Twenty-one California counties will share almost $7 million in state water bond money aimed at aiding sustainable groundwater planning.
The grant comes from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) via Proposition 1 to help counties comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) by developing groundwater management plans.
The counties selected are considered to have high and medium priority groundwater basins, some of which are in critical over-draft. The 21 counties stretch from Humboldt to San Diego and include all eight in the San Joaquin Valley.
State funding requires local matching funds. The single-largest project on the list is a $1.7 million effort for modeling and assessment of the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin in Monterey County.
DWR received 23 grant applications requesting a total of about $7 million. Adding the matching funds provided by the grant award recipients, approximately $13 million will be dedicated to projects in counties that need to begin long-term planning for sustainable groundwater management.
Colusa County is among the 21 counties across California receiving funding and plans to use the funding to advance groundwater sustainability through policy and technical refinement. Mendocino County plans to use the funds for the initial groundwater sustainability plan development, and Kings County’s proposal will include developing a groundwater model for its critically over-drafted groundwater basin.
On average, groundwater makes up over one-third of California’s water supply and over one-half of the supply during drought years. When groundwater basins are critically over-drafted, chronically lowered groundwater levels, seawater intrusion, and land subsidence can result.
For more detailed information from the Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program and a map identifying the allocated awards visit http://tinyurl.com/h3wawye.