Some believe there will inevitably be more irrigation water cuts in the southern Central Valley that will stem from legislation.
Center for Watershed Sciences Director Jay Lund says some more irrigation restrictions for the southern Central Valley may stem from the sustainable groundwater management legislation that is being hashed out in the state. He believes that legislation will set new protections for basin levels and with the Delta being an unreliable water source, it’s inevitable that there will be further water restrictions moving forward.
Sustainable Groundwater Management
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has developed a Strategic Plan for its Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Program. DWR’s SGM Program will implement the new and expanded responsibilities identified in the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Some of these expanded responsibilities include: (1) developing regulations to revise groundwater basin boundaries; (2) adopting regulations for evaluating and implementing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) and coordination agreements; (3) identifying basins subject to critical conditions of overdraft; (4) identifying water available for groundwater replenishment; and (5) publishing best management practices for the sustainable management of groundwater. Get more information at Water.CA.Gov
Groundwater Sustainability Program Draft Strategic Plan
DWR has developed a Draft Strategic Plan for its Sustainable Groundwater Program. The draft plan describes DWR’s responsibilities and vision for carrying out the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, a package of laws that aim to protect the groundwater basins that provide more than half of the water Californians use in dry years. The draft plan outlines key actions DWR will undertake over the next several years to position itself to better support local agencies across California to achieve sustainable groundwater management. Read the plan here.