California offers new mapping tool for groundwater resources

An engineer visits a groundwater monitor in California.

The California Department of Water Resources has developed a new web-based tool that will allow the public to explore thousands of groundwater projects across the state to get a better understanding of one of the state’s most critical water supply resources. The virtual mapping tool is part of the State’s ongoing commitment to develop new, innovative solutions to provide information and resources to address the effects of California’s changing climate and ongoing severe drought.

Called “the California Groundwater Projects Tool,” information based on a database of nearly 3,000 projects is presented in an interactive mapping tool.  The mapping tool features projects that were funded by DWR and external sources such as federal or local funding. The database will include information about project benefits and effectiveness in relation to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Users can also access more than 20 project case studies and get guidance on how to measure and track benefits of projects following construction.

“Dry conditions continue to test our communities statewide, especially those that rely heavily on groundwater for multiple needs,” said the Department’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Deputy Director Paul Gosselin. “This new mapping tool will allow users to view and access information on thousands of groundwater projects being implemented within their local communities and throughout the state. We are encouraged and inspired that groundwater managers and communities are advancing solutions and planning projects within their basins to help achieve groundwater sustainability.”

Groundwater is a critical component of California’s water supply, accounting for 40 percent in a normal year and up to 60 percent during dry conditions. The State says that nearly 85 percent of all Californians rely on groundwater for at least some portion of their water supply. According to the Department of Water resources, “the State is currently seeing the adverse impacts of decades of over pumping groundwater basins including dry drinking water wells and land subsidence. This is exacerbated with climate change and the current prolonged extreme drought conditions. Grant funding for sustainable groundwater management projects has been critical to helping local water agencies address these impacts. The new tool will track the progress of these projects and inform state and local agencies on the types of projects that are making the most positive impacts.”

Image:  DWR engineering geologist measures groundwater levels at designated monitoring wells in Yolo County. California Department of Water Resources.

Deborah

Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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