Water 101: What is “Beneficial Use”?

California’s water is, in a word, complicated. We’re here to try and make it easier to understand.

We sat down with our Policy Director, Stacey Sullivan, to dig into the term “beneficial use,” as it’s of particular importance in regard to groundwater recharge now that the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is in place. Watch our short video below to learn more about the term and what it means for groundwater recharge efforts across California.



California’s constitution mandates that any water to which someone’s been given a right must be put to beneficial use. The State Water Board documents what “beneficial use” means pretty extensively in a number of scenarios, and they provide a wealth of information for anyone interested in learning more about and California water in general. We’re working with the Water Board to clarify beneficial use as it pertains to groundwater recharge.

We’ll be back soon with more news on our groundwater recharge work and all things California water. The more we all understand about our most precious resource, the more we can work together for a safe, secure supply for farms, communities and the environment.