Unlike California’s majestic rivers and massive dams and
conveyance systems, groundwater is out of sight and underground,
though no less plentiful. The state’s enormous cache of
underground water is a great natural resource and has contributed
to the state becoming the nation’s top agricultural producer and
leader in high-tech industries.
Groundwater is also increasingly relied upon by growing cities
and thirsty farms, and it plays an important role in the future
sustainability of California’s overall water supply. In an
average year, roughly 40 percent of California’s water supply
comes from groundwater.
A new era of groundwater management began in 2014 with the
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires local
and regional agencies to develop and implement sustainable
groundwater management plans with the state as the backstop.
As California farms and cities drill deeper for groundwater in
an era of drought and climate change, they no longer are
tapping reserves that percolated into the soil over recent
centuries. They are pumping water that fell to Earth during a
much wetter climatic regime – the ice age.
State Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Calabasas – author of two of three
historic groundwater laws passed by the Legislature last year –
has introduced a new bill to make well logs public. A hearing
is scheduled for today.
Los Angeles-based Cadiz Inc. has created a 7,400-acre sanctuary
in the eastern San Bernardino County desert for protection of
desert tortoise and its habitat — the largest such set-aside in
California. Under a California Department of Fish and Wildlife
program, this land deal is structured as a conservation bank.
Irrigation leaders were pleased to learn in a recent meeting
that groundwater levels in the Oakdale Irrigation District’s
wells have dropped less than 4 1/2 inches in the past year, on
average, despite record pumping. But those numbers were based
on data from only three-fourths of OID’s deep wells, a Modesto
Bee analysis found.
Parts of the San Joaquin Valley are deflating like a tire with
a slow leak as growers pull more and more water from the
ground. The land subsidence is cracking irrigation canals,
buckling roads and permanently depleting storage space in the
vast aquifer that underlies California’s heartland.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released
for public review and comment a draft strategic plan (Strategic
Plan) describing its roles and responsibilities under
the State’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
(SGMA). The Strategic Plan documents DWR’s strategy to
implement the SGMA and the efforts it will take to develop and
share information with those affected by, or tasked with,
implementation of the SGMA.
A recent defining experience for communities in California, and
many other regions of the county, has been drought of an
intensity that hasn’t been seen in generations. The
severity of this drought has forced communities to address
questions about their ability to meet their basic water
needs. A common theme for many has been the critical role
of a reliable supply of ground water in their ability to
survive and thrive into the future.
Just a few months ago the state announced that new local
groundwater sustainability plans will be required throughout
California. … About 85 people gathered in Orland Thursday
night for the first of what will be many meetings on
Initial efforts implementing the state’s new Sustainable
Groundwater Management Act must focus on getting local and
state agencies organized and able to communicate with each
other. Having common expectations for the contents of the law’s
required “Groundwater Sustainability Plans” will save the
agencies and stakeholders considerable grief and confusion.
California officials, responding to concerns about groundwater
contamination, are closing 12 wells in the Central Valley used
to dispose of chemical-laden water from oil and gas production,
regulators announced Tuesday.
A state agency has lowered the Public Health Goal for
perchlorate, a dangerous pollutant found in many underground
water basins across the Southland – including the Rialto-Colton
area and the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.
Water officials in Kern County discovered that oil producers
have been dumping chemical-laden wastewater into hundreds of
unlined pits that are operating without proper permits.
… The pits — long, shallow troughs gouged out of dirt —
hold water that is produced from fracking and other oil
The first step toward finding solutions to long-standing
groundwater overdraft in the Pajaro Valley was to acknowledge
the problem and agriculture’s contribution to it, said Miles
Reiter, chairman and CEO of Driscoll’s Strawberry Associates
Three thin streams of water fall into a row of steel sinks at
Orange County Water District’s Groundwater Replenishment System
facility in Fountain Valley: one crystal clear, one slightly
yellowed, one a brackish brown-black.
Cemex, an international cement and gravel company, had
suspended mining at its Stillwell site and stopped pumping
water into a seepage ditch that recharges groundwater for an
adjacent area that includes four homes.
