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Sacramento Region Plans to Store Water Underground as a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

The Sacramento region is preparing for the long term impacts of the climate crisis when it comes to water supply. Central to the plan is a groundwater storage program with two to three times the space of Folsom Lake.

As the climate warms it’ll likely become harder to fill up reservoirs, because the snowpack could be small for multiple years. Think of the nearly empty reservoirs across California during the most recent drought.

Water Resilience Projects Receive Nearly $84 Million from DWR

The California Department of Water Resources has announced the latest funding awards for several water resilience projects throughout the state. A total of $83.9 million grant funding has been issued to communities in San Diego, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Sierra and Central Coast regions. The funding is aimed at supporting projects to address infrastructure needs, depleted groundwater levels, flood control issues, and other water issues of critical importance.

Opinion: Arizona Water Blueprint Aids Informed Water Planning

Water is Arizona’s most precious natural resource. Yet, despite its importance, few Arizonans actually understand where their water is sourced.

If someone asked you to identify Arizona’s three major water sources, could you name them? Could you explain why tens of thousands of Arizonans don’t have certainty about their long-term water supplies?

The Fallbrook PUD Board tour group initially drove from the FPUD administration building to the Alturas Road plant and then traveled along the pipeline alignment before arriving at the Gheen Pump Station. Photo: Fallbrook Public Utilities District

Fallbrook PUD Board Members Tour Construction Project

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, public agencies have found creative solutions to holding meetings in compliance with the State of California’s meeting laws. Recently, Fallbrook Public Utility District board members stepped away from their video screens, using the opportunity to take a field trip to view a new project while conducting a traveling board meeting.

The Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project is a joint project with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and will eventually supply about 30% of the District’s water, and virtually all of Camp Pendleton’s water.

Fallbrook PUD board members view construction project

Construction of the first section of pipeline on Merida Drive is part of the Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project. This segment of pipeline between Alturas and Mission roads is about 4,500 linear feet and is 35% installed. Photo: Fallbrook Public Utilities District Fallbrook PUD Board

Construction of the first section of pipeline on Merida Drive is part of the Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project. This segment of pipeline between Alturas and Mission roads is about 4,500 linear feet and is 35% installed. Photo: Fallbrook Public Utility District

At the time of the tour, the project had been under construction for 250 days. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions, board members and others who attended the traveling meeting stayed in their cars. While behind the wheel, board members wove through parts of Fallbrook to follow the path of the new pipeline. With their smartphones turned on and hands-free, representatives followed each other in a single file parade while listening to a live conference call with the project contractor.  Board members learned about construction progress, and saw where and how the pipe will be installed.

The tour and the project began at the treatment plant on Alturas Road, where bulldozers and heavy machinery are moving earth to build the pipeline and a water treatment plant. The pipeline will transport water from the plant through parts of central Fallbrook, ending at McDonald Road. The project also includes a new four million-gallon storage tank, where the tour ended. Participants discussed the possibility of a subsequent tour to view ongoing progress with construction of the facilities.

The entire construction process will take approximately two years to complete, with the pipeline becoming fully operational by 2022.

Under New Groundwater Plans, Report Estimates 12,000 Domestic Wells Could Run Dry

The goal of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, is to better regulate the state’s water reserves. But as the law rolls out, a new study predicts tens of thousands of people could lose their drinking water.

Opinion: Arizona’s Groundwater Management Act Was Groundbreaking, But It Needs An Update

Rural communities are grappling with the challenge other parts of Arizona faced in the past: the need to conserve groundwater for future generations.

Opinion: Beyond COVID and Social Unrest, Valley’s Big Problem Remains Declining Groundwater

In these extraordinary times, managing groundwater for long-term sustainability may not seem like a top priority. But in the San Joaquin Valley — where groundwater supplies have been declining for decades — excess pumping is a critical problem, with major implications for public health, jobs, the environment and local economies.

The state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires groundwater planning and actions to sustain this vital resource. Agencies from California’s 21 “critically overdrafted” basins — including 11 large basins that span most of the San Joaquin Valley floor — submitted their first groundwater plans in January.

FPUD Board Tours Conjunctive Use Project Sites

The five Fallbrook Public Utility District board members were given a tour of FPUD’s Santa Margarita Conjunctive Use Project sites May 29.

Because a majority of the FPUD board members were present, it was legally required to be a noticed public hearing and the tour was officially a special meeting of the FPUD board. Although members of the public were welcome to attend they would have been required to remain in their own cars or trucks due to the coronavirus quarantine, but they would have been able to hear the audio communications.

The Past, Present and Future of California’s Groundwater

A century after the state began overseeing surface water, the California legislature enacted a set of three laws regulating water below the surface. The passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014, granted the state official oversight authority of groundwater. However, its involvement existed long before SGMA and continues to influence current policies and regulation of the resource. A new paper published in Society and Natural Resources, examines how the state’s ongoing involvement helped shape current policies by looking at the 120-year history of California’s role in groundwater management and policy development.

Could the Answer to Groundwater Resources Come From High in the Sky?

Groundwater makes up 30 to 50 percent of California’s water supply, but until recently there were few restrictions placed on its retrieval. Then in 2014 California became the last Western state to require regulation of its groundwater. With deadlines starting this year, for the first time water managers in the nation’s premier agricultural region – the state’s Central Valley – are tasked with estimating available groundwater. It’s a daunting technological challenge.