CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC Brings Local Voice to SB 19 Stream Gaging Technical Advisory Committee

November 5, 2020

The SB 19 Stream Gaging Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met this week to begin a two-year planning process to deploy a network of prioritized stream gages to address information gaps. Senate Bill No. 19 (SB 19) (Statutes of 2019, Chapter 361, Dodd) enacts Water Code section 144, which directs the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board to develop the plan in consultation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Conservation the Central Valley Flood Protection Board and interested stakeholders. The stream-gaging plan will identify significant gaps in the network to meet a wide variety of water management needs, which are increasingly important in the face of a changing climate.

Stakeholders, including CSAC, the Association of California Water Agencies, the California Water Commission, United State Geologic Survey, and both environmental water data organizations, met for the first time to discuss priorities and to begin the process to guide this implementation plan. The meeting started with a presentation on historical stream gages and data gaps, and flowed into goals for the future. TAC members discussed their priorities including focusing on areas with conflicts, emerging issues such as debris flows and sedimentation from wildfires, extreme weather patterns, and more.

At the local level, California’s counties know that gages provides critical data to plan for emergency events including floods, but also to provide the foundation for land use decisions including housing and infrastructure development, farming and working lands management, and emerging issues like the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

As CSAC embarks on this effort, the AENR team encourages interested parties to visit the Stream Gaging TAC Website and to subscribe directly to the Stream Gaging Plan Email List in order to stay current on their work, and to receive notices for public input. We hope to bring the county voice to this important statewide initiative. If you have any questions, please contact cfreeman@counties.org.

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