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Groundwater Issue: Permitting

California relies upon groundwater to meet its water supply needs (including for drinking water supplies, agriculture, industry, recreation, and wildlife habitat beneficial uses). During a typical year, approximately 30 to 40 percent of the state's total water supply comes from groundwater. During dry years, groundwater contributes up to 60 percent (or more) of the state's total supply, and serves as a critical buffer against the impacts of drought and climate change. Groundwater is also a significant source of California’s drinking water supply; approximately 40 to 50 percent of Californians rely on groundwater for part of their water supply, and many towns and cities are entirely dependent on groundwater for drinking water supplies.

The Water Boards protect groundwater quality by issuing permits for activities that may impact groundwater quality. If current or proposed activities or, discharges, from your property or business could affect California's groundwater (or surface water or coastal water), in most cases you need to apply for a permit. Permitting programs are based on the type of discharge and the threat to water quality, including:

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