The California Water Institute published a report explaining how the first groundwater sustainability agencies were created and the organizational and governance challenges they navigated.
A three-bill legislative package referred to as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act created a fundamental change in the governance of California’s groundwater. The act requires, with some exceptions, the formation of groundwater sustainability agencies for identified groundwater subbasins.
The report includes observations from interviews of policymakers, technical experts and thought leaders.
“These experts also observed that implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is an iterative process and that time will be needed to develop, implement, measure and improve the results of groundwater management strategies,” said water management specialist Sarge Green.
The report outlines the initial implementation of these new laws in 21 critically overdrafted groundwater subbasins. Based on a review of multiple statutes, regulations, early research, official government documents and interviews with individuals involved in the process, the authors explain how the first groundwater sustainability agencies were created, and the organizational and governance challenges they navigated, Green said.
Groundwater sustainability plans were formed to avoid the undesirable results of groundwater depletion and mitigate overdraft within 20 years.
The report documents the historic significance of how 125 groundwater sustainability agencies began to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The report provides important baseline information to help researchers, regulators, policy makers and others in the development and evaluation of governance and future governance strategies, statutes and regulatory actions.
INFO: Laura Ramos, email@example.com or 559.278.7001.