Topic: Groundwater

Overview

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 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. 

Publication

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.

Tour

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.

Tour

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.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Satellite images reveal shocking groundwater loss in California

The severity of California’s drought continues to shock, with the latest example coming courtesy of NASA.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Proposition 1 — Voters to decide on $7.5 billion water bond

California voters will be faced with a $7.5 billion question this fall about whether to publicly finance a water bond meant to help the state better manage its most precious and increasingly limited resource.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: California governor comes full circle on groundwater reform

Drought in California today did what drought a generation ago could not – secure the passage of legislation that requires tighter controls on groundwater use in one of the few states without such measures.

Aquafornia news Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Newsroom

News Release: Governor Brown signs historic groundwater legislation

Putting California communities on a path to become more resilient to water shortages, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today [Sept. 16] signed historic legislation to strengthen local management and monitoring of groundwater basins most critical to the state’s water needs.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Brown signs bills to regulate pumping of underground water

For the first time in its history, California will establish statewide management of water pumped from the ground, under legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Dan Walters Daily [video]: How big a deal is groundwater legislation?

While lauded as an historic achievement, we won’t know the impact of new groundwater regulations for decades to come, Dan says.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: California’s groundwater law will get governor’s OK Tuesday

Gov. Jerry Brown will sign a landmark measure Tuesday to regulate groundwater pumping, enacting the most significant California water law in nearly 50 years.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Groundwater can’t be regulated without increasing surface supplies

Increased groundwater pumping is under growing scrutiny. The devastating consequences of a third year of drought, coupled with over-regulation of surface supplies, have increased momentum in Sacramento for state intervention in local groundwater management.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: Satellites Show Major Southwest Groundwater Loss

Groundwater losses from the Colorado River basin appear massive enough to challenge long-term water supplies for the seven states and parts of Mexico that it serves, according to a new study released Thursday that used NASA satellites.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Groundwater Level in California Basin Hits Historic Low

From the Los Angeles Times:

The groundwater level in the San Bernardino Basin area is at its lowest point in recorded history, officials say.

Read more

Aquafornia news Salinas Californian

Study: Farmers Tap Into Groundwater Reserves

From The Salinas Californian:

Unbridled pumping of well water along the Central Coast and in the Central Valley could have dire consequences for the agricultural economy, according to a new study released by the University of California, Davis.

Read more  

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

News Release: Aquifer System Beneath Albuquerque Shows Impact of Groundwater Pumping

From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS):

Groundwater pumping has produced significant changes in water levels below some parts of the Albuquerque metropolitan area, according to two new reports published by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Read more  

Aquafornia news

Commentary: On Water Issues, 1 Vote Each Isn’t Always Fairest

From The Bakersfield Californian, in a column by Lois Henry:

There’s so much going on with groundwater, it’s a whirlwind! … There are two bills in the process of melding into one that both aim to change a basic tenet of California groundwater regulation — which, as it happens, does not presently exist.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Drought Takes Toll on San Joaquin County Groundwater

From the Stockton Record:

Hundreds of tiny red arrows spread like star constellations across a map of San Joaquin County tell the story: The drought is drawing down our valuable groundwater “savings account.”

Read more  

Aquafornia news Associated Press

River Ruling Could Boost Regulation of Groundwater

From the Associated Press:

An attorney said Thursday he expects to appeal a potentially precedent-setting court finding that could make local governments responsible for controlling the largely unregulated pumping of groundwater in the state.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Little Oversight as Nestle Taps Morongo Reservation Water

From The Desert Sun:

Among the windmills and creosote bushes of San Gorgonio Pass, a nondescript beige building stands flanked by water tanks.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Sacramento Judge Makes Precedent-Setting Ruling On Groundwater Regulation

From Capital Public Radio:

A Sacramento Superior Court judge issued a ruling Tuesday requiring regulation of groundwater pumping to protect a river in Siskiyou County. Attorneys on both sides say it’s the first time a California court has ruled the “public trust doctrine” applies to groundwater.

