New UCLA Report Takes on California’s Groundwater Management

It’s still the wild west in California when it comes to groundwater management.

California depends heavily on groundwater as a source of water supply, but is one of only two western states–the other being Texas–that allows for the withdrawal of groundwater without a permit or any other means of tracking and regulating users.  Perhaps not surprisingly, the overuse of groundwater in California threatens the reliability of the State’s future water supply. A new report by UCLA School of Law’s Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment recommends improvements in groundwater monitoring and regulation to help secure California’s water future.

Under Water: Monitoring and Regulating Groundwater in California,” the Emmett Center’s inaugural Anthony Pritzker Environmental Law and Policy Brief, discusses the importance of groundwater and its management, as well as the advantages of realigning California’s water rights system. 

In Under Water, fellow blogger Rhead Enion recommends that California establish enforceable standards and goals for monitoring, data reporting and management of groundwater basins, to be implemented by regional and local entities. 

The Anthony Pritzker Environmental Law and Policy Briefs are published by UCLA School of Law in conjunction with researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines as well as the broader environmental law community. The papers provide expert analysis to engage further public dialogue on important issues impacting the environment.  Look for more from the series in the coming months and years, and we’d love your thoughts.

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