Groundwater Information & Educational Resources
Sustainable Groundwater Management
Groundwater Sustainability Agencies in over 120 California groundwater basins are now implementing Groundwater Sustainability Plans to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
Last spring, with a huge snowpack in California's mountains, reservoirs filling quickly, and floods threatening California's valleys, a lot of folks were looking at more ways to put a lot of this flood water into our depleted aquifers to improve sustainability of groundwater resources. We provided a summary overview of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and have also proposed some additional considerations for MAR on dairy land application areas. Here are some of our interviews with the press:
- After the deluge: Floods may taint more drinking water in California. CalMatters and KPFA UpFront Interview with Brian Edwards-Tiegert
- Much of California has escaped drought, but what lies ahead? The Hill
- Explainer: What California's atmospheric rivers means for drought, flood, fires, Reuters
- California's wet weather ripe for reserves, On Balance with Leland Vittert, NewsNation
- California will use floodwater to recharge groundwater, LA Times
- Severe storms not enough to recharge California's groundwater, CBS News Sacramento
- Should California stop growing almonds and alfalfa, LA Times
- A look at how January 2023 storms have affected dams and reservoirs, Spectrum News
- 'Game-changer': San Joaquin Valley farmer flooding fields to replenishg groundwater, NBC News Sacramento
- Unlocking nature's storm drains to harness floods and combat California's drought, Courthouse News
- Why all that rain in California won't solve its drought, Vox News
What happens to our groundwater during drought? Many of the lessons and stories from the 2012-2016 drought are relevant to the ongoing drought (2020-current): Watch this one hour presentation on groundwater, drought, and related aspects, taped at the National Academy of Sciences. Or a 30 minute groundwater webinar (or it's summary at Maven's notebook) that provides a brief, easy to understand introduction on California groundwater, how it works, how it is being used, how droughts affect groundwater levels, and how groundwater in California is managed (produced by the University of California Institute for Water Resources as part of their "Water & Drought Online Seminar Series"). More interesting drought links are here.
A look back on past groundwater drought news in this PBS Newshour story or on CBS' 60 Minutes; in NPR's hourlong radio feature on groundwater, drought, and global water scarcity (August 2014) or in this 6-minute feature on NPR's Here and Now (September 2014). And when is a drought over for groundwater (2017)?
Nitrate in Drinking Water
Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture
“Toward Sustainable Groundwater In Agriculture -
Linking Science And Policy”
In 2016, the last time this conference was held, more than 200 presentations were given at the second international conference held in June 2016 in San Francisco, California; abstracts, powerpoint presentations, and videos of the presentations will be available in September 2016; the materials and videos from over 130 presentations at the first international conference in 2010 are also available.
What We Do
Our groundwater research, education, and outreach program primarily works with the water resources industry (public water supply utilities, irrigation districts, water districts, etc.), research, planning, and regulatory agencies on the local, county, state and federal level, farm advisors in county cooperative extension, the agricultural industry, and with NGOs engaged in agricultural and rural regions. The components of the program are:
- An integrated basic and applied research program that emphasizes regional groundwater hydrology and sustainable groundwater management planning/modeling/assessment, water quality and contaminant fate and transport in both vadose zone and groundwater, and techniques for sampling and monitoring groundwater systems; [Publications]
- An extension program that provides educational and technical support to local, state, and federal agencies, to groundwater sustainability agencies, irrigation and water districts, county farm advisors, conservation districts, and policy makers in both the agricultural and urban sectors in the state. Check out our groundwater guides, factsheets, video-blogs, and our Groundwater & Watershed book in "Publications".
- Coordination of groundwater related programs and events among faculty in hydrology related areas at UC Davis, with other extension specialists and farm advisors, with federal, state and local agencies, water districts, irrigation districts, conservation districts, NGOs, and other groups that are concerned with and engaged in sustainable groundwater management.
We provide multi-faceted research, technical advising, outreach, and education support toward the implementation of California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and of California's regulatory groundwater quality programs to address nitrate, salinity, and other emerging nonpoint source/ diffuse contaminants. Our program offers support throughout California with emphasis on rural and agricultural regions. We also engage with national and international partners to support global discovery, learning, and best management adaptation in this arena. From 2007 to 2020, the program has been an integral part of the Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair in Water Management and Policy. Since 2021, the program is part of the Nora S. Gustavsson Endowed Professorship for Groundwater Resources in Agriculture.
In 2007, our program received the Kevin J. Neese Award, presented by the California Groundwater Resources Association for the best groundwater project of the year. The award was given in recognition of our program's efforts to better understand groundwater quality issues related to dairy activities and our involvement in improving management practices on dairies.
Sustainable groundwater resources for healthy people, healthy working landscapes, and a healthy environment.
The mission of the Nora S. Gustavsson Endowed Professorship and the University of California Cooperative Extension Groundwater Program is to investigate, develop, and provide educational and scientific/technical support on current and emerging groundwater resources and groundwater quality issues in California's working landscapes.
Groundwater Information And Education For You
FREE ONLINE FACTSHEETS:
- Groundwater Basics - Factsheet
- Water Well Design and Construction - Factsheet
- ....more factsheets on groundwater and watershed issues...
The link buttons on the left take you to a wide range of resources, for example:
PUBLICATIONS - our popular books, factsheets, videoblogs, research publications
CALIFORNIA LINKS - California groundwater info, data, agencies, related resources
OTHER LINKS - national/international groundwater related webpages and resources
CALIFORNIA WATER BLOG - water and groundwater related notes