A new partnership seeks to make a groundwater accounting platform freely available to water users. The California Water Data Consortium (Consortium) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and several state water agencies will be working together on the project. The purpose is to assist water users to better manage available water supplies and implement more sustainable practices. Water users will have the ability to track water supplies, create water budgets, and trade allocations of water through the platform. The use of the accounting platform will be entirely voluntary.
“Our goal is to help groundwater managers more easily and cost-effectively track water use across their agencies and coordinate within and across basins to find the most effective approach for enabling sustainable groundwater management,” DWR Acting Deputy Director for Statewide Groundwater Management, Steven Springhorn said in a press release. “The accounting platform developed by EDF is a valuable tool for local decision making, and the Water Data Consortium is a natural fit for ensuring the platform meets local and state needs long term.”
EDF, the Consortium, the Department of Water Resources (DWR), the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) will be working to scale up a previous groundwater accounting platform. A previous pilot project had been developed by EDF and the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District. Expansions are being made to the platform to help local agencies with software compatibility. In scaling up the project, functionality will be improved to be able to interface with other online portals for submitting water data.
“This project is a great opportunity to build local capacity to support data-driven water management decisions. We look forward to this unique partnership that will help state and local agencies to continue protecting groundwater in California,” said Western Data Consortium President and CEO, Tara Moran. “A common accounting platform could provide consistency and reduce costs for local and state agencies.