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Groundwater Issue: Supply

Groundwater resources play a vital role in maintaining California's economic and environmental sustainability. During a typical year, approximately 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. Many municipal, agricultural, and disadvantaged communities rely on groundwater for up to 100 percent of their water supply needs regardless of whether it is a wet or dry year. Groundwater extractions in excess of natural and managed recharge have caused historically-low groundwater elevations in many regions of California. Ensuring proper management of our groundwater resources, in conjunction with surface water resources, has become even more important as California continues to experience drought conditions.

The Water Boards protect the state's water supply and works to ensure all of California's water resources, including groundwater, are sustainably managed through a number of programs and activities, including:

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