Topic: Groundwater



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.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Groundwater replenishment project gets guaranteed source as county supervisors sign off on deal

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.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Stanford project maps underground water — aimed at taking the guesswork out of well drilling

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Place some limits on new pumping until drought ends

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: California closes 33 injection wells used to dump oilfield waste into aquifers

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. 

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Key provision for groundwater regulation approved (with audio)

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.

Aquafornia news Downey Brand LLP

Legal Commentary: Governor signs Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Part II: Groundwater adjudications meet groundwater management

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.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: Capturing El Niño for the underground

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.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Cadiz chief to tackle desert water transfer project roadblock

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am desal test well to resume pumping

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.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Mojave Desert: Dispute may derail Cadiz plan to tap ancient aquifers

Federal land managers have dealt a blow to the controversial Cadiz project that would draw water from ancient aquifers in the Mojave Desert and pipe it to cities across California.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Groundwater recharge project moves ahead

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Here comes the sea — The struggle to keep the ocean out of California’s coastal aquifers

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.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Uncertainty over Chromium-6 plume map shrouds draft for Hinkley cleanup

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: California groundwater law tests state’s capacity to oversee a vital resource

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Diving in on groundwater law

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Salinas Valley’s thriving crops mask fears over the area’s lone water source

Unlike the Central Valley, which depends on snowmelt transported from faraway reservoirs, the Salinas Valley has prospered for decades relying solely on the groundwater hundreds of feet below.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Diverse group of 11 trade, labor and agencies file briefs in support of Cadiz project

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Fired regulator — Gov. Jerry Brown pushed to waive oil safeguards

[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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: State gathers up data on number of wells that have gone dry

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. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown says California’s groundwater management ‘not aggressive enough’

Gov. Jerry Brown said in an interview aired Sunday that California is not aggressive enough policing use of the state’s groundwater, promising stepped-up oversight in future years.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Naraghi Lake is Modesto Irrigation District customer

Whether because of imposed restrictions such as limits on lawn watering or personal choices such as taking shorter showers, the drought has made people more water-conscious.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Central Valley sinking fast because of groundwater pumping

The floor of the Central Valley is sinking at a record pace as drought-gripped farmers pump out the groundwater beneath them, new satellite data show.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Central Valley sinking fast in drought, NASA study shows

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Report: Groundwater pumping in California has land sinking

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.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Glenn County halts well permits for 6 months

Glenn County supervisors voted 4-0 on Tuesday for a six-month moratorium on the issuance of well permits. 

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Second time around for Glenn County talk on moratorium on new wells

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: 200-plus Tuolumne wells run dry (with audio)

This week and next the Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services is holding six workshops so people can sign up to have water delivered at no cost in most cases.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Cadiz deal will remove Chromium-6 from desert water

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.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

Environmental hurdle adds a year to SMUD’s massive $800 million Iowa Hill hydroelectric project

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.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

The Great Plains’ invisible water crisis

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: California Indian tribe pursues rights to groundwater

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.

Aquafornia news KVPR Valley Public Radio

The ‘Almond Doctor’ says salt is slowly crippling California’s almond industry (with audio)

High salinity levels in groundwater used for agriculture on the Westside of Central California is commonplace, but this year the issue is compounded.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Water, and hope, run dry for East Porterville woman caught in 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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Turlock, Ceres, south Modesto take key step toward water plant

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.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Scientists: Coachella Valley aquifer decline continues

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.

Aquafornia news ProPublica

How much water does the West really have? (with video)

Seventy five years ago, American scientists discovered a secret about how the planet’s water works.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Many of the world’s water basins are being depleted, studies find

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.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Joshua Tree: Plan aims to turn desert water to electricity

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Research project in Stanislaus County will see if winter flood irrigation refills aquifers

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.

