DrainageDitchTMDL-StPeter / Flickr, Creative Commons

The acronyms GSA, GSP and SGMA may not mean anything to you. But if you rely on a well for your water, it might be time to start paying attention. SGMA is the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which was was passed in 2014. It requires local agencies to submit management plans by 2022. If you want to have any input on how agencies are going to manage your groundwater, now is the time to get involved.

PETER SIMS / Flickr, Creative Commons

“Hello, this is Lupe Green. I’m calling from Tehama County, California and my question is how is the issue of water resources for the North State being addressed? I am concerned about the availability of water in the North State over time, given climate change, droughts, increased acres of orchards, and water demands from the southern part of the state. Will the many individual water wells run dry?”

The northern Sacramento Valley is lined with walnut orchards, almond orchards and the communities we call home. All of this takes water, and a lot of it. If you rely on a well, then Lupe is right, there are a number of things that you should be concerned about; especially in an ever changing political and environmental climate. 

Frack-Free Butte County

Update 6/8/16 6:46 a.m.

Measure E passes with 72 percent voter approval. 


Originally posted 6/7/16 

Western Regional Climate Center

In a change of pace, North State waterways are swollen and there’s a healthy amount of fresh snow on the mountains.

Lake Shasta, the largest reservoir in California, is 81 percent full — that’s 106 percent of its historic average for this time of year.

KRCR meteorologist Rob Elvington explains further.

“We’re doing well with Shasta. Oroville is now about 101 percent of average, so Oroville is doing great too,” he said. “And both of those should fill up through the rest of this wet season regardless of how many storm systems come in.”

Marc Albert

Salmon nigiri: a small morsel of raw salmon, perched on a petite rice ball. Perhaps it’s an ignoble end for a majestic fish known for epic upriver journey. For the last several years in the Sacramento Valley, there’s an experiment turning that delicacy on its head. Having salmon begin — not end — their lives over rice.

On a recent Monday, the numbers were encouraging enough to generate elation. Researchers were catching, measuring, documenting and releasing Chinook fingerlings grown for a few weeks in an innovative way.

Sarah Bohannon / NSPR

Water tables are continuing to ebb but not drastically, according to an annual report to be submitted Tuesday to the Butte County Water Commission.

Officials recorded that on average, ground water levels appear to be receding by about two feet a year in most places in the county, and double that in areas with large scale pumping for irrigation. That’s pretty much in line with the trend over the last few decades.

Christina Buck is a water resources scientist with the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation.

Tom Woodward / Flickr:

Almonds have received a lot of criticism this year over the gallon of water that goes into producing each nut. Last week, the Almond Board of California made an announcement that could help change the image of the one million acres of almonds covering the state to one that’s less affiliated with California’s water problem, and more affiliated with its solution.

Sarah Bohannon / NSPR

Last year’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act has launched a feeding frenzy among agencies, each gunning for the head of the table as regulatory plans for the state’s groundwater basins are formed over the next seven years. 


carlpenergy / Flickr CC

When meetings eventually get underway to regulate Butte County’s underground aquifers, county elected officials will have a prime seat at the table.

The Butte County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously voted to form a groundwater sustainability agency.

It’s all part of sweeping statewide legislation aimed at reversing the retreat of the state’s giant invisible reservoir: its groundwater.

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

A new report from NASA shows the San Joaquin Valley is sinking much faster than ever before.

With reduced surface water available because of the drought, more groundwater is pumped. As the underground aquifers are tapped, land surfaces sink.