California’s Reservoirs and Groundwater See a Boost Due to Back-to-back Wet Winters

In a normal year, about 40% of California’s water supply is stored groundwater, and more than 80% of Californians use it, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

Groundwater is the water that is a buffer in the years the state is in drought. For the first time since 2019, the agency reports groundwater storage increased during the 2023 water year, which is great, but the state’s groundwater is still in deficit.

California Farmers Depleted Groundwater In This County. Now A State Crackdown Could Rein Them In

For the first time in California history, state officials are poised to crack down on overpumping of groundwater in the agricultural heartland.

The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday will weigh whether to put Kings County groundwater agencies on probation for failing to rein in growers’ overdrafting of the underground water supply.

California Ranks High Worldwide For Rapidly Depleted Groundwater

In a sign of the ongoing threats to its precious groundwater stores, half a dozen regions in California rank among the world’s most rapidly declining aquifers, according to research published today.

Summit Tackles Water Challenges Facing California

Below-average precipitation and snowpack during 2020-22 and depleted surface and groundwater supplies pushed California into a drought emergency that brought curtailment orders and calls for modernizing water rights.

Best Project – Water/Environment: First Aqueduct Tunnels Rehabilitation Project

When inspections discovered groundwater infiltration in three 72-in. aqueduct tunnels owned by the San Diego County Water Authority, a complex rehabilitation project became necessary. Those tunnels—Lilac Tunnel (500 ft), Red Mountain Tunnel (3,100 ft), and Oat Hills Tunnel (3,600 ft)—were originally built in 1947.

Reservoirs Are So Full Long Beach Will Buy Water at a Discount, Save its Groundwater

With California reservoirs full after a historically wet winter, the Long Beach Utilities Commission has signed off on a plan to buy more imported water at a discount to help other cities clear space to capture more rain during the upcoming winter season.

Long Beach typically pumps over 60% of its customers’ water from local ground aquifers and is able to avoid paying for more expensive water piped in through the State Water Project or the Colorado River.

California Winemaker Sues Napa County Over Water Rights

Renowned winemaker Jayson Woodbridge is suing Napa County for well policies allegedly restricting access to groundwater at four of his vineyards.

The vineyards, Double Vee Properties LLC, Caldera Ranch LLC, Hundred Acre LLC and Hundred Acre Wine Group Inc., told the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday that Napa County violated their rights under the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the taking of private property without due process.

High-Tech Mapping of Central Valley’s Underground Blazes Path to Drought Resilience

A new underground mapping technology that reveals the best spots for storing surplus water in California’s Central Valley is providing a big boost to the state’s most groundwater-dependent communities.

The maps provided by the California Department of Water Resources for the first time pinpoint paleo valleys and similar prime underground storage zones traditionally found with some guesswork by drilling exploratory wells and other more time-consuming manual methods.

Water Rate Increase Approved

The City Council, by unanimous vote, approved the proposed water rate increase Tuesday, May 2, and introduced an ordinance establishing new water rates, fees, and charges.

The action comes after a large effort by the City to educate the public on the need for an increase through workshops across the community.

‘Full On Crisis’: Groundwater in California’s Central Valley Disappearing at Alarming Rate

Scientists have discovered that the pace of groundwater depletion in California’s Central Valley has accelerated dramatically during the drought as heavy agricultural pumping has drawn down aquifer levels to new lows and now threatens to devastate the underground water reserves. The research shows that chronic declines in groundwater levels, which have plagued the Central Valley for decades, have worsened significantly in recent years, with particularly rapid declines occurring since 2019.