LOCALIZING CALIFORNIA WATERS: Erik Ekdahl on Water Management in the Uncertain Future

Water management in California has always been challenging, with the state’s variable climate that alternates between drought and floods that is further complicated by stark regional differences in water availability and demand.  As the effects of climate change continue to manifest, changing precipitation patterns are creating challenges for water managers and the state’s existing infrastructure. In April of this year, […]

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SGMA IMPLEMENTATION: Developing Sustainable Management Criteria

Minimum thresholds, measurable objectives, undesirable results: A panel of consultants discuss the specifics of how their GSAs determined sustainable management criteria The passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014 requires that groundwater basins be managed such that the use of groundwater can be maintained during the planning and implementation horizon without causing undesirable results.  In order to demonstrate […]

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GSA SUMMIT: SGMA and Land Use Issues

Panel discusses land use issues, including well permitting, land fallowing, general plans and SGMA, and more … Groundwater is intimately connected with the landscape and land use that it underlies.  How land is developed above can change both water demand and how much water can be recharged, and inappropriate land use and poor land management can cause chronic groundwater quality […]

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CA WATER LAW SYMPOSIUM: Questions of common supply: SGMA requirements for interconnected surface water and groundwater

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), passed in 2014, is California’s first statewide law that explicitly reflects the fact that surface water and groundwater are frequently interconnected and that groundwater management can impact groundwater-dependent ecosystems, surface water flows, and the beneficial uses of those flows. SGMA requires groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) to manage groundwater to avoid six undesirable results, one […]

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WOTS Up? An Update Regarding Regulation of Waters of the State and Waters of the United States

Attorney Mary Lynn Coffee unpacks the new wetland regulations and Waters of the State rule, plus a look at the 2019 Waters of the US rule On April 2, 2019, the State Water Board adopted new regulations requiring Water Boards to issue permits for discharges of dredged and fill material (meaning soil, sediment, or dirt) to Waters of the State […]

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SGMA IMPLEMENTATION: Groundwater sustainability goals and challenges

Groundwater managers working in four critically-overdrafted basins discuss how their planning efforts are going In basins all over California, groundwater managers are focused on developing their groundwater sustainability plans to meet the deadlines set by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).  For groundwater basins designated as critically-overdrafted basins, the 2020 is right around the corner. At the spring conference of […]

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CA WATER COMMISSION: DWR’s Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

Assessment looks at six categories of vulnerability: wildfire, extreme heat, sea level rise, long-term persistent hydrologic changes, short-term extreme hydrologic changes, and habitat and ecosystem services impacts In order to address the impacts of climate change on the state’s water resources, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has been developing its own comprehensive Climate Action Plan to guide how DWR […]

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ELLEN HANAK: Water and the Future of the San Joaquin Valley

Ellen Hanak delivers four priorities for managing the implementation of SGMA in the San Joaquin Valley The San Joaquin Valley is California’s largest agricultural region and an important contributor to the nation’s food supply, producing more than half of the state’s agricultural output.  Irrigated agriculture is the region’s main economic driver and predominant water user. However, the San Joaquin Valley […]

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ELLEN HANAK: Managing Drought in a Changing Climate: Four Essential Reforms

Climate change is having a profound impact on California’s water resources, as evidenced by greater weather extremes, reduced snowpack, higher sea level, and changes in river flows. Models predict that more precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow, exacerbating flood risks and creating additional challenges for water supply reliability. These impacts are expected to intensify in the future.  In […]

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CALIFORNIA WATER POLICY CONFERENCE: Tribal Groundwater Rights and SGMA: A New Underlying Tension?

Panel discussion moderated by DWR Tribal Advisor Anecita Agustinez discusses tribal involvement in GSAs, the benefits of tribal participation in groundwater management, and tribal consultation The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (or SGMA), passed in 2014, set a course for sustainable management of the state’s groundwater aquifers by requiring Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) be formed for all high and medium priority […]

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