Recently, Sustainable Conservation brought together a host of water experts, and members of our Advisory Board, to discuss groundwater management in California. Overdrafting groundwater has already led to significant land subsidence and degraded water quality across the state, which if left unchecked, will hurt agriculture and our economy.
Responses from the wide range of conservation, academic, industry and government representatives in attendance indicated how rapidly views on groundwater are changing. The responses also demonstrated how more and more stakeholders know something needs to be done to prevent catastrophic effects to our environment and economy.
The consensus? Empowering entities at a local level to better manage groundwater basins and protect the state’s limited water supplies, while also exploring ways to diversify water sources, and propel conservation and storage efforts.
Sustainable Conservation knows thoughtful discussions like these with diverse stakeholders are the only way to manage our state’s groundwater effectively for the long term. A collaborative approach taking into account the needs of all stakeholders – from farmers to city dwellers to fish – is what California needs to arrive at solutions that emphasize both a healthy environment and economy.
The following panel of experts included Sustainable Conservation board member and UC Senior Vice President for External Relations Dan Dooley, State Water Resources Control Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus, former California Natural Resources Agency Deputy Secretary Jerry Meral, Public Policy Institute of California Senior Fellow Jeff Mount, and Kings River Conservation District General Manager David Orth.
Pictured above: Daniel Mountjoy, Sustainable Conservation’s Director of Restoration on Private Lands, presenting on groundwater management in California, with Executive Director Ashley Boren highlighting key discussion points at the white board.