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Groundwater models can be a powerful tool for informing water management by educating stakeholders, identifying data gaps and improving understanding. This report provides a framework for model development under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
Groundwater accounts for approximately 40 percent of California’s water supply during average climatic conditions. This percentage increases to nearly 60 percent during dry years or periods of drought (California Department of Water Resources [DWR], 2013). Despite its importance, California lacked a statewide framework for regulating the resource until passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014.
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After decades of dysfunction that have exacerbated chronic water problems, California is on the cusp of a new era due to historic groundwater legislation. However, meeting the law’s goals will require overcoming stubborn systemic obstacles, according to a report by researchers at Stanford’s Water in the West program and the Gould Center for Conflict Resolution at the Stanford Law School.