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

The State Water Resources Control Board is scheduled to hold a free seminar May 30 that examines the use of stormwater for groundwater... read»
The California Department of Water Resources today announced the release of its 2017 Draft Proposal Solicitation Package for Groundwater... read»
The State Water Resources Control Board Thursday announced the selection of eight projects that have been awarded a combined total of more... read»
ACWA on March 10 submitted formal comments and recommendations for improving the California Department of Water Resources’ draft... read»
The California Department of Water Resources Wednesday released a new report from NASA showing that areas of the San Joaquin Valley... read»

Latest Posts about Groundwater

ACWA has posted its March 10 comment letter on the draft Water Available for Replenishment Report (WAFR). The WAFR was prepared by the... read more»
Here are the agenda and handouts for the Groundwater Committee meeting on Feb. 15, 2017 in Sacramento. read more»
Agenda for Sept. 14, 2016 Climate Impacts on Groundwater Presentation read more»
Here are the agenda and handouts for the Groundwater Committee meeting on May 3, 2016 in Monterey: read more»
The California Department of Water Resources is set to host several public meetings next week to receive public comments on its Draft... read more»