Groundwater is instrumental in slaking California's thirst. In average years, underground basins, known as aquifers, supply about 35% of the water used by the state's cities and farms, and in drought years, that figure can jump to 60% or higher.

Many areas of the state rely exclusively on groundwater for their supplies, while other areas use groundwater to supplement their surface supplies or to meet needs when surface water is not available.

As surface water deliveries continue to be constrained, California is relying more and more on groundwater to meet needs. The shift to greater reliance makes effective management a critical challenge as the state works to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA).

The SGMA is a comprehensive three-bill package that provides a framework for sustainable management of groundwater supplies by local authorities, with a limited role for state intervention only if necessary to protect the resource.

The SGMA is considered just one part of a statewide, comprehensive water plan for California that includes investments in water conservation, water recycling, expanded water storage, safe drinking water, wetlands and watershed restoration. The plan is intended to ensure a reliable water supply for California for years to come.

Ultimately, for sustainable groundwater management to succeed, California must also invest in conveyance improvements in the Delta, additional surface storage and groundwater storage to optimize both water supply reliability and ecosystem health, and substantial investments in local water resources development.

For more information on SGMA, please visit ACWA's groundwater spotlight page.

Latest News about Groundwater

After presenting the information to the California Water Commission, the California Department of Water Resources Wednesday released its... read»
New satellite and aircraft imaging data from NASA show that portions of the San Joaquin Valley are sinking by nearly two inches per month... read»
Preliminary applications for Groundwater Quality Funding Projects are now being accepted electronically through the online Financial... read»
The California Department of Water Resources on July 17 opened the public comment period on proposed draft emergency regulations that will... read»
A federal appellate court has agreed to review a key issue in a lower court ruling that granted the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians... read»

Latest Posts about Groundwater

Attached below are PDFs of presentations and materials from recent workshops held on local implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater... read more»
The agenda and other materials for the Sept. 3 meeting are available here. read more»
On Sept. 16, 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law an unprecedented three-bill legislative package, known as the Sustainable Groundwater... read more»
  We have one specific comment related to the draft regulations for groundwater replenishment with recycled water and a general... read more»
ACWA, DWR Survey Under Way to Compile Data on Local Groundwater Management Plans and Needs for Assistance The Association of California... read more»

Upcoming Groundwater Events

Wed, 09/23/2015 - 10:30am - 2:30pm
Thu, 09/24/2015 - Fri, 09/25/2015
This 2-day, 1-night tour will travel through the Sacramento region to view sites that explore groundwater issues. Topics will include...
Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:00am - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 5:00pm
Presented by Groundwater Resources Association of California
Tue, 06/28/2016 - Thu, 06/30/2016
This three-day international conference will again bring together leading scientists, policy analysts, policy and decision makers, and...