For the first time in California history, the state has a process and forum for sorting out groundwater-surface water conflicts
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires local governments to manage their groundwater resources sustainably. Among other benchmarks, the law charges groundwater agencies with avoiding surface water depletion.
This requirement is a dramatic change. California law recognizing surface water-groundwater interconnections is a bit like the Berlin Wall coming down: immense possibilities emerge from rebuilding connections. However, just as the Berlin Wall’s fall began a difficult reunification process, California now faces the challenge of reconciling two long-separated and sometimes conflicting aspects of water management.