Aquafornia news CBS San Francisco

Drought conditions cause Central Valley homes to sink into the ground (with video)

Homes in a Central Valley neighborhood are the latest casualty of California’s historic drought. The parched, dry weather is causing them to literally sink into the ground.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am must seek amended desal test well permit

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: In California’s Central Valley, dry wells multiply in the summer heat

Some wells gurgle and hiss before they die. Others expire with a puff of sand. Either way, the result is the same: no more running water. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Some addresses may be hidden as California well reports become public

After more than six decades of secrecy, the reports that water well drillers file with the state are set to become public under a bill signed into law this week.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP (BB&K)

Legal Commentary: California Supreme Court grants review in San Buenaventura groundwater pumping fees case

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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Deepest drought issue: Beyond shallow look at groundwater

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Groundwater search turns up high carcinogen readings near McClellan

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.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC)

Blog: Getting to groundwater sustainability

[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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

State imposes well water cuts on users near Russian River

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Many of the world’s water basins are being depleted, studies find

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.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Company plans to siphon groundwater from Mojave Desert

As California’s drought enters its fourth summer, government officials and enterprising citizens are looking further and further afield for new water supplies.

International Groundwater Conference
Karen Ross, Gordon Burns among the more than 150 speakers at #AgGroundwater conference linking science and policy in San Francisco

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
Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Good news on groundwater

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.

Aquafornia news The Orange County Register

In drought and desperate times, an unlikely water source: the desert?

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Groundwater data bill passes California Senate

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

No rain, but ‘the sky is not falling’

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.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

California farmers dig deeper for water, sipping their neighbors dry

There’s a well-drilling boom in the Central Valley, and it’s a water grab as intense as any land grab before it.

Aquafornia news The Center for Investigative Reporting

California won’t identify who’s draining the state’s groundwater

A new law that attempts to preserve California’s precious groundwater comes with a catch: The state will hide the names of people draining this vast underground water source, Reveal has learned.

2016 Executive Briefing
Felicia Marcus, John Laird among the speakers

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
Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Senate committee passes bill making well data public

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.

Aquafornia news The Bakersfield Californian

Commentary: No one said groundwater laws would be easy

I [Lois Henry] noticed the Kern Groundwater Authority was proposing to double its budget from last year, which got my attention.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

County can make manufacturers pay for discarded drugs

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.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Supreme Court: Big Pharma must pay for prescription drug disposal in Alameda County

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Cal Am seeks desal project contractors despite groundwater questions

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus groundwater lawsuit presses on despite activist’s possible suicide

This week’s death of a principal player in a high-stakes groundwater lawsuit against Stanislaus County will not affect the case, which continues to wind toward an October trial date.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California water officials deliver sobering facts on depleted wells

Just a few months ago, the state’s top water officials said they had reason for optimism.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Way of life withers in California’s parched citrus belt

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.

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Groundwater concerns aired in Colusa

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

$40-million stormwater project targets polluted runoff at LAX

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California lawmakers receive grim view of drought (with audio)

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Study will look at where groundwater begins – rain or snow

Butte County is moving ahead to learn more about groundwater recharge. Does the water found in wells in the valley come from snowpack? Or is the water from rain on flat land?

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Crystal Geyser to tap Siskiyou County groundwater

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.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: Keeping accounts for groundwater sustainability

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Monterey Peninsula business leaders urge expert review of desal, groundwater replenishment reports

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Panel amends bill on San Joaquin Valley river flows

Modesto-area farmers and their allies did not get the vote they wanted Monday on a bill involving river flows, but their cause is still alive.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Butte County supervisors vote 4-1 to ban fracking waste disposal in county

After a relatively brief public hearing Tuesday, the Butte County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that would ban the storage or disposal of fracking waste within the county.

Western Water Magazine

The View From Above: The Promise of Remote Sensing
March/April 2015

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

15 years after ‘Erin Brockovich,’ town still fearful of polluted water

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.

