groundwater dependent ecosystems

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A groundwater dependent ecosystem (GDE) is a plant and animal community that requires groundwater to meet some or all water needs.

GDEs are specifically defined under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) as “ecological communities or species that depend on groundwater emerging from aquifers or on groundwater occurring near the ground surface.” California’s GDEs encompass a wide range of natural communities, such as wetlands, rivers, streams, and estuaries, seeps and springs, and terrestrial vegetation.

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