LIVE Online Walkthrough: NEW Planning Tools for Sustainable Groundwater Use

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1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Add to Calendar 05/29/2019 1:00 pm 05/29/2019 2:00 pm America/Los_Angeles LIVE Online Walkthrough: NEW Planning Tools for Sustainable Groundwater Use

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will provide an overview of two new tools they have developed for sustainable groundwater management: GDE […]

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The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will provide an overview of two new tools they have developed for sustainable groundwater management: GDE Pulse and the Fox Canyon Groundwater Market.    

GDE Pulse

Groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are important beneficial users of groundwater and present in nearly all of California’s groundwater basins.  GDEs include vegetation such as cottonwoods and willows and other native terrestrial and aquatic species and provide recreational opportunities, climate regulation, and habitat.  The health of GDEs are affected by a variety of factors, including climate, pests, land management, and their ability to access groundwater.  Despite the importance of these ecosystems to California’s economy and ecosystems, there is no systematic statewide program to monitor their health over time.  To address this gap, TNC has created GDE Pulse, a free web-based mapping and data visualization platform that summarizes 35 years of remotely sensed satellite data from NASA’s Landsat program for all GDEs in the state. With this information, we show which GDEs have ‘healthy’ vegetation and which have become ‘unhealthy’ and water stressed.  GDE Pulse also includes available groundwater level data from nearby monitoring wells to aid in trend analysis and the interpretation of correlations between groundwater levels and ecosystem ‘health’.  GDE Pulse provides crucial environmental information to groundwater sustainability agencies and local stakeholders at no cost in an intuitive and user-friendly web-based interface.  In building this tool, our goal is to provide simple summaries of complex data to support informed decisions, sustainable groundwater management, and the health of ecosystems in California.

Fox Canyon Groundwater Market

The Fox Canyon Groundwater Market is California’s first formal centralized groundwater market under the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. It is taking hold in Ventura County, one of California’s most productive agricultural counties, where steep cuts in groundwater use are expected in the coming years. The market will be a tool to implement the groundwater sustainability plan for two critically overdrafted basins by providing growers with the flexibility to trade groundwater allocations. The effort is a unique partnership of diverse stakeholders, initially organized by local growers. California Lutheran University led the effort to design the market; Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency passed the ordinances that authorized a pilot to test the market’s rules and mechanics; and TNC secured a grant of over $1M from the National Resource Conservation Service to subsidize the program’s advanced metering infrastructure and staff capacity that have made the market possible.

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