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Under Water

Monitoring and Regulating Groundwater in California


Under Water

California’s water supply system depends heavily on groundwater use, but its overuse threatens the reliability of the state’s future water availability. In our inaugural Pritzker Brief, Rhead Enion describes the importance of groundwater and the advantages of realigning California's water rights system to better manage groundwater. According to Under Water, the state should establish enforceable standards and goals for monitoring, data reporting and management of groundwater basins, to be implemented by regional and local entities. Under Water recommends, among other things: comprehensive groundwater monitoring, including groundwater use metering and groundwater quality screenings; the availability at a statewide level of monitoring data from regional and local agencies; and the implementation of statewide rules for regional regulation of groundwater, with mandatory management goals.