Document Details

Adapting to Climate Change and Drought in Selected California Groundwater Basins: Local Achievements and Challenges

Stephen Sepaniak, Linda Estelí Méndez Barrientos, Ruth Langridge, Amanda Fencl | August 27th, 2018

Climate change projections are for higher temperatures and extreme droughts by the end of the 21st century. This will alter the natural recharge of groundwater, including decreased inflow from runoff, increased evaporative losses, and warmer and shorter winter seasons, impacts that are likely to exacerbate already existing groundwater overdraft in many basins. Additionally, the imported surface water that can be delivered from the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) to areas reliant on this water for groundwater recharge and consumptive use is projected to be less reliable and more expensive. Yet groundwater is a critical water supply source during drought when it compensates for reduced surface water supplies. The need for proactive adaptation strategies to address the extreme droughts projected under climate change are frequently discussed, yet there are limited examples of such groundwater management strategies. This paper therefore explores: 

1) How groundwater management agencies are planning for drought 

2) What new approaches are currently being used that show promise for addressing the more extreme droughts projected under climate change? 


climate change, Groundwater Exchange, groundwater recharge, storage, Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)