Read more  

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Groundwater Pumping Propping Up Farms in California Drought

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Consumers will see no shortages of California-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables this year despite one of the worst droughts in state history, but that’s because farmers are draining groundwater reserves and leaving no insurance should heavy rains fail to materialize next winter, UC Davis researchers said Tuesday.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Associated Press

California Drought Threatens to Dry Up Farm Wells

From the Associated Press:

Researchers say farmers in pockets of California hardest hit by the drought could begin to see wells run dry next year.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Report: Groundwater Management Plans Need Improvement

From Capital Public Radio:

The California Water Foundation looked at 120 groundwater management plans adopted by local water agencies. In a nutshell, the results aren’t good.

Read more, or listen to the story  

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Cadiz Project Water to Be Made Available Locally

From the San Bernardino County Sun, in a commentary by Scott Slater:

In his July 1 opinion commentary, Bob Stadum asks whether the Cadiz Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project’s proposal to “mine” Mojave Desert water for use in Southern California is a good thing. While mining is a mainstay of the San Bernardino economy, the Cadiz Project is not “mining.”

Read more  

Aquafornia news California Water Foundation

News Release: Report Highlights Urgent Need to Address Groundwater Problems Throughout California

From the California Water Foundation:

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Drought Threatens Future of Center for Developmentally Disabled

From the Los Angeles Times:

Earlier this year, LARC’s [Los Angeles Residential Community] wells started to sputter, and today, they have run dry. The aquifer beneath Bouquet Canyon appears to be empty.

Read more  

Aquafornia news California Water Foundation

News Release: What People Are Saying About Protecting California’s Groundwater

From the California Water Foundation:

Water experts, local water agencies, environmental groups, agricultural interests, homeowners and the media continue to join the call to fix California’s broken groundwater management system. Here’s what they’re saying about two rapidly moving bills (SB 1168 and AB 1739) aimed at advancing sustainable management of groundwater basins in the state.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Leaders Focusing on Groundwater Treatment in Bond Discussions

From the Los Angeles Times:

When the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced last year an ambitious groundwater treatment program for the contaminated San Fernando Basin, the agency had its eyes on a state water bond for crucial funding to get the project built.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Editorial: End Secrecy in California’s Groundwater Logs

From The Sacramento Bee:

California is the only state in the western United States that does not regulate groundwater at the state level.

Read more  

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Almond Grower Weary of Farmers Being Called Water-wasters

From The Modesto Bee, in a commentary by Dave Phippen:

Imagine my surprise to wake up to yet another Sunday morning story in The Modesto Bee (“Rush to drill is uneven” Page A1, June 29) to learn how those pesky nut farmers have caused even more rural Stanislaus residents to experience the unpleasant experience of a dry well.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

As Drought Persists, Frustration Mounts Over Secrecy of California’s Well Drilling Logs

From The Sacramento Bee:

By now, the contours of California’s groundwater crisis are familiar: the dried-up wells, sinking farmland, over-tapped aquifers and growing push for more state oversight. But on the edges of that drama is a back story that’s been largely overlooked about groundwater data, government secrecy and scientific opportunities lost.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Aerojet Rocketdyne, Folsom Complete Work to Ease Drought’s Effects

From The Sacramento Bee:

Citing the urgency to conserve water amid California’s intensifying drought, officials of Aerojet Rocketdyne and the city of Folsom announced Tuesday an interim solution that will enable the company to start reusing millions of gallons of treated groundwater.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee Kevin Valine Blog

Blog: Modesto News — City Drawing on Wells Amid Drought, MID Cuts

From The Modesto Bee Kevin Valine Blog:

Modesto is feeling the effects of the drought, with the Modesto Irrigation District reducing the amount of water it sends to the city by 43 percent, which is the same reduction MID has imposed on its other water users.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Desert Sun

Coachella Valley Groundwater Pumping Holds Steady

From The Desert Sun:

Facing one of the worst droughts in California history, Gov. Jerry Brown in January urged people across the state to cut water use by 20 percent. … But the Coachella Valley, like much of California, remains far from reaching that goal.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Homeowners Go Dry as Farmers Get Permits to Drill Hundreds of New Wells

From The Modesto Bee:

Stanislaus County farmers have been granted permission to drill hundreds of new agricultural wells this year, while an increasing number of domestic water wells go dry, a review of permit records shows.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

Groundwater Bills Clear Senate and Assembly Committees, Talks Continue

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

Two ACWA-supported bills aimed at advancing sustainable management of California’s groundwater basins moved out of Senate and Assembly committees June 24, launching what is expected to be several weeks of final negotiations and fine-tuning.

