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.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an amended water recycling agreement between the county Water Resources Agency and the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency, the primary backer of the groundwater replenishment project also known as Pure Water Monterey.
In the drought-ravaged Central Valley, scientists are using a new imaging technology to find ancient worlds of trapped water, hidden hundreds of feet underground. … This week, a helicopter swept 60 linear miles of parched fields in the Tulare Irrigation District in one of the most arid regions of California.
The governor should use his emergency powers under the existing drought to ban new wells in areas where groundwater pumping is causing significant economic damage. I [Gerald H. Meral] don’t take this position lightly. I understand it would harm people who need groundwater to keep their farms going.
In an attempt to prevent its oil industry from contaminating groundwater sources that could be used for drinking water, California regulators closed 33 wells last week that were injecting oilfield waste into protected aquifers.
It’s been one year since California Governor Jerry Brown signed a landmark law to manage the state’s groundwater. The California Water Commission has approved new groundwater basin boundaries – the first major step in implementing the law.
On October 9, 2015, Governor Brown completed what is probably one of the most remarkable two years in water legislation in California’s history. … In signing SGMA, the Governor pledged that during the 2014/15 legislative session, he would submit a proposal to streamline groundwater adjudications. With the signing of AB 1390 (Alejo) and SB 226 (Pavley), the Governor kept his promise.
A much-anticipated “Godzilla” El Niño this winter may refill California’s drought-diminished reservoirs, but it won’t do much to restock the severely depleted aquifers we rely upon to get by during droughts. One reason for this is the sheer depth of California’s precipitation deficit – the deepest of any drought in 120 years of recordkeeping. The state has been drier than normal for 10 of the past 14 years.
The CEO for embattled Cadiz Inc. has a plan to keep alive a controversial project to transfer ancient groundwater in a remote part of San Bernardino County’s Mojave Desert to parts of Orange County and other locations, where it could serve as many as 400,000 people.
California American Water is expected to resume pumping from its stalled Monterey Peninsula desalination project test slant well operation by early November after the Coastal Commission gave its unanimous approval Tuesday.
The Eastside Water District board voted Thursday to ask its farmers for $6 million for a groundwater recharge project. The system would eliminate no more than 10 percent of the overdraft in the 61,000-acre district, which straddles Stanislaus and Merced counties southwest of Turlock Lake, but backers said it would be a worthwhile start.
Saltwater intrusion challenges nearly every town and farm district in California that borders the Pacific. Many have been fighting back the ocean for generations. Bulletin 52, the first state report to document the salt problem in the Salinas Valley, a farming center just south of Watsonville, was published in 1946.
The Hinkley plume of cancer-causing chromium-6 may appear to be shrinking in future maps. But ongoing cleanup may not be the only reason. It might be that the methodology for drawing the plume has changed.
On September 16, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown, cheerfully triumphant, signed into law the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which many observers assert is the most significant addition to California’s water protection code in a century.
For years, an obscure team of water wonks has met each month in a conference room at the California Water Service Co. offices in downtown Stockton. Their charge: To protect the region’s precious groundwater, an invisible natural resource as little-known as those who guard it.
Eleven local governmental bodies, trade groups, labor groups and others have filed amici “friend of the court” support for the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project in a remote Mojave Desert section of San Bernardino County.
[Derek] Chernow’s declaration, obtained by the Associated Press, was contained in an Aug. 21 court filing in a lawsuit brought by a group of Central Valley farmers who allege that oil production approved by Brown’s administration has contaminated their water wells.
How many domestic wells are having trouble throughout the state? More than 2,500. That’s not an exact figure, but its better than the smattering of reports that had been collected before the most recent statewide summary.
Portions of the San Joaquin Valley floor are sinking at an alarming rate as farmers pump ever more groundwater during California’s extended drought, according to a NASA study released Wednesday. The report, generated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the state Department of Water Resources, sheds new light on the phenomenon known as subsidence.
Vast areas of California’s Central Valley are sinking faster than in the past … Meanwhile, the Department of Water Resources is launching a $10 million program to help counties with stressed groundwater basins to develop or strengthen local ordinances and conservation plans.
Until things are back to normal, some folks in Glenn County want to see a halt to new well drilling. Tuesday, the issue will be before the Glenn County Board of Supervisors, at the request of farmer Sharron Ellis.
Los Angeles-based land and water resources company Cadiz Inc. on Monday announced it has lined up a technology company to help it remove the cancer-causing chemical Chromium-6 from its groundwater in the San Bernardino County desert.
