ACWA Releases Recommendations to Improve Groundwater Management in California

  • by BPC Staff
  • on April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

ACWA Releases Recommendations to Improve Groundwater Management in California Legislative, administrative changes identified to address overdraft, achieve sustainability


The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) today issued a suite of far-reaching recommendations for improving management of groundwater basins throughout California.

The recommendations, developed by a special task force and approved by ACWA’s Board of Directors on March 28, include legislative and administrative changes that strengthen groundwater management and accountability where it is deficient, provide new tools and authorities to accelerate progress by local and regional agencies, and guide enhanced state support where needed.

The recommendations call for the following:

  *   New uniform requirements for groundwater management planning and performance reporting

  *   Adoption of a new definition of “sustainable groundwater management” in state law

  *   A menu of best management practices for implementing groundwater management plans

  *   New tools and authorities for local groundwater management agencies

  *   New state administrative measures to ensure local groundwater management accountability

  *   A funding approach to support local capacity building and implementation

  *   Comprehensive state action to remove impediments to surface water supply reliability


The full text of ACWA’s recommendations is available here.

ACWA’s recommendations come as discussions continue in the regulatory and legislative arenas to identify ways to address potentially unsustainable declines in groundwater levels and degraded groundwater quality in some basins of the state. The drought has brought the problem into even sharper focus.

“Groundwater is a significant water supply source in many parts of California, but there are serious problems with groundwater level declines, local subsidence and degraded water quality in some areas,” ACWA President John Coleman said. “Public water agencies have a strong record of leadership and expertise in managing groundwater basins, but there is a clear need for new tools and authorities and closer collaboration with state agencies to meet the challenge.

“These recommendations are groundbreaking for ACWA, but we believe California must take bold steps immediately to solve this problem and develop a comprehensive solution to long-term groundwater sustainability,” Coleman said.

If you have questions about these recommendations, please contact Lisa Lien-Mager, ACWA Director of Communications, at (916) 441-4545 or