Friday, September 19, 2014

California Drought Brings State's First Large Scale Groundwater Management Regulations

By Heather Voorman, The Groundwater Foundation

You may have noticed several posts on our facebook page recently addressing the California drought. The state has been pumping groundwater at record rates to counter the drought, causing depleting aquifer supplies. A recent study from Stanford University reported that approximately 60 percent of California's water needs are being supplied by groundwater. That's a 20% increase from previous years when normal amounts of precipitation fell. 

Pictured is a California lettuce field being irrigated. California grows up to half of the nation's fruits, nuts and vegetables.

The California government recently responded to the state's groundwater issues by passing several bills that will regulate California's groundwater resources on a large scale. Prior to this legislation, landowners were able to pump as much groundwater as they wanted. Now local agencies will create management plans and the state government will be able to intervene if these local groups do not sufficiently manage groundwater supplies.  

The recent events in California are just another reminder of how important groundwater supplies are. If you would like to learn more about what you can do to protect groundwater supplies in your community, here are a couple of ways:
  • Join us at the October 7th Forum: Community-based Groundwater Protection: A Formula for Success.  To learn more about this great opportunity click here. 
  • Learn more about the Groundwater Guardian program that provides support and encouragement for communities of all types (cities, counties, watersheds, schools, and other community groups) to begin groundwater awareness activities, motivation to continue these efforts, and recognition for their achievements. It's a great way to protect groundwater supplies for your community! Click here for more information.

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