The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has completed the Groundwater Update to the California Water Plan Update 2013 with essential data, information and analyses that will be important to the successful implementation of a statewide groundwater sustainability management process.
Legislation enacted last year by the California State Legislature established a roadmap of activity and goals over the next five years that will eventually lead to the creation of sustainability plans for the state’s 515 groundwater basins and subbasins.
These basins contribute close to 40 percent of the California’s annual water supply in an average year and over 45 percent in dry years. During extensive dry or drought years, groundwater can provide over 60 percent of the water supply in some regions. Statewide, approximately 30 million people, or 80 percent of Californians, live in areas overlying alluvial groundwater basins. Some communities are 100 percent reliant on groundwater.
The Update contains readily-available groundwater information to characterize California’s groundwater basins, aquifers and well infrastructure. It also presents data and analysis on groundwater monitoring efforts, aquifer conditions in response to extraction, groundwater management practices and conjunctive management programs.
The Update expands and enhances baseline groundwater information on a regional scale, identifies challenges associated with sustainable groundwater management and helps guide implementation of diverse resource management strategies. Statewide and regional findings, data gaps and recommendations to improve groundwater management also are included.
The report is organized into five components and a number of appendices:
Statewide Findings, Data Gaps and Recommendations
Chapter 1: Introduction, Scope and Future Directions
Chapter 2: Statewide Groundwater Update.
Chapters 3 through 12: Hydrologic Region Groundwater Updates.
Appendix A: Methods and Assumptions
Appendix B: California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) Basin Prioritization
Appendix C: Groundwater Use Data
Appendix D: Conjunctive Management Survey
Appendix E: Change in Groundwater in Storage
Appendix F: Land Subsidence
DWR is releasing Statewide Findings, Data Gaps and Recommendations, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 today (April 15, 2015) and planning to post two or three hydrologic region chapters each month over the next several months.
DWR Director Mark Cowin said the Groundwater Update supports decisions initiated in a number of seminal groundwater-related actions in response to California’s critically dry conditions in 2013 and 2014.
“Answering fundamental questions regarding how groundwater supply and demand relate to basin sustainability requires commitment to regular, consistent, and comprehensive data collection, reporting and assessment,” Cowin said. “Groundwater data collection and information exchange, which enhance education and understanding, comprise a critical first step toward improving the reliability of groundwater resources, restoring key ecosystem functions and establishing the resiliency needed to preserve these resources for future generations.”
The Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the State Water Project, provides dam safety and flood control and inspection services, assists local water districts in water management and water conservation planning, and plans for future statewide water needs.
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