At the end of the last century, the Sierra Nevada captured an
average of 8.76 million acre-feet of water critical to the
nation’s largest food-producing region. By mid-century, a new
study projects, the average will fall to 4 million acre-feet;
and by century’s end, 1.81 million acre-feet.
Prompted by the collapse of fish populations, the State Water
Resources Control Board is trying to prevent humans from
totally drying up these rivers each year. The regulators’
lodestar for how much water the rivers need is the amount of
water a Chinook salmon needs to migrate.
Montgomery is known for fostering collaborative relationships
among stakeholders and as a leader in protecting and restoring
water quality within California and throughout the Southwest
and the Pacific Islands. He is currently serving as the
Assistant Director of the Water Division in the US
Environmental Protection Agency (Region 9).
There’s every reason to expect that 2019 will be far better,
largely because of Measure W, which was passed by voters in
November. The initiative imposes a Los Angeles County parcel
tax that will generate $300 million per year to reduce
pollution from runoff and capture storm water to add to the
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act defines sustainable
groundwater management in terms of avoiding six undesirable
results defined in the legislation: declining groundwater
levels, reduction in groundwater storage, land subsidence, sea
water intrusion, water quality degradation, and depletion of
interconnected surface water. Of these six undesirable
results, the one that has spurred the most discussion has been
surface water depletions. At the Groundwater Resources
Association’s Western Groundwater Congress held this fall, a
panel of speakers offered their perspectives on surface
water-groundwater interactions under SGMA.
Register now for one of our most popular events – Water 101,
which for the first time will include an optional daylong tour
examining one of California’s most critical resources,
groundwater. Water 101, to be held Feb. 7 at McGeorge School of
Law in Sacramento, details the history, geography, legal
and political facets of water in California as well as hot
topics currently facing the state.
Comments are being taken through Jan. 4 on the way Butte County
and the rest of the state has been divided up to manage
groundwater. Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act,
the major aquifers in the state are being divided into basins.
When a severe drought enveloped California a few years ago and
rivers shriveled, farmers in the Central Valley punched wells
deeper underground, seeking to tap water reserves that were
untouched by aridity on the surface. In Arizona today, as
officials finalize a multi-state plan to keep more water in a
shrinking Lake Mead, some farmers in Pinal County will
transition from imported Colorado River water to local
Thousands of Sonoma County residents who rely on groundwater
will likely see new fees on their property tax bill next fall,
helping pay for a legally required groundwater regulatory plan.
Local agencies governing groundwater resources were created in
2017 following the passage of a landmark California law
intended to safeguard the previously unregulated water supply.
Lockheed Martin has agreed to expand its cleanup efforts of
contaminated groundwater in the San Fernando Basin as part of a
settlement agreement reached with the Los Angeles Department of
Water and Power. Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin will
treat and transfer 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water to the
utility, saving ratepayers what officials estimate will be more
than $170 million over the next 30 years.
The Kern County Board of Supervisors voted to withdraw from the
Kern Groundwater Authority at Tuesday’s meeting, altering water
management in certain areas of the county. Supervisors debated
the issue for over two hours, at one point nearly tabling the
vote until next week.
Our popular Water 101 Workshop is a once-a-year opportunity to
get a solid grounding on the history, legal and
regulatory facets of California’s most precious natural
resource. Our Feb. 7 workshop in Sacramento will feature a
special focus on groundwater… A new era of
groundwater management began in California in 2014 after Gov.
Jerry Brown signed historic legislation, the Sustainable
Groundwater Management Act, often referred to as SGMA.
Doula Village lies 55 kilometers (34 miles) northeast of New
Delhi on a flat expanse of Uttar Pradesh farmland close to the
Hindon River. Until the 1980s Doula Village’s residents, then
numbering 7,000, and its farmers and grain merchants, thrived
on land that yielded ample harvests of rice, millet, and mung
beans. The bounty was irrigated with clean water transported
directly from the river, or with the sweet groundwater drawn
from shallow wells 7 meters (23 feet) deep.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has
announced draft decisions for groundwater basin boundary
modification requests submitted by local agencies as part of
the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management
Act (SGMA). Basins boundaries were previously updated in 2016.
The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review the
draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact
Report for the proposed Mendota Pool Group 20-year groundwater
exchange program. Under the proposed action, Reclamation would
execute a series of exchange agreements with the MPG over a
20-year period. The water exchange would allow MPG farmers to
deliver groundwater to the Mendota Pool in exchange for Central
Valley Project water delivered via the San Luis Canal for use
on approximately 42,316 acres of historically irrigated MPG
lands in Westlands.
With more Camp Fire evacuees being allowed to return home this
week and next, residents who have homes and working wells are
being urged to take precautions. North State Water Treatment,
based in Durham, offers tips for residents of burned areas who
have been away from home.
DWR updates the Commissioners on the evaluation of alternative
plans, basin boundary modifications, and basin prioritization
At the November meeting of the California Water Commission,
staff from the Sustainable Groundwater Management Program at
the Department of Water Resources updated the Commissioners on
the various activities of the Department to implement
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Taryn Ravazzini,
the Deputy Director for Special Initiatives and the Executive
Sponsor of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Program at
the Department of Water Resources, began the presentation by
noting that on January 1st of 2018, the Department established
the Sustainable Groundwater Management Office, which resides
within the Executive Division under Ms. Ravazzini’s management.
A company developing an oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt
National Park in North Dakota has supplied adequate information
to justify drawing water from an underwater aquifer, State
Water Commission officials testified Wednesday.
The California Supreme Court will weigh in on whether
environmental review is required for each new water well
project. The issue of groundwater extraction heightened during
California’s prolonged drought.