Water Forum Update Effort

October 6, 2020

ECOS and Habitat 2020 are part of the Water Forum update effort.

Stakeholders in the Sacramento Region are working to update the historic Water Forum Agreement of 2000. The update, referred to as Water Forum II could represent renegotiation of some aspects of the agreement that seem out of date and would benefit from a fresh look in a 2020 context.

To support deliberations, a series of learning sessions were held in July and August 2020 to provide current and potential Water Forum signatories with information to promote a shared understanding of several cross-cutting topics: climate change, fisheries, habitat, groundwater management, and urban water management planning (including demand management, water use efficiency and conservation). An additional educational session on the management of the American River Watershed is being planned for late October/early November. Summaries of these sessions can be found on the Water Forum web site.

The document The Water Forum Past, Present, and Future provides a cogent summary of the history of the Water Forum Agreement, what has happened over the course of the past 20 years that may result in the need for the Agreement’s updating, and what future impacts the region is likely to face and how an updated Agreement will help the region adapt to these changes.

The Water Forum is composed of four caucuses – Environmental, Public interests, Water Purveyors, and Business. ECOS and Habitat 2020 members as well as other environmental groups are represented on the Environmental Caucus. As a prelude to the learning sessions and upcoming negotiation discussions, each caucus developed a Statement of Interests to clarify its intentions and interests in a renegotiated Water Forum Agreement. Access to the Environmental Caucus Statement of interest is possible through this link.

There are a significant number of ECOS members who are actively involved with the Water Forum and this renegotiation effort. If you have questions about the Water Forum or its programs, please contact the Water Forum’s Executive Director, Tom Gohring. Questions about the Environmental Caucus Statement of Interests can be directed to Habitat 2020.

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What’s a Groundwater Sustainability Plan?

August 2020

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) is pleased to announce a new page on our website that is all about Groundwater Sustainability Plans! Look forward to more information to be posted from the water subcommittee of ECOS’s Habitat Committee.

Click here to view our new page and learn all about groundwater sustainability in the Sacramento region!


Photo by Steve Johnson from Pexels

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Implementing California’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan in Sacramento County

November 11, 2019

ECOS and Habitat 2020 have submitted the following letter to the Sacramento Central Groundwater Authority regarding their application to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program. ECOS/Habitat 2020 look forward to participating with the Sacramento Central Groundwater Authority in the implementation of the Grant Proposal and the ongoing efforts to develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the South American Subbasin in Sacramento County.

Ramon Roybal
Assistant Engineer
Sacramento Central Groundwater Authority
827 7th Street Room 301
Sacramento CA, 95814

Subject: South American Subbasin Prop 68 Round 3 Grant Proposal for Evaluating GDEs and Surface Water Depletions (Grant Proposal)
Dear Mr. Roybal,
The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to achieve regional and community sustainability and a healthy environment for existing and future residents. ECOS member organizations include: 350 Sacramento, Breathe California Sacramento Region, Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, International Dark-Sky Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility Sacramento Chapter, Sacramento Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association, Environmental Democrats of Sacramento County, Sacramento Housing Alliance, Sacramento Natural Foods Coop, Sacramento Audubon Society, Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, Sacramento Vegetarian Society, Save Our Sandhill Cranes, Save the American River Association, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000 and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group.
Members of Habitat 2020, a committee of ECOS, include: Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of Swainson’s Hawk, International Dark-Sky Association Sacramento Chapter, Sacramento Area Creeks Council, Sacramento Audubon Society, Sacramento Valley Chapter California Native Plant Society, Save Our Sandhill Cranes, Save the American River Association, Sierra Club Sacramento Group and Sacramento Heron and Egret Rescue.
We want to express our thanks for the opportunity to review and comment on the Sacramento Central Groundwater Authority’s (SCGA) Grant Proposal. We are very concerned about how the South American Subbasin’s (Subbasin) Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDE) and Groundwater/Surface Water Interfaces (GWI) are identified, evaluated, and managed as part of SCGA’s development and administration of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) for the Subbasin. We commend SCGA for opening its grant development process to include public comment. We are encouraged by this action and look forward to working with SCGA and the other Subbasin GSAs in implementing the grant’s workplan. In addition, in the coming months we look forward to working with all parties to develop a GSP for the South American Subbasin (SAS).
We support the overall workplan proposed in the Grant Proposal. Specifically we endorse the workplan’s support for the completion of the numerical integrated groundwater surface water CoSANA model. We support the technical approach proposed for the identification and analysis of GDEs and GWIs. Finally, we support and commend SCGA for the identified efforts to include public input throughout the project. SCGA has included the potential formation of a Cosumnes Surface Water Group if such a group is found useful by those concerned and affected by decisions in the region. We see this group playing an important role in the analysis of the river basin and riparian forested areas and agricultural lands. We also endorse the workplan’s inclusion of and call for cross-basin coordination between each of the subbasins that share a river boundary
Finally, we urge both the South American Subbasin and the Cosumnes Subbassin GSAs to work with their common stakeholders to establish the lower Cosumnes River basin as a “Management Area”  under SGMA in each Subbasin’s GSP. This designation will allow the lower Cosumnes River basin’s critical resources to be managed effectively.
ECOS/Habitat 2020 look forward to participating with SCGA in the implementation of the Grant Proposal and the ongoing efforts to develop a GSP for the Subbasin.  
Sincerely,
Rob Burness and Sean Wirth, Co-chairs of Habitat 2020

Click here to view the letter in PDF.

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