The wastewater from oil drilling, hydraulic fracturing and
other extraction processes is supposed to be injected only into
wells where the groundwater is already too toxic to be used for
drinking or irrigation, even if heavily treated.
This handbook provides crucial
background information on the Sustainable Groundwater Management
Act, signed into law in 2014 by Gov. Jerry Brown. The handbook
also includes a section on options for new governance.
The recent revelation that oil companies were allowed to inject
wastewater into federally protected aquifers has spurred alarm
from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and put state
regulators on the defensive.
The Bureau of Reclamation and the City of San Bernardino
Municipal Water District (SBMWD) will prepare a combined
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Environmental Impact
Report (EIR) for the Clean Water Factory in San Bernardino
County, California, to comply with both Federal and California
Regulators in California, the country’s third-largest
oil-producing state, have authorized oil companies to inject
production fluids and waste into what are now federally
protected aquifers more than 2,500 times, risking contamination
of underground water supplies that could be used for drinking
water or irrigation, state records show.
After three years of drought, Orange County has enjoyed some
long overdue rainfall – even snowfall – making for the
re-greening of our landscapes and some spectacular photos of
Saddleback in white. But don’t be fooled.
Oil companies in drought-ravaged California have, for years,
pumped wastewater from their operations into aquifers that had
been clean enough for people to drink. … The state faces
a Feb. 6 deadline to tell the EPA how it plans to fix the
problem and prevent it from happening again.
Starting in March, scientists are expected to begin drawing the
first groundwater samples that will help resolve a
long-standing question here: how much of this community’s
below-ground contamination is the result of nature and how much
is the result of man-made actions?
From building a tunnel connecting two south county reservoirs
to clearing the Salinas River and dealing with its
half-century-old river diversion permit to managing the Salinas
Valley groundwater basin — not to mention the promise of a
recently approved $7.5 billion state water bond — Monterey
County and its water resources agency are facing an
unprecedented number of crucial water-related issues.
Although Soquel Creek Water District officials pulled the plug
last year on a $3 million mandated conservation program, the
agency soon will roll out some components of the initiative
designed to reverse groundwater overdraft.
Farming and urban growth, two forces that are reshaping the
land surface, are also changing the chemistry and physical
properties of the nation’s aquifers, leading to greater
concentrations of natural and manmade pollutants that could
persist for decades in essential underground water sources,
according to a comprehensive U.S. Geological Survey report.
California is in the middle of a growth spurt and a
corresponding crunch for water resources. Right now, California
has 38 million people (roughly the equivalent of the entire
country of Canada) and can expect to reach 51 million by 2050,
speaker Todd Manly [director of government relations, Northern
California Water Association] said during the North State
Economic Forecast Conference in Oroville Thursday.
Deadlines for meeting a new state mandate to balance the
overdrafted Salinas Valley groundwater basin are years away,
but Monterey County water and agricultural industry leaders are
calling for the local process to begin immediately.
About 115 million people—more than one-third of the Nation’s
population—rely on groundwater for drinking water. As the
Nation’s population grows, the need for high-quality
drinking-water supplies becomes even more urgent. … The
recently completed national summary report of the quality of
the Nation’s groundwater is now available online.
The American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting is the world’s
largest convention for the Earth sciences. Every year in
mid-December, the Moscone Center in San Francisco’s
tech-booming South of Market district welcomes nearly 24,000 of
the world’s top scientists for a banquet of research and
debate. For five days I sampled widely from the AGU buffet,
looking for new insight into the ways in which water shapes
ecology and society.
The groundwater legislation passed last year says repeatedly
that nothing in the law would change existing groundwater
rights. I wondered how that would work since the whole point of
the legislation is to reduce our current over pumping of
California’s knack for spotting problems and producing answers
on topics both grand and puny is on display in 930 laws taking
effect this month. … Local water agencies will now have
to account for groundwater pumping, an unregulated practice
that is siphoning off last-ditch water supplies in a drought.
Unlike highly visible rivers and streams or lakes and ponds,
aquifers are beneath the surface, so finding them is tricky.
