Population growth and more intensive land use will place increased demands on the State’s water supply. At the same time, surface water runoff is projected to decline due to the effects of climate change. These and other factors point to an increased reliance on groundwater. However, many of California’s aquifers are already experiencing contamination and/or overdraft. These challenges do not lend themselves to a “one size fits all” solution, given the varying physical and institutional characteristics of California’s groundwater basins.
The Water Boards are developing a workplan that aligns its current groundwater protection efforts, the ongoing actions of other entities with groundwater management responsibilities, and potential actions that the Water Boards and others could pursue. A goal of the workplan is to promote collaboration and cooperation among local, regional, and State agencies and other stakeholders to help promote more effective groundwater management that supports beneficial uses over the long-term.
Whether implemented at the local, regional, or State level, the Water Boards believe that an effective groundwater management program generally requires five key elements to be in place: thresholds, monitoring/assessment, governance/management, funding, and enforcement.
Milestones and Timeline
- Release of draft concept paper – October 2013
- Stakeholder Dialogues – October/November 2013
- Discussion of stakeholder input with the State Water Board – January 2014
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- Discussion Draft Groundwater Workplan Concept Paper Comment deadline extended to Wednesday, December 18, 2013
- Notice of January 22, 2014 Public Workshop
Links to External Reports with Groundwater Management Recommendations
- Delta Stewardship Council - The Delta Plan: Ensuring a reliable water supply for California, a healthy Delta ecosystem, and a place of enduring value (2013)
- Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) - Sustainability from the ground up: A framework for groundwater management in California (2011)
- Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) - Liquid assets: Improving management of the State’s groundwater resources (2010)
- Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) - Improving management of the State’s groundwater resources (2011)
- Public Policy Institute of California - Managing California’s water (2011)
Note: Paper not focused on groundwater, but includes recommendations for groundwater management
- Stanford University, Woods Institute for the Environment - Uncommon Innovation: Developments in Groundwater Management Planning in California (2011)
- UCLA, School of Law - Under water: Monitoring and regulating groundwater in California (2011)
- UCLA, School of Law - Allocating Under water: Reforming California’s Groundwater Adjudications (2013)
- California Department of Water Resources, Bulletin 118 Update - California’s Groundwater (2003)