Read more  

Aquafornia news

Commentary: ‘Shell Game’ with Parkway Well Water?

From The Bakersfield Californian, in a commentary by Lois Henry:

The city has been watching for several months as those wells have pumped thousands of acre feet of groundwater into the Cross Valley Canal where it has moved on to the California Aqueduct and parts unknown.

Read more  

Aquafornia news Modesto Bee

Turlock Could Seek State Money for Water Projects

From The Modesto Bee:

The [Turlock] City Council on Tuesday will consider seeking about $2.54 million in state money for wellhead treatment and water conservation.

Read more  

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Local Authority Crucial to Managing Groundwater

From Capitol Weekly, in a commentary by Scott Slater:

Dramatic declines in groundwater levels and a record drought have made groundwater management reform in California a priority for discussion in the California Legislature and a call for change.

Read more  

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Groundwater Out of Sight But Never Out of Mind

From the Stockton Record, in a commentary by Jack Hamm:

Agriculture is San Joaquin County’s leading industry. … Ask any farmers, and they will tell you that the most important tool they utilize when growing their crop is water.

Read more  

Aquafornia news

Blog: Modernizing California’s Groundwater Management

From the California WaterBlog, by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences:

Organized by the Groundwater Resources Association of California, the Contemporary Groundwater Issues Council of scientists, economists, consultants, policymakers and regulators recently developed a set of consensus recommendations.

Read more  

Aquafornia news KCET ReWire blog by Chris Clarke

Blog: Mammoth Residents Concerned Over Geothermal Plant Threat to Groundwater

From the KCET ReWire blog by Chris Clarke:

“A 33-megawatt geothermal power plant approved in August by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service has the town of Mammoth Lakes worried about its drinking water supply.”

Read more  

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Opposition Votes By San Joaquin County on Water Issues

From the Stockton Record:

“Fearing the state will interfere with local management of groundwater supplies, San Joaquin County supervisors voted Tuesday to oppose legislation and support state intervention ‘only in the most extreme situations.’”

Read more  

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

DWR Releases Prioritization Results for Monitoring Groundwater Basins

From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):

“Nearly one in four of California’s groundwater basins and subbasins have been deemed medium or high priority under a statewide monitoring program, the Department of Water Resources announced late Tuesday.”

Read more  

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

‘Pioneer Spirit’ Helping Central Valley Residents Deal With Drought

From Capital Public Radio:

“As groundwater levels continue to drop in the Central Valley, many homeowners are finding ways to cope and to prepare — in case their private wells running dry.”

Read more, or listen to the story  

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

News Release: Land-Subsidence Trends in Coachella Valley Detailed in New Report

From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS):

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Drought Intensifies Push for Better California Groundwater Management

From Capital Public Radio:

“This Part 2 in a two-part series about how communities are affected by the drought and the state’s effort to manage groundwater more sustainably. … Californians are becoming more reliant on underground water during the drought. But policymakers and environmental groups agree better management of the resource is needed.”

Read more, or listen to the story  

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

The ‘Deepest Straw Wins’ in Central Valley Scramble for Groundwater

From Capital Public Radio:

“This is Part 1 in a two-part series focusing on the experiences of Central Valley homeowners during the drought. During a normal year, 30 percent of the water Californians consume comes from groundwater. This year, the California Department of Food and Agriculture says groundwater will account for 60 percent.”

Read more, or listen to the story  

Aquafornia news

Supreme Court Ruling Muddies Water in Lejeune Pollution Case

From the McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau:

“The Supreme Court on Monday dealt a blow to North Carolina families trying to sue over groundwater contamination at a big Marine Corps base.”

Read more

Aquafornia news Sacramento Bee

Editorial: It’s High Time California Manages Its Underground Water Sources

From The Sacramento Bee:

“This has to be the year that California finally starts to regulate groundwater. It has to be.”

Read more  

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Well Drilling Spikes In Drought-Stricken Central Valley

From Capital Public Radio:

“Many people who live in the Fresno area say water isn’t flowing from their taps like it used to. Households using private groundwater wells are finding the water table is falling below their pump during the drought.”

