Department of Water Resources

News & Analysis as of

California DWR Releases Final Groundwater Basin Boundary Modifications

On October 18, 2016, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its final modifications to California’s groundwater basin boundaries in response to the emergency regulations adopted by DWR last October. The basin...more

New California Law Amends Water Supply Planning Laws

Water Supply Sufficiency Analyses Must Consider Groundwater Sustainability - Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 1262 into law, representing an initial attempt to incorporate groundwater management requirements under...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Precondemnation Procedures

On July 21, 2016, the California Supreme Court in Property Reserve v. Superior Court upheld the state’s precondemnation entry and testing statutes provided they were reformed to allow impacted property owners the ability to...more

New Regulations for California Groundwater Management

California has moved one step closer to implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”), California’s landmark groundwater legislation. On Wednesday, May 18, the California Water Commission adopted a set of...more

Why California’s New Groundwater Management Law is a Game Changer for Mine Operators

Ready or not, California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) is here and mine operators should be vigilant in monitoring and actively participating in developments under the law. Previously, the use of...more

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Where Do We Stand in the Quest for Sustainable Groundwater Management?

At the intersection of water and politics, a cross section of water professionals including agency staff, engineers, attorneys and consultants convened in Sacramento March 30 to spend a day with an outstanding lineup of...more

New Federal Drought Action Plan Owes a Lot to Lessons Learned in California

The Obama Administration released an action plan for long-term drought resilience that will impact the way state and local water agencies interact with the federal government on drought prevention and response efforts....more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2016 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Water Project allocation increased to 45 percent - Western Farm Press - Mar 17 - This year’s “miracle March” boosted water supply conditions well enough in California for...more

Implementation of California's New Groundwater Law Continues as DWR Releases Draft Emergency Regulations for Groundwater...

In 2014, the California Legislature adopted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which for the first time comprehensively regulates the extraction and use of the state’s groundwater. A significant milestone in...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - February 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Water Project deliveries to cities and farms increased SFGate - Feb 24 With a bit more snow in the Sierra than in years past, California officials on Wednesday boosted the...more

DWR Makes Progress in SGMA Implementation by Releasing Draft Regulations for Groundwater Sustainability Plans

The Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) recent release of draft emergency regulations for developing and evaluating groundwater sustainability plans marks continued progress toward implementation of the Sustainable...more

DWR Releases Draft Emergency Regulations for Groundwater Sustainability Plans in California

Proposed Regulations Include Required Plan Elements and Criteria for State Review - The Department of Water Resources released draft emergency regulations Thursday that spell out the steps and requirements local agencies...more

DWR Put’s Money Where Its Mouth Is In Ag Water Efficiency Grant Program

California’s unique geography and climate have allowed the State to become one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. Over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts...more

Arizona Supreme Court Affirms ADWR’s Approval of Mining Company’s Request to Sever and Transfer Its Surface Water Rights

The Arizona Supreme Court, in Arizona Department of Water Resources v. Hon Crane McClennen in and for the county of Maricopa, No. CV-15-0223-SA, reversed a ruling from Judge McClennen of the Superior Court of Maricopa County...more

Renewable Energy Update - December 2015 #3

Renewable Energy Focus - Solar companies surge as U.S. tax credit brings early holiday - Bloomberg - - Dec 16 In a deal announced late Tuesday, Congress approved an additional five years for the solar...more

Deadlines Fast Approaching to Modify Groundwater Basin Boundaries Under New Regulation

Under the recently enacted Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), groundwater basins defined by Bulletin 118 are the default regulatory units for sustainable groundwater management. (See Water Code § 10722.) But...more

CESAR Files Delta Smelt ESA Suit Against DWR, Interior and USFWS

On November 19, 2015, the Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy and Reliability (CESAR) filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) and the...more

California Water Commission Adopts Regulations For Changing Groundwater Basin Boundaries

On October 21, 2015, the California Water Commission (“CWC”) adopted emergency regulations formulated by the Department of Water Resources (“DWR”) that establish a process by which local agencies may seek groundwater basin...more

Regulations Adopted for Changing Boundaries of California Groundwater Basins

The California Water Commission on Wednesday adopted new regulations for modifying the boundaries of groundwater basins and subbasins. The action marked the latest step in the state’s rollout of the Sustainable Groundwater...more

California Governor Signs Bills to Streamline Groundwater Basin Adjudications to Better Harmonize with SGMA

Bills Addresses Traditional Costs and Delays in Adjudications - On October 9, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a pair of bills designed to streamline groundwater basin adjudications and align them with requirements under...more

California Adopts Comprehensive Groundwater Basin Adjudication Law

California enacts basin adjudication statutes with the goal of reducing uncertainty, costs and time of water rights litigation. On October 9, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1390 (Alejo) and SB 226...more

Local Agencies React to Basin Boundaries Rule With Calls for Clarification, Collaboration

Sept. 4 closed the comment period for the draft emergency basin boundaries rule issued by the California Department of Water Resources under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Of the 34 comments made publicly...more

Challenge to Emergency Drought Salinity Barrier Thrown Out Due to Lack of Proper Notice

On September 14, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California granted the state and federal defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Center for Environmental Science,...more

Draft Guidelines for Planning Grants Released by California Department of Water Resources

Guidelines Will Drive Funding Process; Comments Due Oct. 5 - With the passage of the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1), California voters authorized the issuance of $7.1...more

Deadlines for Comments on Groundwater Issues Approaching

Emergency Regulations and List of Overdrafted Basins - The clock is ticking for submission of public comments on two groundwater-related issues being addressed by the California Department of Water Resources....more

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