Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
DWR Releases Draft List of Critically Overdrafted Groundwater Basins
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has made preliminary identification of 21 groundwater basins and subbasins that have been significantly overdrafted by excessive pumping and thus fall under the earliest deadlines required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Enacted last year, SGMA requires basins designated as high- or medium-priority and subject to critical conditions of overdraft to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2020, two years earlier than the other high- and medium- priority basins.
According to the DWR News Release, public agencies not in agreement with DWRs preliminary list will have the opportunity to ask questions and make comments at a public meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 25 at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Auditorium, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. DWR staff will also be available to provide an overview of their draft results and explain the process that guided their findings. In addition, DWR will host a webcast from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, August 26. Links to the draft list and the details regarding the workshop, webcast, and process for submitting written comments are all available in the DWR News_Release.
Also worth noting, DWR’s release of the preliminary list fell on the same day that DWR released a new NASA report showing land in the San Joaquin Valley is sinking faster than ever previously recorded due to groundwater pumping. According to DWR, the Governor’s Drought Task Force in response to the report’s findings has committed to working with affected communities to develop near-term and long-term recommendations to reduce the rate of sinking and address risks to infrastructure. The report is available at: NASA_Report.