But water scientists, like University of Nebraska
hydrogeologist Jim Goeke, know where to look for clues to
California, its hand forced in 2014 by a nasty drought, brought
its groundwater laws out of the Gold Rush era and into line
with nearly every other state in the Union. New York’s
Democratic governor banned fracking for natural gas, in large
part because of concerns about water pollution.
The [San Francisco Public Utilities] commission’s Regional
Groundwater Storage and Project with Daly City, San Bruno and
California Water Service Co., which serves South San Francisco
and Colma, would store water that could be used during
emergencies such as a drought or earthquake, SFPUC officials
Groundwater adjudications, notoriously expensive and time
consuming, emerged as an issue during the development and
ultimate passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
of 2014, and the Brown Administration has made it a priority to
consider possible reforms.
The Antelope Valley groundwater adjudication case is the
current poster child for how painfully long and expensive
groundwater adjudications can be. … On November 20, the
Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water held an
informational hearing on groundwater adjudications titled,
“Resolving Disputes Regarding Groundwater Rights: Why Does It
Take So Long and What Might Be Done to Accelerate the
On November 20, the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and
Water held an informational hearing on groundwater
adjudications titled, “Resolving Disputes Regarding Groundwater
Rights: Why Does It Take So Long and What Might Be Done to
Accelerate the Process?” … This hearing will be covered in
three parts: In part 1, The Honorable Ronald B. Robie,
Associate Justice with the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate
District, begins with an overview of the groundwater
The State Water Resources Control Board on Dec. 3 launched a
new interactive online search tool, called “Is My Property Near
a Nitrate-Impacted Water Well” that helps users determine if
privately owned water wells are located within 2,000 feet of a
Two actions taken Tuesday – one by the Modesto Irrigation
District Board of Directors and one by the Stanislaus County
Board of Supervisors – show that our elected officials are not
only listening, they are responding.
Here’s something to be thankful for today: A landmark peace
treaty in one of this region’s most enduring water wars. San
Joaquin County and the East Bay Municipal Utility District are
the primary players behind a deal announced late Tuesday.
In a tasting that could have evoked the joie de vivre of a Napa
Valley showroom if it weren’t for the stiff office chairs at
the water department and the inherent blandness of the fare,
five Chronicle food writers — amid boozy gurgles and talk of
soft finishes — were introduced to what will soon be San
Francisco’s new tap water.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission recently began
digging in and around Golden Gate Park in hopes of drawing
underground flows into the mix within the next two years. The
move is designed to increase and diversify the city’s water
reserves as California faces its worst drought in a generation.
The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water today held
an informational hearing that focused on developing ways to
resolve groundwater rights disputes more quickly. … Sen.
Fran Pavley, (D-Aurora Hills), chair of the Senate committee,
opened the hearing by saying that following the passage this
year of the Groundwater Sustainability Management Act,
officials now want to look at the issue of groundwater
Already missing out on state money to address the drought, San
Joaquin County officials will soon ask property owners if
they’re willing to disclose to the state what some feel are
sensitive details about their wells.
This 2-day, 1-night tour traveled from the
Sacramento region to Napa Valley to view sites that explore
groundwater issues. Topics included groundwater quality,
overdraft and subsidence, agricultural use, wells, and regional
Random testing of shallow groundwater in the Northern Plains
oil patch found no early evidence of contamination from an
energy boom that’s already seen more than 8,500 wells drilled,
federal scientists said Monday.
Under the new groundwater legislation, the California
Department of Water Resources must establish the initial
priority for each groundwater basin in the state no later than
Jan. 31. Those basins that are ultimately designated as high or
medium priority will be subject to groundwater sustainability
plans to be adopted no later than Jan. 31, 2020, in some cases,
or Jan. 31, 2022 in others.
Tim O’Halloran, director of the Yolo County Flood Control and
Water Conservation District (YCFCWCD), gave a talk on how the
drought is affecting groundwater and the potential implications
of the groundwater management bill package signed by Governor
Jerry Brown earlier this year.
Water runs in Curtis Hennings’ family, as his grandfather and
his father owned well-drilling businesses. … Starting in
January, new regulations will require local water boards to
create (rules) that will limit how much water is being pumped.
