Topics: SGMA and California Groundwater
& the West has been closely tracking the effect of California’s landmark 2014 groundwater reform law, as new agencies take shape and implement plans to put this precious resource on a sustainable path by 2040.
While expensive solutions like new reservoirs and seawater desalination grab attention, California communities are quietly building up their capacity to clean stormwater and wastewater for reuse for irrigation, industry and, yes, drinking water too.
New agencies find making sustainability plans is hard, but easier than persuading growers to accept them.
Three months after the first market trades of California water futures, a conversation about economic forces and an essential material for life.
Farmers, large and small, are beginning to grapple with what the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act means for them. Many expect to see cutbacks on pumping once the program is fully implemented in 2040.
With new rules coming into effect, farmers and municipalities using groundwater must either find more water to support the aquifers or take cropland out of use. To ease the pain, engineers are looking to harness an unconventional and unwieldy source of water: the torrential storms that sometimes blast across the Pacific Ocean and soak California.
New rules and new technology are giving farmers and managers a better look at groundwater supplies.
Like the topsoil, structures built 40 years ago to contain floodwaters are cracking, too.
A vineyard in Paso Robles. Mattyshack via Flickr By Felicity Barringer A hidden treasure, groundwater has long sustained agriculture through California’s cycles of drought. Decades
Staff and Contributors
Syler Peralta-Ramos is a member of the Stanford class of 2020. He has lived in Wilson, Wyoming his whole life and developed a keen interest in nature photography and conservation from a young age, inspired by the multitude of photographers that congregate in the Teton region as well as his parents who also share a love for photography.
‘& the West’ is published by the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University, which is dedicated to research, teaching, and journalism about the past, present, and future of the North American West.
Bruce E. Cain