California remains the only state in the union without statewide regulation of groundwater. Lack of regulation creates an unsustainable ‘tragedy of the commons’ use of groundwater, especially during dry years. California’s severe drought and full consequences of increased groundwater pumping — including dry wells, rivers drying up, and land subsidence—have heightened awareness of groundwater issues. Groundwater is a wonky topic, but important to fish because it often sustains river flows during drought.
CalTrout and other leaders have come together to make sure our state does the right thing, right now with the launch of the Groundwater Voices Coalition website, sponsored by the California Water Foundation. The site aims to educate decision makers about the need for more effective and sustainable groundwater management. Check it out and educate yourself on this important issue. www.groundwatervoices.com
In other groundbreaking groundwater news,
A Sacramento Superior Court judge issued a ruling Tuesday requiring regulation of groundwater pumping to protect a river in Siskiyou County. Attorneys on both sides say it’s the first time a California court has ruled the “public trust doctrine” applies to groundwater. The doctrine says the State of California holds all waterways for the benefit of the people. The lawsuit claimed groundwater pumping in the Scott River Basin is partly responsible for decreased river flows – limiting the public’s use of the river and harming fish habitat. …
Read more from Capital Public Radio here: Sacramento Judge Makes Precedent-Setting Ruling On Groundwater Regulation