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…]

Will Groundwater Sustainability Plans End the Problem of Dry Drinking Water Wells?

Will Groundwater Sustainability Plans End the Problem of Dry Drinking Water Wells?

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 excess … [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…]

The Unanticipated Benefits of California’s Water Policies

photo: irrigation in California. The Unanticipated Benefits of California’s Water Policies

Water drips from a leaking irrigation pipe in the west San Joaquin Valley. Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

From software to robots to technology originally designed to detect water on Mars, market-based policy approaches are spurring innovation, writes Ceres’ Kirsten James.

Just as California’s climate policies have driven innovation in energy efficiency, renewable energy and battery storage – creating 500,000 new jobs – many of the … [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…]