A list of posts published on Maven’s Notebook this week …
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SGMA IMPLEMENTATION: David Orth gives his observations on how SGMA implementation is playing out in the San Joaquin Valley
David Orth is the principal of New Current Water and Land, which offers strategic planning, program implementation, and water resource development services. At the California Irrigation Institute’s 2020 Annual Conference, he gave his observations having watched Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) form and develop their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) since the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014.
New Current Water and Land is a small strategic planning shop that combines experience in water engineering, finance, district management, and water law to create a strategic planning platform. Their clients are from the farming community, the investment community, and the lending community. They also work with one environmental NGO. Over the last several years, they have monitored over 60 GSAs on behalf on that client base in over 40 subbasins, including about 15 of the 21 subbasins that are considered critically overdrafted.
KERN COUNTY WATER SUMMIT: Infrastructure: What’s on Tap for California
The California Water Commission consists of 9 members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Seven members are chosen for their expertise related to the control, storage, and beneficial use of water and 2 are chosen for their knowledge of the environment. The California Water Commission has numerous responsibilities, and in 2014, the Commission was tasked with allocating $2.7 billion of Prop 1 funds earmarked for water storage projects. At the 2020 Kern County Water Summit, Chair Armando Quintero spoke about the role of the Water Commission, gave an update on the Water Storage Investment Program and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, and spoke of their new role defined in the water resiliency portfolio.
GUEST COMMENTARY: A new threat to California Streams: Will the rush to develop our newest water source destroy more streams?
Commentary by North Coast Stream Flow Coalition, written by Felice Pace, Policy Advisor
The first plans implementing California’s landmark groundwater law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act or SGMA, have been submitted to the California Department of Water Resources. They are for portions of the state where groundwater is “critically over-drafted,” a situation the plans are supposed to reverse. Some of the plans call for diverting flood and seasonally high streamflows to groundwater storage as a means to comply with SGMA while allowing the maximum amount of irrigated and animal agriculture to continue.
GUEST COMMENTARY: Significant progress being made in implementing the state’s groundwater law
Guest commentary by Geoff Vanden Heuvel, Director of Regulatory and Economic Affairs, Milk Producers Council:
I remember being surprised when attending a local Groundwater Sustainability Agency meeting and I first saw a schematic that visually depicted the various levels of groundwater underneath one of the Central Valley’s numerous subbasins. There was a horizontal line going across the chart that said “base of freshwater”. Beneath the freshwater line there was another line labeled “top of basement”. I asked the subbasin hydrologist about what occupied the space between those lines and he explained that it was ancient salt water that occupied the lowest depths of the aquifer. He said a study done decades ago had identified that the salt water was there, but they were now guessing about exactly where, because other than that one study done many years ago, no one had a reason to drill down into it to attempt to characterize it. Why does this matter? If you are going to estimate how much fresh water is contained in a groundwater basin, you need to know how deep it is.
WEEKEND DAILY DIGEST: Double-edged sword of stormy weather targets CA; Building recharge basins to boost resilience for farmers and birds alike; Lawmakers told Trump’s new water rules will push salmon closer to extinction; and more … READ IT HERE: Weekend Daily Digest
MONDAY: ‘Miracle March’: Sierra Nevada pummeled by feet of snow; Lithium startup backed by Bill Gates seeks a breakthrough at the Salton Sea; Tensions emerge as a top Arizona official discusses tribes’ unresolved water claims; and more … READ IT HERE: Monday’s Daily Digest
TUESDAY: ‘Miners’ pull lead bullets from the Santa Ana River, is it helping?; Valley water district employee tests positive for coronavirus; Could coronavirus collide with wildfire season?; CSPA sues over groundwater sustainability plan; and more … READ IT HERE: Tuesday’s Daily Digest
WEDNESDAY: Coronavirus doesn’t jeopardize tap water, but it might be carried in raw sewage; Central Valley groundwater markets emerging under SGMA; Cattle ranchers cope with dry pastures; 12 cities with the worst tap water in the US; and more … READ IT HERE: Wednesday’s Daily Digest
THURSDAY: ‘March Miracle’ continues as several storms queue up for CA; Butte County expresses concerns over Delta tunnel project; Ag water use accounting provides path for surface water use solutions; and more … READ IT HERE: Thursday’s Daily Digest
FRIDAY: The West is in an expanding 20-year drought that a ‘March Miracle’ will do little to change; Toilet paper shortages caused by coronavirus blamed for spike in raw sewage spills; Madera sub basin loses $500,000 due to lack of coordination agreement; and more … READ IT HERE: Friday’s Daily Digest
BLOG ROUND-UP: New science or just spin: science charade in the Delta; NRDC’s response to the Climate Resilient Water Portfolio; Delta Defenders calls for pause in Delta tunnel stakeholder engagement process; Scientists must learn how to interact with Indigenous people; and more …
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