There are successful models for leveraging natural systems to improve water quality and supplies, enhance biodiversity and blunt the ravages of wildfires. There’s even something we can learn from beavers.
Stanford water experts discuss lessons learned from previous droughts, imperatives for infrastructure investment and pathways for the state to achieve dramatically better conservation and reuse of its most precious resource.
Adoption of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 posed a major coordination challenge for diverse public agencies by requiring them to align their activities at the scale of groundwater basins, which is not how most governing bodies are organized. Meeting this requirement meant establishing governing and operating relationships between agencies. Such interorganizational relationships (IORs) are essential in many fields, but are also prone to conflict. Understanding the factors affecting the inclusion, specificity and salience of dispute resolution clauses (DRCs) in interorganizational agreements ensures the long-term functionality of IORs. We examined 74 multi-entity agreements forming new quasi-voluntary local agencies, devoted to developing and implementing groundwater sustainability plans to achieve groundwater sustainability under SGMA.
Harvesting floodwaters to recharge depleted groundwater aquifers can simultaneously reduce flood and drought risks and enhance groundwater sustainability. However, deployment of this multibeneficial adaptation option is fundamentally constrained by how much water is available for recharge (WAFR) at present and under future climate change. Here, we develop a climate-informed and policy-relevant framework to quantify WAFR, its uncertainty, and associated policy actions.