Aquafornia news The New York Times

Beneath California crops, groundwater crisis grows

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.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP (BB&K)

Legal Commentary: Two California appellate court rulings demonstrate groundwater pumping fees are in the ‘eye of the beholder’

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Water details become vital as drought worsens

For the third year running, Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, is pushing legislation to provide public access to otherwise confidential reports about groundwater wells.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma County gets set to study groundwater regulations

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.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Pumping halted in excess groundwater case

A San Bernardino County judge finalized a ruling Friday to stop a water district that a lawsuit says is pumping more than its share out of the Rialto-Colton Basin.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: He’s not drilling a new well — why gamble with $30,000?

As the drought deepens, I’m [Mark Grossi] hearing from more people who are forced to go without indoor plumbing because they do not have $20,000 or $30,000 to replace their dried-up wells.

Aquafornia news The Center for Investigative Reporting

California is pumping water that fell to Earth 20,000 years ago

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.

Aquafornia news The Center for Investigative Reporting

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: As water dwindles, lawmakers seek access to confidential well logs

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.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Cadiz creates land trust for desert tortoise

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Oakdale Irrigation District water-table issue resurfaces

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Butte County supervisors to consider becoming groundwater sustainability agency

During its Tuesday meeting, the Butte County Board of Supervisors will discuss having the county become a groundwater sustainability agency.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Obama administration puts out fracking rules for federal lands

The Obama administration issued its first major fracking rules on Friday with standards for wells on federal and Indian lands, requiring disclosure of chemicals and covered storage of waste.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

New study, old data in Stanislaus County effort to manage groundwater

A long-awaited tool created to help manage groundwater was unveiled Wednesday to the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee, whose members listened politely but seemed less than thrilled.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Judge: Coachella Valley Water District doesn’t need to ID heavy water users

A Riverside County Superior Court judge this week ruled that the Coachella Valley Water District doesn’t need to disclose its private customers’ groundwater use data.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Overpumping of Central Valley groundwater creating a crisis, experts say

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

State backs Salinas Valley well monitoring

State regulators on Monday approved a critical well-monitoring program that should give the public a better idea of the groundwater situation in the Salinas Valley. 

Aquafornia news Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard (KMTG)

Blog: Department of Water Resources releases draft strategic plan for implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

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. 

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Eggman floats groundwater bill

Stowing away water in our underground emergency “savings account” could get easier under a proposed bill supported by local water officials.

Aquafornia news U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Blog: Celebrating National Groundwater Awareness Week

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Commentary: Groundwater law results in confusion, futility

It’s beginning to look like the hosannas that greeted California’s first-ever groundwater regulation law were a tad premature when it passed late last summer.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Salinas Valley groundwater data to go public

The agency that oversees aquifers in the Salinas Valley is finally on track to publicly disclose detailed groundwater levels there, a move that comes after years of delays.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Glenn County gets ready for action on groundwater management

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.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences California WaterBlog

Blog: Creating effective groundwater sustainability plans

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Merced supervisors approve first steps of groundwater ordinance

Merced County’s proposed groundwater ordinance is one step closer to becoming law. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California orders 12 oil-field wells shut to protect groundwater

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.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

California lowers health goal for perchlorate

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Hundreds of illicit oil wastewater pits found in Kern County

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.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Agriculture secretary views Pajaro Valley water solutions

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. 

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Yes, you can drink it – and you probably are: Orange County toilet-to-tap recycled water program is expanding

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Turlock Irrigation District board will talk about two water projects

The board of the Turlock Irrigation District will talk in closed session Tuesday about two major water projects in the offing. 

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Report: Central Valley leads nation in falling groundwater levels; crisis blamed on almonds and drought

Groundwater levels appear to be sinking faster in the Central Valley than anywhere else in the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey says in a new report. 

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Blog: February is flowering like spring — just don’t turn on your sprinklers

Indulge me. I [Mark Grossi] want to persuade you to hold off on landscape watering in this dry time even though your lawn is turning green.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Cemex gravel mine neighbors struggle with dry wells

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. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Amid a lack of fracking data, the state should halt new operations

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. 