Read more, or listen to the story  

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Groundwater legislation marks turning point to achieve reliable water supply

California made history recently when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Its passage marks a once-in-a-century achievement, for it was 100 years ago that California enacted the first comprehensive legal framework for managing surface water.

Aquafornia news USGS California Water Science Center

Report: Integrated Hydrologic Model of Pajaro Valley, Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties

Increasing population, agricultural development (including shifts to more water-intensive crops), and climate variability are placing increasingly larger demands on available groundwater resources in the Pajaro Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

City of Sacramento plans to update water wells

Because of the drought, the City of Sacramento uses groundwater for about 20 percent of its water needs. The City says it could pump ground water more efficiently if it updated some of its wells.

Aquafornia news Water Education Foundation

News Release: Lester Snow to talk about historic groundwater legislation at special Water 101 Workshop

Attend the Water Education Foundation’s special Water 101 Workshop in Southern California in early October and hear from one of the people who helped formulate the historic groundwater legislation recently signed by Gov. Brown. Lester Snow, executive director of the California Water Foundation and the former director of the Department of Water Resources, was a key player in the formulation of the package of groundwater bills – AB 1739, SB 1168 and SB 1319.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater
Updated 2017

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background and perspective on groundwater. The guide explains what groundwater is – not an underground network of rivers and lakes! – and the history of its use in California.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law
Updated 2013

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law, recognized as the most thorough explanation of California water rights law available to non-lawyers, traces the authority for water flowing in a stream or reservoir, from a faucet or into an irrigation ditch through the complex web of California water rights.

Western Water Magazine

Overdrawn at the Bank: Managing California’s Groundwater
January/February 2014

This printed issue of Western Water looks at California groundwater and whether its sustainability can be assured by local, regional and state management. For more background information on groundwater please refer to the Founda­tion’s Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater.

Western Water Magazine

Nitrate and the Struggle for Clean Drinking Water
March/April 2013

This printed issue of Western Water discusses the problems of nitrate-contaminated water in small disadvantaged communities and possible solutions.

Western Water Magazine

Preserving Quantity and Quality: Groundwater Management in California
May/June 2011

This printed issue of Western Water examines groundwater management and the extent to which stakeholders believe more efforts are needed to preserve and restore the resource.

Publication

Water & the Shaping of California
Published 2000 - Paperback

The story of water is the story of California. And no book tells that story better than Water & the Shaping of California.

Publication

Water & the Shaping of California
Published 2000 - hardbound

The story of California is the story of water. And no book tells that story better than Water & the Shaping of California.

Western Water Magazine

Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Quality: A Cause for Concern?
September/October 2012

This printed issue of Western Water looks at hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. Much of the information in the article was presented at a conference hosted by the Groundwater Resources Association of California.

Publication

New Director’s Packet

Newly elected to your local water board? Or city council? Or state Legislature? This packet of materials provides you with the valuable background information you need – and at a special price!

Western Water Magazine

Saving it For Later: Groundwater Banking
July/August 2010

This printed issue of Western Water examines groundwater banking, a water management strategy with appreciable benefits but not without challenges and controversy.

Western Water Magazine

Viewing Water with a Wide Angle Lens: A Roundtable Discussion
January/February 2013

This printed issue of Western Water features a roundtable discussion with Anthony Saracino, a water resources consultant; Martha Davis, executive manager of policy development with the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and senior policy advisor to the Delta Stewardship Council; Stuart Leavenworth, editorial page editor of The Sacramento Bee and Ellen Hanak, co-director of research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Western Water Magazine

Changing the Status Quo: The 2009 Water Package
January/February 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at some of the pieces of the 2009 water legislation, including the Delta Stewardship Council, the new requirements for groundwater monitoring and the proposed water bond.

Western Water Magazine

Desalination: A Drought Proof Supply?
July/August 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines desalination – an issue that is marked by great optimism and controversy – and the expected role it might play as an alternative water supply strategy.

Western Water Magazine

A Tale of Two Rivers: The Russian and the Santa Ana
May/June 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines the Russian and Santa Ana rivers – areas with ongoing issues not dissimilar to the rest of the state – managing supplies within a lingering drought, improving water quality and revitalizing and restoring the vestiges of the native past.

