In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, work on managing groundwater for long-term sustainability continues, as required by California’s landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). In January, water users in 21 critically overdrafted basins delivered their groundwater sustainability plans to the state Department of Water Resources.
In this series, we examine the 36 plans submitted for 11 critically overdrafted basins in the San Joaquin Valley—California’s largest farming region. PPIC has done extensive work on what SGMA means for this region, where excess pumping is a major challenge. This post examines how the plans propose to end overdraft.
What are the options for ending overdraft?
SGMA requires water users to bring their groundwater basins into long-term balance over the next two decades. Although there are no easy solutions, the math is simple: bringing these basins into balance will require expanding water supplies, reducing water demands, or a combination of these two approaches.