Sinking Lands, Damaged Infrastructure: Will Better Groundwater Management End Subsidence?

Sinking Lands, Damaged Infrastructure: Will Better Groundwater Management End Subsidence?

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, work continues on managing groundwater for long-term sustainability, as required by California’s landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). In January, water users in 21 critically overdrafted basins delivered their groundwater sustainability plans to the state Department of Water Resources. In this series , we examine the 36 plans submitted for 11 critically overdrafted basins in the San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest farming region, where … [more…]

Farmers Hijack Community Water Access Despite Groundwater Act, Activists Say | KCET

When a fire started on the property next door to Ray Cano’s home, the neighbors used Cano’s hose and well to fight the flames. Running the pump at full throttle, they managed to control the blaze until the fire department arrived. Then, the well’s pump sputtered to a stop.

Cano later called a well inspector, who did some basic probing and discovered the problem: The well had run dry, causing … [more…]

California Court Finds Public Trust Doctrine Applies to State Groundwater Resources

cost River, feeds into the Klamath. California Court Finds Public Trust Doctrine Applies to State Groundwater Resources

Photo: Scott River, http://www.westernrivers.org/projectatlas/scott-river/

Court Rejects Claim That SGMA “Displaces” Public Trust’s Application to California Groundwater

The California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District has issued an important decision declaring that California’s powerful public trust doctrine applies to at least some of the state’s overtaxed groundwater resources. The court’s opinion also rejects the argument that California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) displaces the public trust doctrine’s applicability to … [more…]

California Groundwater Law Means Big Changes Above Ground, Too

photo: housing construction in the Central Valley. California Groundwater Law Means Big Changes Above Ground, Too

The state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is likely to result in fallowing thousands of acres of farmland. Local governments are just waking up to the big opportunities, and risks, in how that land gets reused.

New housing construction in California’s San Joaquin Valley poses a threat to some of the best groundwater recharge lands.

California’s new groundwater management law is not a sports car. It moves more like a wagon … [more…]

California’s Groundwater Rule Could Mean Opportunities, Not Penalties

California’s Groundwater Rule Could Mean Opportunities, Not Penalties

Near Bakersfield, the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District plans to set up procedures for land retirement and water trading with the goal of putting property owners in the driver’s seat on groundwater management.

Crews work to construct a new diversion facility on a canal operated by Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, which will be used as part of a larger project to recharge groundwater in the district. Photo Courtesy Rosedale-Rio … [more…]