DroughtGroundwaterState System

Valley groundwater may get (small) slice of state’s $15 billion surplus

 •  by Lois Henry
Groundwater basins in California considered critically overdrafted by Department of Water Resources

The Governor’s proposal for how to spend California’s $15 billion surplus includes $60 million in direct grants to help replenish groundwater in the valley’s most depleted basins.

The measure specifies the money is to be used in “critically over-drafted basins,” which lie mostly in the San Joaquin Valley.

Water managers were pleasantly surprised, but not overwhelmed, by the amount.

“While any available funding is helpful, the need outweighs the available funding,” said Kassy Chauhan, Executive Officer of the North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency in Fresno County.

GSAs were formed to comply with the state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires over tapped basins bring their water tables into balance by 2040.

Getting there could mean retiring up to a million acres of productive farmland across the valley.

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Lois Henry
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