Under recently enacted legislation, local agencies in
California are required for the first time to manage
groundwater pumping and recharge sustainably. … Within the
next six to eight years, agencies in groundwater basins subject
to critical overdraft must adopt plans that put these areas on
a path to sustainability by 2040. A major factor complicating
such long-term water planning is climate change.
Debra Perrone, Postdoctoral Fellow and Melissa Rohde,
Researcher Stanford researchers Debra Perrone, a postdoctoral
scholar for Water in the West and the Department of Civil &
Environmental Engineering, and Melissa Rohde, a researcher for
Water in the West and a graduate student in the Department of
Civil & Environmental Engineering, have produced a new research
brief focused on groundwater storage in California.
If you are a water manager, your “fear list” may include
earthquakes, climate change, having your water use made public
and not least of all, new laws and regulations. California has
a law that is new and complex – the Sustainable Groundwater
Management Act. … The key element of the new legislation
is the development of “groundwater sustainability plans” by
groundwater sustainability agencies.
The world is perilously ignoring the water crisis that is
occurring underfoot, writes Jay Famiglietti in the journal
Nature Climate Change. A professor of Earth system science at
the University of California, Irvine, Famiglietti has helped
refine the premier tool for understanding large-scale changes
in groundwater reserves.
The Desert Water Agency and the First Amendment Coalition
announced Wednesday that they have reached a settlement in a
lawsuit over the disclosure of information about groundwater
pumping by businesses and organizations.
A team of researchers from Stanford and the University of
Calgary say a ground-breaking geophysical survey of saltwater
intrusion into groundwater tables along 25 miles of Monterey
Bay coastline shows the wells are running a deficit.
Jennifer Bowles, the executive director of the Water Education
Foundation, recently did an interview with Radio Disney in San
Francisco to talk about various water issues, including the
drought and groundwater.
Nearly 1.8 million San Gabriel Valley water users are being put
to the test. In an effort to shine a light on the effects of
the drought, the San Gabriel Valley Water Association is
tallying the amount of water drawn from wells in local
groundwater basins every week, then handing out grades.
Things were bad enough for Rochelle Landers before her well
went dry. … She has an acre in the Sierra foothills, in a
sparsely populated town an hour northeast of Sacramento with a
seemingly abundant water supply despite the drought.
Faced with a state mandate to balance groundwater basins within
the next two decades, Monterey County officials on Tuesday took
the first step toward meeting that goal in the long overdrafted
Salinas Valley groundwater basin.
There’s a plan for water transfers could move up to 511,000
acre-feet of water each year for the next 10 years from the
Sacramento Valley to the San Joaquin Valley and the Bay Area.
… The Bureau [of Reclamation] is in the middle of writing the
“Long-Term Water Transfers Environmental Impact
Statement/Environmental Impact Report.”
Two water districts, the federal government, and the Agua
Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians are laying out their
arguments in a lawsuit over water, focusing on the question of
whether the tribe has rights to groundwater.
The signs appear about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, tacked
onto old farm wagons parked along quiet two-lane roads and
bustling Interstate 5. “Congress Created Dust Bowl.” “Stop the
Politicians’ Water Crisis.” “No Water No Jobs.”
Step by step, sewage flows through the city’s Donald C. Tillman
Water Reclamation Plant in the San Fernando Valley. Ultimately,
the cleaned effluent flows into lakes and rivers.
… Mayor Eric Garcetti, who prefers the term “showers to
flowers” instead of “toilet to tap,” also lobbied for
groundwater cleanup funds.
San Joaquin County is missing out on millions of dollars in
state grants to fight the drought, in part because some private
landowners are reluctant to share confidential information
about their wells.
Drought is rampant these days in many parts of
the American West, so consider this a pretty sweet gift:
You’ve just been given the rights to some water. … Your
job is to turn around and use that resource in the most
valuable way possible.
The Water Education Foundation’s popular Northern California
Tour features a diverse group of experts talking about
groundwater, flood management, the drought, water supplies,
agricultural challenges, and the latest on salmon restoration
efforts. The tour also includes a houseboat cruise on Lake
Shasta. … The tour travels the length of the Sacramento
Valley with visits to Oroville and Shasta dams.