Western Water Magazine

Dealing with the ‘D’ Word: The Response to Drought
November/December 2008

This printed copy of Western Water examines California’s drought – its impact on water users in the urban and agricultural sector and the steps being taken to prepare for another dry year should it arrive.

Western Water Magazine

An Expanded Role for Groundwater Storage
September/October 2007

Statewide, groundwater provides about 30 percent of California’s water supply, with some regions more dependent on it than others. In drier years, groundwater provides a higher percentage of the water supply. Groundwater is less known than surface water but no less important. Its potential for helping to meet the state’s growing water demand has spurred greater attention toward gaining a better understanding of its overall value. This issue of Western Water examines groundwater storage and its increasing importance in California’s future water policy.

Western Water Magazine

California Groundwater: Managing A Hidden Resource
July/August 2003

This issue of Western Water examines the issue of California groundwater management, in light of recent attention focused on the subject through legislative actions and the release of the draft Bulletin 118. In addition to providing an overview of groundwater and management options, it offers a glimpse of what the future may hold and some background information on groundwater hydrology and law.

Video

A Climate of Change: Water Adaptation Strategies

This 25-minute documentary-style DVD, developed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, provides an excellent overview of climate change and how it is already affecting California. The DVD also explains what scientists anticipate in the future related to sea level rise and precipitation/runoff changes and explores the efforts that are underway to plan and adapt to climate.

Video

Stormwater Management: Turning Runoff into a Resource

20-minute DVD that explains the problem with polluted stormwater, and steps that can be taken to help prevent such pollution and turn what is often viewed as a “nuisance” into a water resource through various activities.

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (60-minute DVD)

Many Californians don’t realize that when they turn on the faucet, the water that flows out could come from a source close to home or one hundreds of miles away. Most people take their water for granted; not thinking about the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state. Where drinking water comes from, how it’s treated, and what people can do to protect its quality are highlighted in this 2007 PBS documentary narrated by actress Wendie Malick. 

Video

Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst (30-minute DVD)

A 30-minute version of the 2007 PBS documentary Drinking Water: Quenching the Public Thirst. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the elaborate systems and testing that go into delivering clean, plentiful water to households throughout the state.

Video

Water on the Edge (30-minute VHS)

A 30-minute version of the 2005 PBS documentary Water on the Edge. This video is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues surrounding the New River.

Video

Water on the Edge (60-minute VHS)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Video

Water on the Edge (60-minute DVD)

Water truly has shaped California into the great state it is today. And if it is water that made California great, it’s the fight over – and with – water that also makes it so critically important. In efforts to remap California’s circulatory system, there have been some critical events that had a profound impact on California’s water history. These turning points not only forced a re-evaluation of water, but continue to impact the lives of every Californian. This 2005 PBS documentary offers a historical and current look at the major water issues that shaped the state we know today. Includes a 12-page viewer’s guide with background information, historic timeline and a teacher’s lesson.

Product

Go With the Flow: A Storm Water Pollution Prevention Message

This 7-minute DVD is designed to teach children in grades 5-12 about where storm water goes – and why it is so important to clean up trash, use pesticides and fertilizers wisely, and prevent other chemicals from going down the storm drain. The video’s teenage actors explain the water cycle and the difference between sewer drains and storm drains, how storm drain water is not treated prior to running into a river or other waterway. The teens also offer a list of BMPs – best management practices that homeowners can do to prevent storm water pollution.

Video

Conjunctive Use: A Comprehensive Approach to Water Planning

This 11-minute video simplifies the often-misunderstood concept of conjunctive use – coordinating surface water and groundwater supplies, which are often managed as separate resources. It explains in an easy-to-understand manner the relationship between groundwater and surface water, outlines different forms of conjunctive use, and identifies issues of concern that must be resolved for each project. Includes extensive computer graphics that illustrate these concepts.

Video

Groundwater Quality: Managing the Resource

This 15-minute video explains in an easy-to-understand manner the importance of groundwater, defines technical terms, describes sources of groundwater contamination and outlines steps communities can take to protect underground aquifers. Includes extensive computer graphics that illustrate these groundwater concepts. The short running times makes it ideal for presentations and community group meetings. Available on VHS and DVD.

