EnviroTech News

The Consequences of Groundwater Sustainability in California

Important Local Sacramento Groundwater Meeting on 2/13 


EnviroTech is proud to be a scholastic co-sponsor at this months combined GRA/AEG meeting.

As a scholastic supporter, EnviroTech has always tried to hire and use local Geoscience interns. At this event, our new Sacramento employee, Morgan, who is also a CSU, Sacramento Geology student, will give a small presentation.

Here is a look at the presentation, and you can find more event details here on the GRA event site.


In 2014 California enacted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) to address impacts associated groundwater pumping. This act mandates that areas that depend upon groundwater achieve sustainability by 2040. To meet the requirements of this act there will need to be a net reduction in groundwater overdraft of more than 2 million acre-feet per year. The social, economic and environmental consequences—intended or otherwise—of this change in water policy are vast. Opportunities to augment supplies are limited, although new storage, conveyance and groundwater recharge will help. In areas connected to the state’s water supply systems—particularly the federal Central Valley Project and the State Water Project--there will be increased pressure to transfer water. This will impact on-going efforts to address water supply reliability and ecosystem issues in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. However, sustainability will be achieved principally though reductions in demand. In the San Joaquin Valley—the region accounting for most overdraft—this will involve permanent or temporary fallowing of hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland, with consequences for the farm economy in the valley and rural communities dependent upon farm labor. There will also be wide ranging environmental consequences. How land is fallowed, including the quality of soils, will affect air quality, water quality and terrestrial habitat. Demand reduction will also increase conflicts over the use of surface water to support aquatic habitat and wetlands as well as groundwater-dependent ecosystems. California needs to take a comprehensive look at what it is going to take to achieve groundwater sustainability and develop pathways that minimize or mitigate unwanted effects.

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More Groundwater sampling information can be found in our resources section of our website.

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