SMUD’s big bet on a system to store energy by pumping water uphill just got a little more complicated. The state wants the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to monitor groundwater at the site, a remote spot near Camino, for an entire year before moving ahead.
The depletion of groundwater stores also is a problem familiar to farmers struggling with drought in California, where pumping for irrigation has put the state’s Central Valley Aquifer under the most strain of any aquifer in the U.S., according to NASA satellite data.
As California implements a landmark law to balance demand for groundwater with available supplies, an Indian tribe’s lawsuit in federal court has the potential to add new layers of complexity to managing a prized resource that is in short supply during California’s worst ever drought.
[Donna] Johnson is known as the water angel. … The 72-year-old is her town’s biggest advocate, sitting in on drought funding meetings with county and state leaders, shepherding reporters from around the globe so no one forgets East Porterville.
A vote Thursday secured the raw water supply for a treatment plant proposed for Turlock, Ceres and south Modesto. … The long-delayed project would reduce reliance on wells, as has happened for 20 years with a similar plant for the rest of Modesto.
NASA researchers have studied the aquifer beneath the Coachella Valley and concluded that while flows of imported water have helped boost groundwater levels in places, much of the aquifer has continued to decline.
More than a third of the largest groundwater basins in the world are being depleted faster than they are getting replenished, and there are little to no accurate data showing just how much water is left in them, according to two new studies published Tuesday.
A defunct iron ore mine near Joshua Tree National Park, a site once considered for the world’s largest landfill, has sold for $25 million to a company that wants to develop a hydroelectric project there.
Some of those concerned with the groundwater debate maintain that flood irrigation of crops can be an effective way of refilling aquifers. The University of California Cooperative Extension in Stanislaus County is working on a pilot project to test the theory.
California American Water and a group of experts will be asked to prove regional agricultural irrigation pumping caused most, if not all, of the decrease in north Marina groundwater levels that halted pumping of the Monterey Peninsula desalination project’s test slant well last month.
Two California Appellate Court decisions handed down in March addressed whether or not a local water agency’s groundwater pumping charges are property-related fees. One of these cases concluded that they are not property-related fees. That court decision will now be reviewed by the California Supreme Court.
The history beneath your feet in this Valley goes far deeper. It’s a piece of the story about the nation’s second-largest groundwater basin — California’s Central Valley, the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.
A search for new sources of water by the Rio Linda-Elverta Community Water District has found that wells closest to the former McClellan Air Force Base have the highest levels of hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6, a known carcinogen.
[David] Orth is general manager for the Kings River Conservation District, a California Water Commissioner, and a key participant in the negotiations leading up to the enactment of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.We spoke at a recent event in Fresno about the challenges facing the new groundwater law.
Winemakers, small farmers and rural residents near the Russian River, accustomed to reveling in Mother Nature’s bounty, were slapped with restrictions on well water use Wednesday, including a ban on lawn watering, in the latest effort by the state to cope with a fourth year of drought.
More than a third of the largest groundwater basins in the world are being depleted faster than they are getting replenished, and there are little to no accurate data showing just how much water is left in them, according to two new studies published Tuesday.
Organized by the Water Education Foundation and the UC Davis Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair, Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture: 2nd International Conference Linking Science and Policy provided scientists, policymakers, agricultural and environmental stakeholders, government officials and consultants with the latest scientific, management, legal and policy advances for sustaining our groundwater resources in agricultural regions around the world.
Check out the UC Davis website for more information and a program for the 2016 conference. You can also read the abstracts here. On Twitter, check the hashtag #AgGroundwater for tweets about the conference.
Groundwater is the lifeline for many rural and agricultural regions and their associated cultures and populations around the globe and a cornerstone of global food production. Groundwater constitutes nearly half the world’s drinking water and much of the world’s irrigation water supply.
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
1333 Bayshore Hwy
Burlingame, CA 94010
San Joaquin County is once again eligible for millions of dollars in grants to bolster the region’s water supply, after landowners agreed to provide private well construction details to the state, officials announced Wednesday.
Mining desert groundwater, as far-fetched as it may seem, seems among the most plausible additions to the region’s existing sources of imported water: the Colorado River, and State Water Project – which transfers water from Northern California to Southern California. But, like many grand water schemes, this one is attracting its share of detractors.
