California refocuses on groundwater

In a special edition of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' California Agriculture, the Center's Thomas Harter and Helen Dahlke of the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources explore ideas to protect the state's aquifers and make the following policy recommendations:

  • Manage groundwater at the local or regional basin level, with support from the state
  • Give local groundwater management entities clear mandates to assess, measure, monitor and allocate their groundwater and control its extraction
  • Have the state define "groundwater sustainabilty" and set enforceable thresholds, enforced primarily at the local or regional basin level
  • Improve the reporting, collection, analysis and integration of groundwater use data, for public transparency and more effective groundwater management. This requires much stronger planning and support within the DWR and SWB.