From the Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Program: 2017 Draft Proposal Solicitation for Groundwater Sustainability Plans and Projects The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is pleased at the turnout for its public meetings this week to review its 2017 Draft Proposal Solicitation Package for Groundwater Sustainability Plans and Projects and to receive public comments. Today’s meeting in Irvine will be the last prior to the close of the public comment period June 19, 2017. Meeting location Meeting time Irvine Ranch Water District 15600 Sand Canyon Avenue, Sand Canyon Room Irvine, CA 92618 June 14, 2017, 1:00 PM The Sustainable Groundwater Planning (SGWP) grant program is funded by Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond overwhelmingly approved by California voters in 2014. Proposition 1 authorized the Legislature to appropriate $100 million for competitive grants for development of sustainable groundwater plans and projects, of which $86.3 million is available in fiscal year 2017-18. The grants are intended to support groundwater management that furthers the goals of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, a historic 2014 law that requires local agencies to bring stressed groundwater basins into sustainable patterns of pumping and recharge. Groundwater supplies a third or more of California’s water supply. DWR will solicit proposals to award funding on a competitive basis in two funding categories: projects that serve severely disadvantaged communities and Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). GSPs have two tiers: Tier 1 is for critically overdrafted basins and Tier 2 is for all other high- and medium- priority basins. The draft materials are available on the SGWP Grant Program webpage. The public comment period will close June 19, 2017. Contact: Heather Shannon or (916) 651-9212 Facilitation Support Services DWR’s Facilitation Support Services (FSS) aim to help local agencies work through challenging water management situations. Professional facilitators are sometimes needed to help foster discussions among diverse water management interests and local agencies as they strive to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). From April 2015 to June 2017, DWR’s FSS resources were primarily allocated to assist with Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) formation. After July 1, 2017, DWR will be focusing its available FSS resources on supporting the development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). Under the requirements of SGMA, all beneficial uses and users of groundwater must be considered in the development of GSPs. The goal of the FSS is to assist local agencies in reaching consensus on potentially contentious topics arising from the diverse beneficial uses and users of groundwater and assisting governance under the newly formed governance structures in an effort to develop GSPs. Priorities of this funding are given to the critically overdrafted basins. Services Offered through DWR funded Professional Facilitators Stakeholder identification and engagement Meeting facilitation Interest-based negotiation/consensus building Public outreach facilitation Who is Eligible? GSAs developing…

UPDATE: Statewide Mercury Control Program for Reservoirs

From the State Water Resources Control Board: Update on Statewide Mercury Control Program for Reservoirs Questionnaire to Reservoir Owners and Operators In preparation for upcoming stakeholder meetings to discuss options for reservoir pilot studies, the State Water Board will be administering a questionnaire to inquire about fisheries and water chemistry management practices and feedback on potential pilot test options.
Reservoir owners and operators whose reservoir(s) will be included under this program will receive a certified letter containing the questionnaire web link within 10 business days from now.
The reservoir owners and operators will have 45 days to complete the questionnaire.
Please note that the reservoir owner and operator may need to collaborate with one another to answer the questions thoroughly.
The list of reservoirs and their associated owners and operators receiving the questionnaire is attached to this e-mail.
Subsequent to receiving feedback from the reservoir owners and operators, staff will summarize the questionnaire data and make this available to the reservoir owners and operators.
Staff Report and Provisions Submitted to Scientific Peer Review The Statewide Mercury Control Program for Reservoirs is in the process of submitting a draft staff report and proposed regulatory language to external scientific peer review and expects the review to be completed by late summer 2017.
During the peer review process, the documents will be posted on our website, to facilitate discussions with stakeholders.
Please note that no public comments will be accepted on the documents submitted to peer review.
After the scientific peer review comments are received and addressed, the Water Boards will release a revised staff report and Provisions for formal public review.

GRA’s Contemporary Groundwater Issues Council weighs in on BMPs for Groundwater Sustainability Plans

by Thomas Harter, Vicki Kretsinger Grabert, Reid Bryson, and Tim Parker On May 26, 2016, eight days after the California Water Commission voted to approve emergency regulations for Groundwater Sustainability Plans, the Groundwater Resources Association (GRA) held the sixth annual workshop of the Contemporary Groundwater Issues Council (CGIC) to address a closely related component of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) implementation: best management practices (BMPs).
With input from CGIC and other groups, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has since published its first round of BMPs and Guidelines on some core activities within Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs): monitoring protocols, monitoring networks, development of hydrogeologic conceptual models, water budgets, and modeling.
Additional BMPs and guidelines as well as statewide data support will be forthcoming as Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) prepare their GSPs.
Suggestions for short-term actions included: building trust amongst local agencies, stakeholders, and the public through clear communication about the goals of sustainable groundwater management and governance options; targeted capacity-building to encourage participation by all stakeholders; and coordination of current monitoring and modeling efforts within a basin or subbasin.
One area of particular concern included activities around the management of groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) and surface water flows impacted by groundwater management.
Many GSAs and local agencies will face challenges managing this important aspect of sustainability.
Several participants noted that GSAs will need clear communication from DWR and the State Water Board as to the various datasets that the state will provide to GSAs versus those datasets that GSAs should anticipate developing at the local level.
Participants also noted that local agencies will need guidance from the state regarding its interpretation of requirements under SGMA for local agencies to: (1) identify and map GDEs, and (2) avoid impacts to GDEs, relative to efforts associated with other interactions of surface water and groundwater, including non-ecosystem-related beneficial uses.
CA Department of Water Resources Groundwater Sustainability Plan Emergency Regulations (GSP Regulations).
CA Department of Water Resources BMP 2: Monitoring Networks and Identification of Data Gaps.

Thirsty for change? 4 ways to improve corporate water targets

Water-related business risks are becoming more and more apparent.
That’s why CDP, the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute and WWF are calling for a new approach to setting corporate water targets.
Local context matters—a lot.
As such, water targets at each company facility need not only account for company circumstance, but also for the larger watershed conditions and risks.
Aligning company performance with the local river basin context is increasingly considered a requirement for meaningful water targets.
Science, instead of individual interests, informs what needs to change and when.
That means corporate targets for water use must be based on science and understanding at the basin level, and not set arbitrarily.” Mars is using the latest science on the global carbon budget, water stress and other ecological limits to set meaningful sustainability targets for greenhouse gas emissions, water and land.
Governments and local basin initiatives are at the forefront of water management.
Because of this, companies have a lot to gain by aligning their water goals with local, national and global water priorities, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
The California Water Action Collaborative is a unique platform that links companies to state water goals.