Sierra Nevada Alliance June Webinar: Gus Tolley presents “The Ghosts of California’s Groundwater Past, Present, and Future”
June 4 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Join us in the Alliance Monthly Webinar on June 4th at 2 pm Featuring Gus Tolley with Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc.
During this webinar, we will be learning about:
California is the largest user of groundwater in the United States, accounting for about 16% of nationwide use. Despite this heavy reliance on the resource, groundwater extractions in the state remained largely unregulated for over 150 years. As a result, unconstrained use of groundwater resulted in numerous undesirable results such as subsidence, long-term declines of water levels, and streamflow depletion, among others. The first statewide framework for groundwater regulation was created in 2014, during one of the worst droughts in recorded history, with the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Groundwater basins are now required to form local agencies to achieve and maintain sustainability by 2042 (2040 for critically overdrafted basins), and many are currently developing the plans that will outline how they will do so. This presentation will provide a brief historical overview of water use and legislation in California to provide context for how large this change in regulatory oversight of groundwater in California truly is. It will then summarize the goals and process of SGMA, including an update of the current status. Finally, the scientific challenges of creating groundwater sustainability plans and implementing SGMA in the future will be discussed.