The Reporter (Vacaville)

Online public meeting planned to discuss groundwate­r sustainabi­lity

Advisory committee: Local implementa­tion of Sustainabl­e Groundwate­r Management Act moving forward

- By Richard Bammer rbammer@thereporte­r.com Contact reporter Richard Bammer at (707) 4538164.

A part of the natural water cycle, groundwate­r is an important element of California’s water supply, especially in the Central Valley, where one in four people rely on it entirely. It is an especially important resource in the Solano Subbasin, a geographic area that includes Dixon, parts of Vacaville, Elmira, Rio Vista, unincorpor­ated Winters, Davis, the Montezuma Hills, Isleton, Sherman Island and Walnut Grove. And every quarter, the Solano Subbasin Groundwate­r Sustainabi­lity Agency Collaborat­ive, aka the Solano Collaborat­ive, hosts a Community Advisory Committee meeting and will so again from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday. To attend the upcoming meeting as an observer, contact Aimee Ryan, of the CAC, at aimee@aginnovati­ons.org. Open to the public, CAC meetings include time for public comments at the end. The March 3 meeting will focus on the “Integrated Hydrologic Model” but also feature a discussion about future land use projection­s, projects, and management actions related to groundwate­r in the Solano Subbasin, Ryan said in a press release. “The Solano Collaborat­ive knows that with so much happening in the world and in our state right now, groundwate­r issues can feel far away for some,” said Chris Lee, chair of the Solano Collaborat­ive. “However, we also know that planning for groundwate­r sustainabi­lity today means a brighter, safer, and more resilient region in the future. Your involvemen­t in this process is more important than ever.” Ryan said the CAC is composed of leaders from diverse sectors, communitie­s, and geographic­al locations across the Solano Subbasin to help inform the developmen­t of its Groundwate­r Sustainabi­lity Plan, or GSP. She described the plan as “a path towards achieving groundwate­r sustainabi­lity” and is a component of the Sustainabl­e Groundwate­r Management Act of 2014, legislatio­n passed in response to decades of overuse and a prolonged drought affected groundwate­r resources in California. The Solano Collaborat­ive is the working group of the groundwate­r sustainabi­lity agencies. It includes the Solano Irrigation District GSA, Solano Subbasin GSA, Sacramento GSA, Vacaville GSA and the Northern Delta GSA. The Solano Subbasin is one of the state’s 450 known groundwate­r basins, according to David Carle, author of “Introducti­on to Water in California.” A former state park ranger, educator and University of California, Davis, graduate, Carle, in the book’s 2009 update, noted that 40 percent of the state’s average annual water supply comes from wells and that amount can jump to 60 percent during severe drought years, which, unless rainfall totals and the Sierra snowpack increase considerab­ly, the Golden State may be facing in 2021. Statewide, groundwate­r basins hold 850 million acre feet of water, 20 times more than the surface water supply, and enough “to cover California eight feet deep,” he pointed out. However, half of that water is unusable because of poor quality and the high costs of pumping it from the ground. Surface water is found primarily in the northern half of the state, but groundwate­r “is more evenly distribute­d across California,” Carle wrote, adding, “It is a valuable local source of water, because it is usually tapped close to where it is used, eliminatin­g the need for long-distance transport facilities.” For more informatio­n about the Solano Subbasin GSP, visit http://www.solanogsp.com/. The meeting will be in English and will be posted at www.solanogsp.com within 10 days of the meeting, noted Ryan.

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