News Center

open
Elsewhere Online twitter Facebook SLS Blogs YouTube SLS Channel Linked In SLSNavigator SLS on Flickr

California groundwater management trickles up from local sources, Stanford report finds

Publication Date: 
July 07, 2011
Source: 
Stanford Report
Author: 
DONNA HESTERMAN

Professor Buzz Thompson spoke with Donna Hesterman of the Stanford Report on groundwater siphoning and why it poses a variety of critical challenges in California.

In a typical year, California gets about 30 percent of its water from groundwater wells. Yet when it comes to managing this precious resource, the state of California relies on a mixed bag of more than 2,000 local water agencies with varying degrees of authority.

Critics say that this decentralized system leaves the state vulnerable to overdraft, which occurs when water is pumped out faster than replacement water is absorbed. But according to a new report published by Stanford University's Program on Water in the West, a surprising number of local water districts are taking on the challenge of groundwater protection, even without state leadership.

------------------------------------

"Years of groundwater siphoning can pose a variety of critical challenges," said Buzz Thompson, professor of law and co-director of the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford.