Water Well Journal

December 2015

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/608970

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Page 12 of 89

Industry NEWSLINE Deadlines Loom as California Law Goes into Effect A g Alert, a weekly newspaper of the California Farm Bureau Federation, reports farm owners, water districts, government agencies, and cities are seeking to meet the deadlines set by the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Manage- ment Act (SGMA). "Some of the most pressing and problematic deadlines are just months away," says Sonoma County farmer Tito Sasaki, who serves on both the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sonoma County Farm Bureau water committees. Sasaki said attending groundwater sustainability meetings, briefings, and planning sessions related to SGMA has turned into a near full-time job for him—and that's in a county where groundwater management has been a priority for more than a decade. "Our county is moving ahead as scheduled and will definitely meet deadlines for establishing the required groundwater sustainability agencies for at least two of our three groundwater basins," Sasaki says, adding that the Sonoma County Farm Bureau has held discussions and a workshop with agricultural landowners to help them prepare for upcoming decisions and deadlines. Of immediate concern, he said, is the June 30, 2017 deadline for establishing groundwater sustainability agencies, or GSAs. In Sonoma County, there are 11 local entities eligible to oversee future groundwater use, and decisions need to be made about how governance— structure, scope, accountability—will be handled within the SGMA framework. The task of setting up GSAs becomes more complex when looking at gover- nance and boundaries for all under- ground aquifers statewide. There are currently 431 groundwater basins, underlying about 40% of the sur- face area of California. A number of the basins are subdivided into sub-basins, totaling 515 distinct groundwater sys- tems. Many of the sub-basin boundaries, however, are not precise, meaning addi- tional studies are needed, according to the state Department of Water Resources. Basins have been tentatively ranked, with 127 identified as medium to high priority, including 21 designated criti- cally overdrafted. The California Water Commission adopted new groundwater-basin bound- ary regulations to allow for basin modi- fications in the future. The Department of Water Resources said it will begin accepting requests from local agencies for basin boundary modifications as early as January 1. NGWA Supports Renewable Energy Tax Extenders NGWA joined an effort led by the Clean Energy Tax Coalition in urging Congress to pass a package of renew- NEWS continues on page 12 10 December 2015 WWJ waterwelljournal.com m I aisi undr F t t or Supp es e live v o mpr tion. uc ing A the NGWREF . ldwide or s wo . . ou r 2015 G e , Dec y, hursda T o er Exp t a ndw .m. er 17, 12-1 p emb o . er t a oundw r G ou r 2015 G , , tion uc om/A .c o Exp o er Exp t a ndw o

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