The 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
A Handbook to Understanding and Implementing the Law

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: San Joaquin County’s underground supply sinks toward 1992 low point

An invisible “savings account” beneath our feet just keeps shrinking, with groundwater dropping to levels not seen since the end of the last major drought.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

California oil regulator cites ‘serious concerns’ on data collection

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: High levels of benzene found in fracking waste water

Hoping to better understand the health effects of oil fracking, the state in 2013 ordered oil companies to test the chemical-laden waste water extracted from wells.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California pledges changes in protecting underground water

California has proposed closing by October up to 140 oil-field wells that state regulators had allowed to inject into federally protected drinking water aquifers, state officials said.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California strengthens oil drilling waste rules (with audio)

Drilling for oil can be messy. About 90 percent of the fluid that comes up is waste water and the oil companies have to dispose of it somewhere.

Aquafornia news The Merced Sun-Star

Groundwater woes wear on Merced County farmers

The record drought has turned water into a commodity that some will pay any price for.

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Reclamation will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for San Bernardino Clean Water Factory

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus city, county, water officials tackle new groundwater law

Local officials agreed Thursday that carrying out California’s new groundwater law will be a challenge, but it’s better than the alternative – letting the state impose the rules.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: California permitted oilfield discharge in protected water

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.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Commentary: Local control is key to Orange County water reliability

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.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Commentary: Protecting Orange County’s water

Ensuring a bright future for Orange County requires many organizations and individuals working together at building and protecting a diverse portfolio of water resources.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

State let oil companies taint drinkable water in Central Valley

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.

Aquafornia news San Bernardino County Sun

Pioneering water study in Hinkley to determine contamination sources

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? 

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

New county panel to lobby on Salinas Valley water advocacy

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.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Soquel Creek district to roll out voluntary conservation budgets

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Report — Farming and urban growth are polluting America’s aquifers

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Ag and water overview: Less water puts a dent in regional economy

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Oversight called for on Salinas Valley water basin initiative

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.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

Blog: The quality of the nation’s groundwater

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. 

Aquafornia news The Willits News

Caltrans: Past policy may contribute to groundwater contamination

Caltrans has drilled thousands of undocumented wells during the past 20 years that could be contributing to groundwater contamination throughout California.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: American Geophysical Union 2014 recap — That sinking, drying, sharing feeling

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Efforts to protect groundwater continue

Stanislaus County supervisors say they’re intensely focused on finding long-term solutions to groundwater problems, but some of their comments were challenged by those at a Monday gathering.

Aquafornia news The Bakersfield Californian

Commentary: It’s good to be a water lawyer, especially now

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.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: California’s 930 new state laws

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.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

Blog: SkyTEM aquifer mapping

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: 2015 Preview — States react to new era of water scarcity

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.

Aquafornia news Bay City News

New water-storage project coming to San Mateo County

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.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Groundwater adjudication hearing, part 3

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.

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Groundwater adjudication hearing, part 2

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?” …

Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Blog: Groundwater adjudication hearing, part 1

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.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

State Water Board releases interactive tool to locate nitrate-impacted wells

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.”

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

With California drought, Coachella Valley consumption steady

Despite one of the most severe droughts in California history, the Coachella Valley’s overall consumption of water largely held steady during much of this year.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Report: California drought threatens groundwater

Three years of drought have taken a heavy toll on California groundwater supplies, with hundreds more wells being dug this year, one of the driest on record, a state report released Tuesday said.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Updated report shows continued groundwater depletion

The California Department of Water Resources report shows this year through September more than 350 new water wells were drilled in Fresno and Tulare counties, the most in the state.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Commentary: Oakdale Irrigation District doesn’t mine groundwater

First, let me make it clear: OID [Oakdale Irrigation District] does not pump groundwater and then sell it. That is called water mining. It is prohibited in Stanislaus County.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Editorial: Modesto Irrigation District, Stanislaus supervisors are moving in right direction

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Peace amid the water wars: San Joaquin County, East Bay MUD reach deal

