Groundwater News Clips

Here is a collection of news articles, op eds, and other groundwater-related materials, and recommended websites to learn more.

The Water Wars of Arizona

The New York Times Magazine, July 19, 2018

Local farmers had watched over the last decade and a half as waves of industrial farms arrived, tilling so much land that dust storms began darkening the sky. These enormous corporations were descending on the valley for the same reason homesteaders had a century ago: the year-round growing season and the lax regulation. Compared with those for rivers and lakes, few laws govern the extraction of groundwater today. Aquifers across the globe are beginning to quietly dry up under the compounded strain of increased food production and a two-decade stretch that now includes the 10 warmest years in recorded history, sending farmers plumbing deeper for deposits of water.

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Agency finds Petaluma groundwater clean, cheap

The Argus Courier, July 14, 2018

“The study shows that groundwater levels in the basin are relatively stable, except in the northwest Petaluma Valley, where levels are in decline. Historical data show nitrate infiltration into the groundwater in the western ranch lands, but the recent survey shows the problem is decreasing.”

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Successful Groundwater Sustainability Planning

Maven’s Notebook, July 11, 2018

“Once the sustainability criteria have been determined, the stakeholders have been engaged, the technical work completed, and the sustainable yield calculated, the last component of these plans is really to figure out how the basins can achieve sustainability.”

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The Two Biggest Challenges to Groundwater Recharge in California

Water Deeply, June 21, 2018

“The most pressing issues are to determine how much water is legally available and how best to put this water into the ground. Assessing the infrastructure needed for capturing flows during floods is an essential piece of this puzzle.”

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Three Ways to Protect Your Interests as a Groundwater User in California

Water Deeply, June 13, 2018

“…Procedurally, SGMA requires each Groundwater Sustainability Agency to consider the interests of all groundwater users in the basin, and diligent stakeholders who make certain that their interests are considered are likely to find themselves in a much better place […] than those who sit on the sidelines and wait for the dust to settle.”

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SGMA struggles to overcome marginalization of disadvantaged communities

California WaterBlog, June 10, 2018

Throughout the process, GSAs have a responsibility to ‘consider the interests of beneficial uses and users,’ specifically including DACs, which California defines as communities where the average Median Household Income is less than 80% of the state’s average.

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Could the Arizona Desert Offer California and the West a Guide to Solving its Groundwater Problem?

Water Education Foundation, May 18, 2018

“The EDF report lauds the Phoenix AMA for making “significant progress” toward reaching, by 2025, safe yield – the long-term balance between annual groundwater withdrawals and recharge — despite a population base that has tripled since 1980.”

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Sustainable Groundwater Program Newsletter

Maven’s Notebook, May 10, 2018

From the Department of Water Resources, Sustainable Groundwater Management Program.

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Where Water is Scarce, Communities Turn to Reusing Wastewater

Yale Environment 360, May 1, 2018

“The volume of unused aquifer storage in California is three times the volume of the state’s surface reservoirs and lakes.”

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To Manage California’s Groundwater, Think More About Surface Water

Water Deeply, May 1, 2018

“Many Groundwater Sustainability Agencies are not yet thinking about their own responsibility towards surface water, and not addressing these groundwater-surface water interactions could have significant consequences for how they manage their basin. To help bring these issues to the surface, Kiparsky and his colleagues produced a report on several important questions about how surface water-groundwater interactions affect groundwater management.”

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Sustainable Groundwater Management Program News

Maven’s Notebook, April 28, 2018

“Technical support services, new data and tools…. From the Department of Water Resources’ Sustainable Groundwater Management Program.”

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Can California’s groundwater basins be managed collaboratively?

Stanford: Water in the West, April 19, 2018

“The analysis highlights that creating effective governance at the basin scale, while still accounting for the interests of agricultural water users, is best pursued through multi-level governance structures that include nongovernmental entities, such as nonprofits, farmers, and ranchers.”

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TIM QUINN: The Challenge of Our Time: Healthy Economies and Sustainable Groundwater

Maven’s Notebook, April 12, 2018

“Successful groundwater sustainability plans will have to take innovative local actions to match demands with sustainable supplies.”

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California’s Groundwater Rule Could Mean Opportunities, Not Penalties

Water Deeply, April 9, 2018

“The goal is to free up water for others who are willing to pay more for it, creating a net reduction in district-wide water use in the process.”

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DWR Finalizes $85.8 Million in Grants for Local Implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Department of Water Resources, April 4, 2018

“The funding provides a means for local communities to create long-term sustainable groundwater management plans as required by law that help protect basins and their beneficial uses. Ultimately these plans are intended to facilitate basin-wide and regional sustainability.”

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Navigating Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

BerkeleyLaw, March 2018

“The research presented here examines some of the legal and institutional questions that will inevitably arise as GSAs seek to address groundwater-surface water interactions under SGMA. The core goal of this report is to help parties identify and address these questions, and ultimately to let GSPs and stakeholders manage groundwater-surface water interactions proactively and effectively.”

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Sonoma County studies groundwater banking plan

Sonoma Index-Tribune, March 23, 2018

“The method of groundwater banking to be studied is also known as “aquifer storage and recovery” and involves storing treated, high quality surface water in underground reservoirs, known as aquifers, during wet periods when surface water is plentiful, and using the water during times of need such as summer months or during droughts.”

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To Manage Groundwater, California Could Learn From Its Neighbors

Water Deeply, March 13, 2018

California is a few years into the implementation of SGMA, its new groundwater act. As our state works to ensure our groundwater is used sustainably, we can learn from other states. “Most western states started down this path decades ago. So to help inform the nascent effort in California, Environmental Defense Fund and the Daugherty Water for Food Global Initiative examined groundwater management programs in six states.”

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To Manage Groundwater, California Could Learn From Its NeighborsSPECIAL ISSUE: The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

California Agriculture, March 2018

In response to the important and sometimes confusing process of implementing SGMA, California Agriculture, a peer-reviewed journal from University of California, has published a special issue, which includes interviews of water management officials and many peer-reviewed research and review articles. 

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More Articles

For more SGMA news, information, and materials, visit the Water Maven’s website .