Groundwater Data in the SGMA Context Workshop

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Photo Credit: 
USGS/Joshua Valder

Improved data collection and understanding of groundwater is at the heart of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Given the existing inconsistency in groundwater data collection and monitoring protocols, meeting the legislated monitoring and management requirements will be a slow and contentious process in many groundwater basins. In some cases, local agencies will need to plan and build groundwater monitoring networks largely from the ground up, often with limited existing information about their basin’s subsurface geology or groundwater conditions. Many basins will have to do so facing limited resources and the looming threat of groundwater adjudication if local groundwater pumpers object to management actions.

Held in January 2016, this workshop focused on identifying data needs for sustainable groundwater management, with a particular interest in identifying highly uncertain datasets that may hinder implementation of the new legislation, as well as key challenges around data transparency, sharing and integration.

Because SGMA requires groundwater managers to address the impacts of groundwater pumping on surface water, the workshop included a half-day addendum on groundwater-surface water interactions. This portion of the workshop focused on the legal, regulatory and environmental considerations of groundwater-surface water interactions and the approaches and methods for measuring and monitoring them. 

This workshop is part of the Groundwater Data Workshop Series.