Groundwater Informational Hearing
The Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee has scheduled a joint oversight hearing with the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation regarding the Management of California’s Groundwater Resources. The hearing will be held Tuesday March 11, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in the State Capitol, Room 437.
Groundwater comprises over 30 percent of California’s overall water supply portfolio in an average year. But in drought times like these, that percentage can climb to 40 percent or more. The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) released a draft “Groundwater Workplan Concept Paper” (Workplan) in October 2013. The draft Workplan identifies that, whether implemented at the local, regional, or State level, an “effective groundwater management program generally requires five key elements to be in place: thresholds, monitoring and assessment, governance, funding, and enforcement.” The stated purpose of releasing the draft Workplan was to encourage a stakeholder dialogue with the SWRCB on how to best align “current groundwater protection efforts, the ongoing actions of other entities with groundwater management responsibilities, and potential actions that the Water Boards and other entities could pursue.”
The Governor’s 2014-15 Proposed Budget, released on January 9, 2014 includes $1.9 million to the SWRCB, “…and ten positions to act as a backstop when local or regional agencies are unable or unwilling to sustainably manage groundwater basins.”
At the hearing, legislators will receive an overview of the condition of California’s groundwater basins, a presentation from the Legislative Analyst’s Office on how groundwater is currently regulated and managed in the State, and an update from the SWRCB on the Workplan. Also scheduled to make presentations are the Orange County Water District, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District, which will discuss the elements of successful local groundwater management programs, followed by a panel of diverse stakeholders to share their opinions regarding where California’s groundwater conversation should go from here.
Once posted, the hearing agenda can be accessed here.
For additional information, please contact RCRC Legislative Advocate Kathy Mannion at 916.447.4806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CA DROUGHT INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE:
RCRC Staff is continually monitoring the current drought situation, its impacts to Member counties, and economic assistance opportunities as they become available. Please refer to this section of the Barbed Wire, and visit the “Drought Update” section of the RCRC website for the latest news and information related to the 2014 California drought.
USDA Emergency Watershed Protection Program
HCD Issues Survey Regarding Drought Related Needs