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

E. Coli Measurements in Lower American River still very high

May 28, 2020 | By Ryan Sabalow and Theresa Clift | The Sacramento Bee

As the summer weather begins to hit Sacramento, thousands of families head to the American River to cool off. That was the case over Memorial Day weekend.

Yet, recent measurements of E. coli bacteria in the river have reached the highest limits the testing equipment could detect.

Will Sacramento ever clean up the beautiful American River to a point where it’s safe for all to enjoy?

Click here to read the article.

Save the Delta, Stop the Tunnel

Take Action!

Deadline: April 17, 2020 (Close of Business)

For those of us at home, the feeling of helplessness can be real. BUT we can still help the earth! Right now, you can take action to Save the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Please share! And take care.

Barring another extension, comments on the Department of Water Resources’ Notice of Preparation for the Delta Conveyance Project Environmental Impact Report are now due on April 17th. Please write a short letter asking for a full review of this massive project’s devastating impacts on the environment. Click here for the Delta Conveyance Notice of Preparation, published January 15, 2020. Click here for some previously submitted comment letters.

We encourage you to:

  • educate yourself on the Delta Conveyance Project,
  • share this message; and
  • send an email with your letter, if you can.

Learn More

Click here to learn all about the Delta Conveyance Project, aka “The Tunnel.”



Photos by Osha Meserve.

Private Wells and Groundwater Sustainability

April 10, 2020

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) and Habitat 2020 have submitted a comment letter regarding the subject of significant and unreasonable domestic, shallow agricultural and small system well impact evaluation as part of Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) preparation.

Click here to view the comment letter.

Attachment: NGO letter to California Natural Resource Agency, Department of Water Resources, Cal EPA Special Counsel for Water Policy, and State Water Resources Control Board titled “Reviewing Groundwater Sustainability Plans In Accordance With State Agency Obligations to Consider the Human Right to Drinking Water”, February 10, 2020

hose with water running

How California Can Solve Its Water Crisis With Existing Water

December 26, 2019
By Heather Cooley
ComStock’s Magazine

Californians have made real strides to conserve over the past several decades. San Francisco and Los Angeles use the same amount (or less) water today as they did 30 years ago, despite substantial growth.

California has a chance to model what a truly resilient water system looks like, combining nature and technology to make the most of every drop and dollar. Just as we are doing in the energy sector, we should be focusing on no-regrets water projects that make economic and environmental sense. 

Click here to read the full article.

(Photo: Pixabay via Pexels)

Water Forum II Update Effort

Updated January 5, 2020

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

The year 2021 will see a lot of activity including discussions and formulation of new Water Forum Agreement language. The following chart prepared by the Water Forum staff lays out the issue topics and the Water Forum Agreement update schedule for the coming year. The foundational learning sessions conducted in 2020 were recorded and can be viewed by accessing the Water Forum website. This year, the issues focused Work Groups (WG) will be developing any specific language changes to the existing Water Forum Agreement. Proposed changes will be discussed in Caucus and Plenary sessions before their eventual ratification by the Water Forum Agreement Signatories. You can follow the progress of the potential modifications to the Water Forum Agreement on the Water Forum website.

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 was held in the fall of 2020. Summaries of these sessions can be found on the Water Forum web site.

The year 2021 will see a lot of Water Forum update activity including discussions and formulation of new Water Forum II Agreement language. The Water Forum II Draft Timeline, prepared by the Water Forum staff, lays out the issue topics and the Water Forum Agreement update schedule for the coming year. This year, issue focused Work Groups (WG) will be developing specific language changes to the existing Water Forum Agreement. Proposed changes will be discussed in Caucus and Plenary sessions before their eventual ratification by the Water Forum Agreement Signatories. You can follow the progress of the potential modifications to the Water Forum Agreement on the Water Forum Web site link above.

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, Jessica Law. Questions about the Environmental Caucus Statement of Interests can be directed to Habitat 2020.