Sonoma County planning officials on Monday unveiled the most
significant changes in nearly 40 years to the county’s
underground well ordinance, which sets in place rules property
owners must follow when drilling a new water well.
California’s drought has created mandated water conservation
efforts, but some communities in Southern California, from
Huntington Beach to Los Angeles, are doing something extra:
trying to become water independent.
The biggest changes to California groundwater law in 150 years
are on the way. What it means for local water leaders is a lot
of work. The goal within 20 years is for all groundwater basins
in the state to achieve sustainability.
Five new wells are on the drawing board for Glenn-Colusa
Irrigation District, the biggest surface water district in the
Sacramento Valley. … Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District is
considering the five wells as a backup to surface water during
dry and critically dry years, presenters explained.
Praising “historic” cooperation among agencies as a harbinger
of future water management efforts, the Monterey County Board
of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously signed off on a deal to
provide water for the proposed Monterey Peninsula groundwater
Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday are expected to adopt a
far-reaching plan that seeks to locally manage and protect
groundwater resources through scientific study and voluntary
measures such as well monitoring.
Storage was the key sticking point in getting the legislature
to pass the water bond with the two thirds vote it needed. That
portion of the bond includes reservoirs and projects to clean
up or store more groundwater.
California voters will be faced with a $7.5 billion question
this fall about whether to publicly finance a water bond meant
to help the state better manage its most precious and
increasingly limited resource.
Drought in California today did what drought a generation ago
could not – secure the passage of legislation that requires
tighter controls on groundwater use in one of the few states
without such measures.
Putting California communities on a path to become more
resilient to water shortages, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
today [Sept. 16] signed historic legislation to strengthen
local management and monitoring of groundwater basins most
critical to the state’s water needs.
Increased groundwater pumping is under growing scrutiny. The
devastating consequences of a third year of drought, coupled
with over-regulation of surface supplies, have increased
momentum in Sacramento for state intervention in local
Groundwater losses from the Colorado River basin appear massive
enough to challenge long-term water supplies for the seven
states and parts of Mexico that it serves, according to a new
study released Thursday that used NASA satellites.
Unbridled pumping of well water along the Central Coast and in
the Central Valley could have dire consequences for the
agricultural economy, according to a new study released by the
University of California, Davis.
From The Bakersfield Californian, in a column by Lois Henry:
There’s so much going on with groundwater, it’s a whirlwind!
… There are two bills in the process of melding into one
that both aim to change a basic tenet of California groundwater
regulation — which, as it happens, does not presently exist.
An attorney said Thursday he expects to appeal a potentially
precedent-setting court finding that could make local governments
responsible for controlling the largely unregulated pumping of
groundwater in the state.
A Sacramento Superior Court judge issued a ruling Tuesday
requiring regulation of groundwater pumping to protect a river in
Siskiyou County. Attorneys on both sides say it’s the first
time a California court has ruled the “public trust doctrine”
applies to groundwater.
Consumers will see no shortages of California-grown fruits, nuts
and vegetables this year despite one of the worst droughts in
state history, but that’s because farmers are draining
groundwater reserves and leaving no insurance should heavy rains
fail to materialize next winter, UC Davis researchers said
From the San Bernardino County Sun, in a commentary by Scott
In his July 1 opinion commentary, Bob Stadum asks whether the
Cadiz Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project’s proposal
to “mine” Mojave Desert water for use in Southern California is a
good thing. While mining is a mainstay of the San Bernardino
economy, the Cadiz Project is not “mining.”
Water experts, local water agencies, environmental groups,
agricultural interests, homeowners and the media continue to join
the call to fix California’s broken groundwater management
system. Here’s what they’re saying about two rapidly moving bills
(SB 1168 and AB 1739) aimed at advancing sustainable management
of groundwater basins in the state.
When the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced last
year an ambitious groundwater treatment program for the
contaminated San Fernando Basin, the agency had its eyes on a
state water bond for crucial funding to get the project built.