As California struggles to respond to a heightening drought emergency, state lawmakers are promoting legislation that would potentially increase scientific knowledge about the state’s shrinking groundwater reserves. On June 1, the California Senate passed SB 20 by a vote of 21 to 15. The bill requires public access to the groundwater information that well drillers file with the Department of Water Resources after completing a well.
The Santa Ana River is a robust and beautiful sight these days. Five miles west of the Prado Dam in Yorba Linda, the water has cut a narrow channel in a sandy bed and courses briskly over submerged rocks and tree limbs.
The Water Education Foundation’s flagship event, the 33rd annual Executive Briefing, will be held March 17, 2016 in Sacramento. The theme for this year’s Briefing is “Defining the New Normal.”
This is the go-to conference for water district managers and board members, state and federal agency officials, city and county government officials, farmers, environmentalists, attorneys, consultants, engineers, business executives and public interest groups.
Confirmed speakers include State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus and California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird. See announcements on the right-hand of this screen for more program information.
Doubletree by Hilton
2001 Point West Way, Sacramento, CA 95815
Despite opposition from agriculture groups, the state Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation Thursday that would make data on water wells available to the public like is done in all other Western states.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge by the pharmaceutical industry Tuesday to an Alameda County law, the first of its kind in the nation, requiring drug manufacturers to pay the costs of disposing of consumers’ unused medications.
A groundbreaking law that forces the pharmaceutical industry to pay for collection and disposal of unused drugs passed its final court test Tuesday, and the Alameda County officials who originated the concept predicted it will now spread across the country.
As environmental review for its Monterey Peninsula desalination project approaches a critical stage, California American Water is already moving ahead with hiring contractors for key aspects of the project.
People don’t easily forget the moment the water dies. … In this corner of the scorched Tulare Lake Basin, where lives and livelihoods depend on water that comes from the ground, a human crisis is accelerating amid California’s unrelenting drought.
While state-mandated requirements of Colusa County’s groundwater are still years away, concerns about aquifer health among local farmers already exist. About 50 local residents and growers participated in a public informational meeting about groundwater at the Colusa County Fairgrounds on Tuesday night.
Millions of gallons of polluted stormwater runoff from Los Angeles International Airport will be treated and cleaned before washing into the Pacific Ocean or working its way into L.A.’s groundwater basin, according to an agreement signed Thursday by city and airport officials.
The picture of the drought is bleak. Water managers told lawmakers almost 2,000 wells are dry. They’ve observed groundwater levels drop by more than two feet in over 40 percent of measured wells this spring.
A private water bottling company will soon be sucking up thousands of gallons a day from an aquifer that feeds the Sacramento River, the primary source of drinking water for millions of thirsty Californians struggling to cope with a four-year drought.
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 creates an opportunity to establish standards for the way California accounts for its stores of groundwater, which provide up to 60 percent of the state’s water supply during droughts.
For the second time in less than a month, Monterey Peninsula business leaders are seeking a legal and technical analysis of California American Water’s desalination project in an effort to sniff out any issues that could potentially further delay or derail the proposal.
This issue looks at remote sensing applications and how satellite information enables analysts to get a better understanding of snowpack, how much water a plant actually uses, groundwater levels, levee stability and more.
Fifteen years after the film ["Erin Brockovich"] showed triumphant residents winning a $333-million settlement with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for contaminating its water — and nearly 20 years after the settlement itself — Hinkley is emptying out, and those who stay still struggle to find resolution.
Even as the worst drought in decades ravages California, and its cities face mandatory cuts in water use, millions of pounds of thirsty crops like oranges, tomatoes and almonds continue to stream out of the state and onto the nation’s grocery shelves.
One Holds that the Fee is Subject to Prop. 26 and Another that it is a Property-Related Fee Subject to Prop. 218 — Two California Appellate Court decisions handed down this month address whether or not a local water agency’s groundwater pumping charges are property-related fees, and reach different conclusions. The distinction is important because of the restrictions imposed for property-related fees under Proposition 218 — as well as the exemptions for fees that are considered taxes under Proposition 26.
Sonoma County this week unveiled its first formal response to a wave of queries over the past six months about how California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which establishes the first rules for pumping groundwater in the Golden State, would affect property owners and agriculture.
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 groundwater.
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 drilling operations.
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 Inc.
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 requirements.
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 groundwater.
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 groundwater deposits.
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 said.
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 Process?” …
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 adjudication process.
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 “nitrate-impacted well.”
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 adjudications.
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 management efforts.
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 replenishment project.
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.