California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

 

California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act pic
California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
Image: water.ca.gov

At RMC Water and Environment, professional engineers and other experts partner with communities throughout California to manage groundwater and other water-related concerns. Recently, RMC Water and Environment helped coauthor the Sustainably Managing Groundwater manual for the American Water Works Association.

A major component of California’s water resources, groundwater accounts for nearly 40 percent of the state’s overall supply. Importantly, such water becomes even more essential in drought years, when it makes up more than 45 percent of total supply. What’s more, certain Californian communities rely entirely on groundwater to sustain them.

In light of these important facts, California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of 2014, which transfers power over groundwater management from the state to the local level. SGMA mandates that local officials create groundwater sustainability agencies for the purpose of groundwater monitoring and for drafting oversight plans tailored to local conditions. The legislation gives communities up to two decades to produce and execute such plans.

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