From The Modesto Bee, in a commentary by Dave Phippen:
Imagine my surprise to wake up to yet another Sunday morning
story in The Modesto Bee (“Rush to drill is uneven” Page A1, June
29) to learn how those pesky nut farmers have caused even more
rural Stanislaus residents to experience the unpleasant
experience of a dry well.
By now, the contours of California’s groundwater crisis are
familiar: the dried-up wells, sinking farmland, over-tapped
aquifers and growing push for more state oversight. But on the
edges of that drama is a back story that’s been largely
overlooked about groundwater data, government secrecy and
scientific opportunities lost.
Citing the urgency to conserve water amid California’s
intensifying drought, officials of Aerojet Rocketdyne and the
city of Folsom announced Tuesday an interim solution that will
enable the company to start reusing millions of gallons of
Modesto is feeling the effects of the drought, with the Modesto
Irrigation District reducing the amount of water it sends to the
city by 43 percent, which is the same reduction MID has imposed
on its other water users.
Facing one of the worst droughts in California history, Gov.
Jerry Brown in January urged people across the state to cut water
use by 20 percent. … But the Coachella Valley, like much of
California, remains far from reaching that goal.
Stanislaus County farmers have been granted permission to drill
hundreds of new agricultural wells this year, while an increasing
number of domestic water wells go dry, a review of permit records
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
Two ACWA-supported bills aimed at advancing sustainable
management of California’s groundwater basins moved out of Senate
and Assembly committees June 24, launching what is expected to be
several weeks of final negotiations and fine-tuning.
From The Bakersfield Californian, in a commentary by Lois Henry:
The city has been
watching for several months as those wells have pumped thousands
of acre feet of groundwater into the Cross Valley Canal where it
has moved on to the California Aqueduct and parts unknown.
From the California WaterBlog, by the UC Davis Center for
Organized by the Groundwater Resources Association of California,
the Contemporary Groundwater Issues Council of scientists,
economists, consultants, policymakers and regulators recently
developed a set of consensus recommendations.
“Fearing the state will interfere with local management of
groundwater supplies, San Joaquin County supervisors voted
Tuesday to oppose legislation and support state intervention
‘only in the most extreme situations.’”
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
“Nearly one in four of California’s groundwater basins and
subbasins have been deemed medium or high priority under a
statewide monitoring program, the Department of Water Resources
announced late Tuesday.”
“This Part 2 in a two-part series about how communities are
affected by the drought and the state’s effort to manage
groundwater more sustainably. … Californians are becoming
more reliant on underground water during the drought. But
policymakers and environmental groups agree better management of
the resource is needed.”
“This is Part 1 in a two-part series focusing on the experiences
of Central Valley homeowners during the drought. During a
normal year, 30 percent of the water Californians consume comes
from groundwater. This year, the California Department of Food
and Agriculture says groundwater will account for 60 percent.”
“Many people who live in the Fresno area say water isn’t flowing
from their taps like it used to. Households using private
groundwater wells are finding the water table is falling below
their pump during the drought.”
California made history recently when Gov. Jerry Brown signed
into law the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Its
passage marks a once-in-a-century achievement, for it was 100
years ago that California enacted the first comprehensive legal
framework for managing surface water.
Increasing population, agricultural development (including
shifts to more water-intensive crops), and climate variability
are placing increasingly larger demands on available
groundwater resources in the Pajaro Valley, one of the most
productive agricultural regions in the world.
Attend the Water Education Foundation’s special Water 101
Workshop in Southern California in early October and hear from
one of the people who helped formulate the historic groundwater
legislation recently signed by Gov. Brown. Lester Snow,
executive director of the California Water Foundation and the
former director of the Department of Water Resources, was a key
player in the formulation of the package of groundwater bills –
AB 1739, SB 1168 and SB 1319.
The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater is an in-depth,
easy-to-understand publication that provides background and
perspective on groundwater. The guide explains what groundwater
is – not an underground network of rivers and lakes! – and the
history of its use in California.
The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to
Water Rights Law, recognized as the most thorough explanation of
California water rights law available to non-lawyers, traces the
authority for water flowing in a stream or reservoir, from a
faucet or into an irrigation ditch through the complex web of
California water rights.
