Preparing for Sustainable Groundwater Management: A Review of Groundwater Recharge

March 2017

California Water Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 27, Number 6

Recharging groundwater is a critical tool for achieveing the sustainable management of groundwater basins in California. Indeed, in adopting the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA), the California Legislature found that:

…sustainable groundwater management in California depends upon creating more opportunities for robust conjunctive management of surface water and groundwater resources. The Legislature further explicitly expressed its intent “to increase groundwater storage and remove impediments to recharge.” (Water Code § 10720.1)(g).)

As SGMA implementation shifts from a focus on the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA) to the development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP), public entities and private landowners alike will need to evaluate whether groundwater supplies in their basin are sufficient to achieve the mandates of SGMA. In those basins in conditions of critical overdraft, the prospect of pumping curtailments looms.

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