fall back to his fallowed ground.  The motion is symbolic of how Galbraith feels his family farm is slipping away from him.

A San Luis Obispo County policy regulating pumping from the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin has hamstrung how Galbraith can farm his land. … ”

Read more from New Times SLO here:  Thirsty for sustainability: Is Paso Robles any closer to solving its groundwater problem?

Category: News Article

Merced: Groundwater Sustainability Plan up for public review

July 31, 2019

Over the past 18 months, the three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in the Merced Subbasin have worked together to develop a Draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) that is now available for public review and comment.

The three GSAs are as follows: Merced Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MSGSA), Merced Irrigation-Urban Groundwater Sustainability Agency (MIUGSA), and Turner Island Groundwater Sustainability Agency (TIWDGSA-1). … ”

Read more from the Merced Times here: Merced: Groundwater Sustainability Plan up for public review


Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District launching new pilot program

July 26, 2019

“For years, water has been a hot topic of debate for many throughout Kern County and the Central Valley.  Farmers, in particular, have been engaged in a battle over their water usage for seemingly forever. That’s one reason why one local water district is trying a new approach.

“A water market, in essence, that allowed users or landowners within our district to manage the resource more effectively,” Eric Averett, of the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, said. … ”

Read more from Bakersfield Now here: Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District launching new pilot program

Category: News Article
Keywords: Water Markets

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