This printed issue of Western Water looks at California
groundwater and whether its sustainability can be assured by
local, regional and state management. For more background
information on groundwater please refer to the Foundation’s
Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater.
This printed issue of Western Water looks at hydraulic
fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. Much of the information
in the article was presented at a conference hosted by the
Groundwater Resources Association of California.
This printed issue of Western Water features a
roundtable discussion with Anthony Saracino, a water resources
consultant; Martha Davis, executive manager of policy development
with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and senior policy advisor
to the Delta Stewardship Council; Stuart Leavenworth, editorial
page editor of The Sacramento Bee and Ellen Hanak, co-director of
research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of
This printed issue of Western Water looks at some of
the pieces of the 2009 water legislation, including the Delta
Stewardship Council, the new requirements for groundwater
monitoring and the proposed water bond.
This printed issue of Western Water examines the Russian and
Santa Ana rivers – areas with ongoing issues not dissimilar to
the rest of the state – managing supplies within a lingering
drought, improving water quality and revitalizing and restoring
the vestiges of the native past.
This printed copy of Western Water examines California’s drought
– its impact on water users in the urban and agricultural sector
and the steps being taken to prepare for another dry year should
Statewide, groundwater provides about 30 percent of California’s
water supply, with some regions more dependent on it than others.
In drier years, groundwater provides a higher percentage of the
water supply. Groundwater is less known than surface water but no
less important. Its potential for helping to meet the state’s
growing water demand has spurred greater attention toward gaining
a better understanding of its overall value. This issue of
Western Water examines groundwater storage and its increasing
importance in California’s future water policy.
This issue of Western Water examines the issue of California
groundwater management, in light of recent attention focused on
the subject through legislative actions and the release of the
draft Bulletin 118. In addition to providing an overview of
groundwater and management options, it offers a glimpse of what
the future may hold and some background information on
groundwater hydrology and law.
This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership
with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an
excellent overview of climate change and how it is already
affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists
anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and
precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are
underway to plan and adapt to climate.
20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater,
and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and
turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource
through various activities.
Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the
faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close
to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their
water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and
testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to
households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from,
how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality
are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress
A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water:
Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at
community forums and speaking engagements to help the public
understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems
and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to
households throughout the state.
Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is
today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the
fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically
important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system,
there have been some critical events that had a profound impact
on California’s water history. These turning points not only
forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives
of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a
historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped
the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with
background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.
This 7-minute DVD is designed to teach children in grades 5-12
about where storm water goes – and why it is so important to
clean up trash, use pesticides and fertilizers wisely, and
prevent other chemicals from going down the storm drain. The
video’s teenage actors explain the water cycle and the difference
between sewer drains and storm drains, how storm drain water is
not treated prior to running into a river or other waterway. The
teens also offer a list of BMPs – best management practices that
homeowners can do to prevent storm water pollution.
Fashioned after the popular California Water Map, this 24×36 inch
poster was extensively re-designed in 2017 to better illustrate
the value and use of groundwater in California, the main types of
aquifers, and the connection between groundwater and surface
Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch
poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural
hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants,
rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation.
Excellent for elementary school classroom use.
As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water
supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing
treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including
irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge
and industrial uses.
The 20-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Marketing provides
background information on water rights, types of transfers and
critical policy issues surrounding this topic. First published in
1996, the 2005 version offers expanded information on
groundwater banking and conjunctive use, Colorado River
transfers and the role of private companies in California’s
developing water market.
Order in bulk (25 or more copies of the same guide) for a reduced
fee. Contact the Foundation, 916-444-6240, for details.
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water
Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication
that provides background information on the principles of IRWM,
its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water
The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an
excellent overview of the history of water development and use in
California. It includes sections on flood management; the state,
federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water
rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for
stretching the water supply such as water marketing and
The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Nevada Water provides an
overview of the history of water development and use in Nevada.
It includes sections on Nevada’s water rights laws, the history
of the Truckee and Carson rivers, water supplies for the Las
Vegas area, groundwater, water quality, environmental issues and
today’s water supply challenges.