Environmental Community Based Representation on Groundwater Sustainability Agency Boards

On January 29, 2024, ECOS submitted a letter to the Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Boards in the Sacramento Area about Environmental Community Based Representation.

Below is an excerpt of the letter.

Groundwater management has taken a huge step forward with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA) throughout California. The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) is very supportive of the Sacramento Area GSA efforts to develop and begin implementation of their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) and feels the Region has done a good job of working through a multitude of technical issues. ECOS believes implementation of these GSPs requires close coordination between the GSAs, water purveyors, and the public as evidenced by our comments on the GSP annual reports to the State. One way coordination can be improved is through the inclusion of broader representation on GSA Boards of Directors.

Click here to read the letter.

Accounting System for the Regional Water Bank

On August 3, 2023, ECOS submitted a letter to the Regional Water Authority to suggest a meeting to discuss efforts to develop an Accounting System for the Regional Water Bank. Below is an excerpt.

We are interested in learning about how effective the 2012 Accounting Framework was in tracking and accounting for groundwater transactions within the bank, and which aspects of the 2012 Framework may be included in the new Regional Water Bank Accounting Framework currently in development. We are also interested in discussing how the requirements of SGMA will be incorporated in the Framework. Also, we suspect that the expanded monitoring and modeling of both the North and South American subbasins has provided additional sophistication and understanding of how groundwater moves within and between these subbasins. We would like to hear your plans for including this added technical understanding of subbasin operations into the accounting framework. We would also like to learn how you plan to account for any deposited ground water losses, and ideas you are considering regarding the use of portions of deposits to address groundwater dependent ecosystem needs, and, as a set asides to improve basin storage. Finally, the 2012 framework seemed to establish pumping levels for participants tied to water years. Is this approach one you are considering going forward, and would any resulting pumping agreements be included in Individual Purveyor Agreements established as part of the Water Forum 2 process?

Click here to read the letter (PDF).

Status of the Cosumnes Groundwater Subbasin 7/27

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Presentation/Discussion of the Status of the Cosumnes Groundwater Subbasin and Related Matters 6:10 – 7:10 by Austin Miller, Sloughhouse RCD Executive Director

The ECOS Water Committee invites you to join us in a presentation/discussion of the sustainability of the Cosumnes Groundwater Subbasin (CGA). This subbasin is the source of groundwater providing a significant amount of the water used by agriculture, rural residents, and small urban areas in the south county and western portions of Amador County that are located south of the Cosumnes River.

Austin Miller, Executive Director of the Sloughhouse RCD coordinates the management of the subbasin and will present the latest condition of the subbasin as reflected in the annual subbasin sustainability report recently submitted to the state. Austin will also brief us on interactions with the other subbasin GSAs, neighboring subbasins, and the Regional Water Authority on the development of a Regional Water Bank. Finally, Austin will discuss the ability of the Cosumnes Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agencies to implement the Subbasin’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) given the loss of grant funds and other limitations and what is planned to deal with these impediments. The effective implementation of the GSP is made more important given plans by local water purveyors to expand conjunctive use, the Regional Water Authority’s plan to operate a Regional Water Bank in the North and South American Subbasins, and the potential impacts these activities may have on the sustainability of the Cosumnes Subbasin. Bring your questions and be prepared for a thoughtful presentation and discussion.

Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6656164155
To phone in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 665 616 4155

Click here to view the full meeting agenda.

Comments regarding sufficiency of South American Groundwater Sustainability Plan

April 15, 2022

Here is a summary of our comments:
1) We find the climate change analysis used as the basis for the GSP is not sufficiently robust to reflect currently anticipated climate change conditions for the region. The analysis does not reflect current science. For this reason, we suggest DWR provide more direction in this area for future GSP updates.
2) We believe a review of the GSP utilizing Article 6, Section 355.4 finds the plan deficient in several important areas. Our findings are listed in more detail below. DWR should work with the subbasin GSAs to address the shortcomings described below before approving the GSP.

Click here to read the letter in full.