As Wells Run Dry, Sonoma Valley Reckons With New Water Regulations

One morning in the summer of 2018, Kelly Stober woke up and started to get ready for work. But when she turned on the faucet in her shower, no water came out.

Stober lives in a rural neighborhood a few miles east of downtown Sonoma. Like her neighbors, she relies on a well for drinking water, household uses, and irrigation. And her well, sunk 800 feet into the ground, had run dry.

Newsom’s Drought Order Poses a Big Question on Water Well Permits for Valley Farmers

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom released Executive Order N-7-22 on March 28, 2022 in response to the state’s ongoing drought conditions. It is effective immediately and covers the entire state.

The entire order could perhaps be viewed as part five of his four previous drought related executive orders from 2021.


Only 8 of 20 Critical GSA Plans Approved

Only eight of the 20 California watersheds most critically affected by subsidence have had their groundwater sustainability plans approved by state water officials, according to recent testimony before a state board.

The other 12 – most of which are in the San Joaquin Valley – had their plans marked “incomplete” by state water regulators and face a July deadline to fix their deficiencies, said Paul Gosselin, who oversees the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act office for the state Department of Water Resources.