Online map shows groundwater sustainability projects

DWR application to educate public on water supply resources

A new web application developed by California Department of Water Resources (DWR) invites the public to explore about thousands of groundwater projects across the state and deepen understanding of critically limited water resources.

Users of the California Groundwater Projects Tool interact with a map of nearly 3,000 projects initiated over the last decade to protect groundwater resources. The database will include information about project benefits and effectiveness in relation to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The new tool will help track the progress of both investments and projects to inform state and local agencies on the types of projects making the most positive impacts.

Users can also access more than 20 project case studies and guidance on measuring and tracking benefits of projects following construction.

“Dry conditions continue to test our communities statewide, especially those that rely heavily on groundwater for multiple needs,” said DWR’s SGMA Deputy Director Paul Gosselin. “This new mapping tool … (shows) that groundwater managers and communities are advancing solutions and planning projects within their basins to help achieve groundwater sustainability.”

Groundwater is a critical component of California’s water supply, accounting for 40% in a normal year and up to 60% during dry conditions. Nearly 85% of all Californians rely on groundwater for at least some portion of their water supply. Adverse impacts of decades of over pumping groundwater basins including dry drinking water wells and land subsidence are evident throughout California.

California DWR has prioritized the development of new web-based tools and resources for well owners, groundwater users, and local water managers to help them prepare for current and future drought conditions. Last month DWR in coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board launched the Dry Well Susceptibility Tool, a mapping tool developed for local monitoring and early warning of domestic water wells susceptible to going dry in order to help communities proactively plan for potential water outages.

Households with failing drinking water wells should submit a report to mydrywell.water.ca.gov and contact their county’s Office of Emergency Services for immediate assistance and emergency response to urgent drinking water needs. The county contacts can then facilitate requests for state funding.

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