Category Archives: Groundwater

Groundwater exchange pools in Los Angeles: An innovative example of adaptive management

by Erik Porse, Kathryn Mika, Stephanie Pincetl, Mark Gold, and William Blomquist Across California, Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) are devising plans to reduce long-term overdraft. As part of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, GSAs will submit plans in 2020-2022, … Continue reading

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SGMA struggles to overcome marginalization of disadvantaged communities

by Kristin Dobbin Small Disadvantaged Communities (DACs), or DACs with less than 10,000 people, have long been disproportionately affected by California’s water management woes such as groundwater overdraft and pollution. Now, new research from the UC Davis Center for Environmental … Continue reading

Posted in California Water, Drinking water, Drought, Groundwater | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Managing Domestic Well Impacts from Overdraft and Balancing Stakeholder Interests

by Robert M. Gailey and Jay R. Lund The historic drought in California from 2012 through 2016 brought unprecedented groundwater level declines and reports of dry domestic supply wells.  This was particularly true in the Central Valley. New research on … Continue reading

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Groundwater Recovery in California – Still Behind the Curve

by Thomas Harter and Bill Brewster California has a unique and highly variable climate in which drought reoccurs periodically. California began this century in a dry period from 1999 to 2005, and experienced droughts from 2007 to 2009, and 2012 … Continue reading

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Lessons for SGMA from other State-Local Collaborations

by Dave Owen California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is known primarily for establishing statewide requirements for sustainable groundwater management.  But the statute did another important thing: it introduced an intriguing yet relatively rare model of state and local governance into … Continue reading

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Accounting for groundwater movement between subbasins under SGMA

by Christina Buck, Jim Blanke, Reza Namvar, and Thomas Harter The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) presents many new challenges and opportunities.  One challenge is accounting for ‘interbasin flow,’ or subsurface groundwater movement between subbasins, a piece of the overall … Continue reading

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Groundwater Nitrate Sources and Contamination in the Central Valley

by Katherine Ransom and Thomas Harter In California’s Central Valley, many communities depend significantly or entirely on groundwater as their drinking water supply. Studies estimate the number of private wells in the Central Valley to be on the order of … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, California Water, Groundwater, Nitrate, Water Supply and Wastewater | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Fish, flows, and 5937 – legal challenges on the Santa Maria River

by Karrigan Bork, JD, PhD Driving down the 101, you cross a half-mile long bridge over the Santa Maria River into the city of Santa Maria, California. It’s a large bridge, with big levees to constrain the river on either … Continue reading

Posted in California Water, Fish, Groundwater, Planning and Management, Sustainability | Tagged | 3 Comments

GRA’s Contemporary Groundwater Issues Council weighs in on BMPs for Groundwater Sustainability Plans

by Thomas Harter, Vicki Kretsinger Grabert, Reid Bryson, and Tim Parker On May 26, 2016, eight days after the California Water Commission voted to approve emergency regulations for Groundwater Sustainability Plans, the Groundwater Resources Association (GRA) held the sixth annual workshop of … Continue reading

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Post-drought groundwater in California: Like the economy after a deep “recession,” recovery will be slow

by Thomas Harter The 2012-2016 drought has made many of us keenly aware of how “empty” our groundwater “reservoirs” have become. As the recent series of atmospheric rivers have left us with a massive snowpack, full surface water reservoirs (with … Continue reading

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