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus will take a harder look at well permit applications

Stanislaus County supervisors voted Tuesday to tighten the rules for well permits, requiring farmers outside irrigation districts to show that new wells won’t have a detrimental effect on groundwater.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Chronicle food writers critique San Francisco’s new tap water

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.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus residents race to get well permits

There’s a funny line in the staff report that accompanies the proposed groundwater ordinance on Tuesday’s Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors meeting agenda.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco wants to add groundwater to tap

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.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

State Senate hearing focuses on streamlining groundwater rights disputes

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.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Well owners face decision

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.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Editorial: City of Fresno’s water plan is sound and worthy of approval

People opposed to the city of Fresno’s $410 million plan to reduce the relentless overdrafting of our aquifer offered their objections during four recent community forums.


Southern California Tour 2015
Field Trip (past)

Diamond Valley Lake. Photo by MWD

This 2-day, 1-night tour traveled through Inland Southern California to learn about the region’s efforts in groundwater management, recycled water and other drought-proofing measures.


Groundwater Tour 2015
Field Trip (past)

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.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Early tests don’t find tainted water from oil boom

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.

Aquafornia news CBS 60 Minutes

Depleting the water (with video)

It’s been said that the wars of the 21st century may well be fought over water. … California is entering its fourth year of a record-breaking drought.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP

Legal Commentary: New groundwater legislation update — Comments recommended regarding groundwater basin prioritization

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Contaminated groundwater wells close in South Lake Tahoe

Because of the drought, three wells in South Lake Tahoe have higher levels of contamination. Some wells have been shut-downs and the state of California is investigating.

Aquafornia news Davis Enterprise

Drought lecture quenches thirst for information on Yolo County’s water

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.

Aquafornia news KCRA Sacramento

Will the water last in California?

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

A parched farm town is sinking, and so are its residents’ hearts

Beneath this small farm town at the end of what’s left of the Kings River, the ground is sinking.

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Blog: Groundwater security, for the long term

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.

Aquafornia news Water in the West

Report: ‘Storing Water in California — What Can $2.7 Billion Buy Us?’

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.

Aquafornia news Water in the West

Blog: Groundwater sustainability plans — New territory or well-trodden ground?

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.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Earth’s major aquifers are in trouble

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.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Desert Water Agency settles lawsuit

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.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Ground-breaking survey maps coastal saltwater intrusion

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.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

News Release: Water Education Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Bowles talks water with Radio Disney

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.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

San Gabriel Valley getting graded on local groundwater basin usage

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: For Sierra resident, the well runs dry — along with her options

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Monterey County begins Salinas Valley groundwater sustainability effort

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Sacramento Valley water transfer idea leaves locals fuming

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.”

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Tribe, agencies lay out arguments in water lawsuit

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Amid California’s drought, a bruising battle for cheap water

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.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Proposition 1 could lessen future water shortages, but at what cost?

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. 

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Drought funding dries up

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.

Aquafornia news NPR

As their wells run dry, California residents blame thirsty farms

Imagine flushing the toilet and watching sand come up.

Aquafornia news NPR

California farmers: We are getting ‘much less water’

Farmers say they aren’t using up groundwater supplies, nor are they solely to blame for the water crisis. Almond grower Dan Errotabere talks with NPR’s Rachel Martin about the situation on his farm.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

The West is bone dry. Here’s how to help

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.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

News Release: Learn about groundwater and take a cruise on Lake Shasta

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.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Capitol Alert

Governor Grounded: Typically, a Groundwater Resources Association of California conference might not register too much attention.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma County unveils proposed rules for new wells

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.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Cities seek water independence

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Meeting state groundwater rules will mean a lot of work locally

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.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Plans for five new Glenn-Colusa wells face a tough crowd

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.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Monterey County, agencies close in on groundwater deal

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.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Amid drought, plan seeks to conserve aquifer under Santa Rosa Plain

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.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Voters will decide fate of $7.5 billion water bond

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.