Maps & Posters

California Groundwater Map
Redesigned in 2017

California Groundwater poster map

Fashioned after the popular California Water Map, this 24×36 inch poster was extensively re-designed in 2017 to better illustrate the value and use of groundwater in California, the main types of aquifers, and the connection between groundwater and surface water.

Maps & Posters

Water Cycle Poster

Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Recycling
Updated 2013

As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge and industrial uses.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Water Marketing
Updated 2005

The 20-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Marketing provides background information on water rights, types of transfers and critical policy issues surrounding this topic. First published in 1996, the 2000 version offers expanded information on groundwater banking and conjunctive use …  Colorado River transfers, CALFED’s Water Transfer Program and the role of private companies in California’s developing water market. 

Order in bulk (25 or more copies of the same guide) for a reduced fee. Contact the Foundation, 916-444-6240, for details.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project
Updated 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project provides an overview of the California-funded and constructed State Water Project.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2015

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use.

Publication

Layperson’s Guide to Nevada Water
Published 2006

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Nevada Water provides an overview of the history of water development and use in Nevada. It includes sections on Nevada’s water rights laws, the history of the Truckee and Carson rivers, water supplies for the Las Vegas area, groundwater, water quality, environmental issues and today’s water supply challenges.

Aquapedia background

Seawater Intrusion

Seawater intrusion can harm groundwater quality in a variety of places, both coastal and inland, throughout California.

Along the coast, seawater intrusion into aquifers is connected to overdrafting of groundwater. Additionally, in the interior, groundwater pumping can draw up salty water from ancient seawater isolated in subsurface sediments.

Aquapedia background

Pollutants and Groundwater

Pollutants and Groundwater

The natural quality of groundwater in California depends on the surrounding geology and on the source of water that recharges the aquifer.

Aquapedia background

Overdraft

Overdraft occurs when, over a period of years, more water is pumped from a groundwater basin than is replaced from all sources – such as rainfall, irrigation water, streams fed by mountain runoff and intentional recharge. [See also Hydrologic Cycle.]

While many of its individual aquifers are not overdrafted, California as a whole uses more groundwater than is replaced.

Aquapedia background

Groundwater Treatment

The treatment of groundwater— the primary source of drinking water and irrigation water in many parts of the United States — varies from community to community, and even from well to well within a city depending on what contaminants the water contains.

In California, one-half of the state’s population drinks water drawn from underground sources [the remainder is provided by surface water].

Aquapedia background

Groundwater Management

Groundwater management is recognized as critical to supporting the long-term viability of California’s aquifers and protecting the nearby surface waters that are connected to groundwater.

Aquapedia background

Groundwater Legislation

California has considered, but not implemented, a comprehensive groundwater strategy many times over the last century.

One hundred years ago, the California Conservation Commission considered adding  groundwater regulation into the Water Commission Act of 1913.  After hearings were held, it was decided to leave groundwater rights out of the Water Code.

Aquapedia background

Groundwater Law

California, like most arid Western states, has a complex system of surface water rights that accounts for nearly all of the water in rivers and streams.

Aquapedia background

Groundwater Banking

Groundwater Banking

Water banking is a form of conjunctive use in which water is allocated for current use, or stored in surface water reservoirs or in aquifers for later use.

Aquapedia background

Groundwater Adjudication

When multiple parties withdraw water from the same aquifer, groundwater pumpers can ask the court to adjudicate, or hear arguments for and against, to better define the rights that various entities have to use groundwater resources. This is known as  groundwater adjudication. [See also California water rights and Groundwater Law.]

Aquapedia background Layperson's Guide to Groundwater

Groundwater

Groundwater

California’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.

Aquapedia background

Conjunctive Use

Conjunctive use is a catch-phrase for coordinated use of surface water and groundwater— literally going with the flow to maximize sufficient yield.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Preserving Quantity and Quality: Groundwater Management in California
May/June 2011

For something so largely hidden from view, groundwater is an important and controversial part of California’s water supply picture. How it should be managed and whether it becomes part of overarching state regulation is a topic of strong debate.

Commands