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What to expect as state water officials weigh in on local groundwater sustainability plans


In 2014, California’s state legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), a sweeping law with the goal of balancing the amount of water pumped out of underground aquifers with the amount returned through recharge. How that balancing act would actually work was left up to hundreds of locally governed water agencies, which are now beginning to receive feedback from the state Department of Water Resources on the sustainability plans they submitted in late 2019 and early 2020.

In this interview, KVPR’s Kerry Klein speaks with Lois Henry, CEO and editor of the non-profit news source SJV Water, about what’s next in the SGMA rollout, what water agencies should expect from the state’s comments, and how the latest drought is already foiling some long-term groundwater plans.

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