This just in … Department of Water Resources identifies 21 groundwater basins as critically overdrafted

From the Department of Water Resources:

NEW_DWR_LOGO_14inchThe Department of Water Resources (DWR) has identified 21 groundwater basins and subbasins in which excessive groundwater pumping has resulted in significant overdraft. Overdraft impacts can include seawater intrusion and land subsidence, in addition to chronically lowered groundwater levels. As a result, those basins and subbasins fall under the earliest deadlines required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

Under the package of historic groundwater management laws enacted by Governor Edmund Brown Jr. in September 2014, the basins identified by DWR as significantly overdrafted must have groundwater sustainability plans in place by January 31, 2020. The SGMA requires all basins designated as high- or medium-priority and subject to critical conditions of overdraft to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans two years earlier than the other high- and medium-priority basins.

This is not the first time DWR has identified basins in critical overdraft. Working with local agencies, DWR identified such basins in 1980 and 2003, as described in Bulletin 118 reports issued those years.  Bulletin 118 is a comprehensive report on California groundwater resources that is periodically updated by DWR. The latest list of basins subject to critical conditions of overdraft will be published in the next update of Bulletin 118, expected in late 2016.

DWR released a draft list of basins in critical overdraft last August, holding a public meeting in the Central Valley, a statewide webcast, and 30-day public comment period in which local agencies had the opportunity to ask questions and offer guidance. DWR evaluated the comments and additional data supplied before releasing the final list.

View the final list of critically overdrafted basins and the statewide map of critically overdrafted basins here:

For more information regarding California’s groundwater please visit:

While the early winter rain and snowpack are promising, this may yet prove to be a fifth consecutive year of drought in California. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Every Californian should take steps to conserve water; find out how at



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constantly watching over the world of California water

One Response

  1. Flowing waters

    Now is the time to address the areas of source of our water, the Headwaters of the Sacramento River, Sierra Nevada, the volcanic sources that feed the water to the basins that are being so seriously over drafted. Hydrogeological studies must be undertaken to better understand the connections of subterranean streams through lava tubes and groundwater. Band aid approaches assisting communities in need of clean water by sending hundreds of thousands of cases of polluting single use plastic bottles of water must be terminated. The SGMA fails to address the heart, the areas of source. Water bottling companies know this and continue to raid the springs and headwaters. Time to address this along with the other groundwater polluting industries, fracking and the large corporate beef and dairy industries. Purity or Pollution. California can take a stand; now is the hour.


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