The purpose of this report is to outline the history of the Statements Program and explain recent statutory changes that will enable the...
The purpose of this report is to outline the history of the Statements Program and explain recent statutory changes that will enable the program to more comprehensively fulfill its original intent of providing meaningful information regarding water diversion and use, particularly in the Delta. The report also underscores a serious funding problem that threatens the integrity of the Statements Program and explores issues related to the new requirement for diverters to provide monthly records of water diversion based on the use of best available technologies.
This study assessed the history of oil production and pressure changes in the southern portion of the San Joaquin Basin in California’s Central...
This study assessed the history of oil production and pressure changes in the southern portion of the San Joaquin Basin in California’s Central Valley as a reverse analog for understanding the pressure response to potential geologic carbon sequestration.
Sequestration involves injecting carbon dioxide into permeable strata such as those that trap oil. This results in pressure increases in the existing fluid in the subsurface that can provide a motive force for brines at those depths to migrate into groundwater, affecting its quality. The pressure can also cause differential ground surface uplift that can affect surface water flow, particularly in engineered water conveyances such as canals.
The strata underlying the Central Valley have been assessed as having considerable capacity to store carbon dioxide, but the area also contains urban areas and extensive agriculture that rely on engineered surface water delivery systems and groundwater supplies. The Stevens Sand, Temblor Formation and Vedder Formation were identified as having the largest cumulative net production from typical geologic carbon sequestration depths.
Two oil pools were identified in each of these stratigraphic units for more detailed analysis, which included converting fluid level data to pressure at the pool scale. Data were collected that allowed an assessment of the hydraulic connectivity of each unit. The results indicated that the Vedder was hydraulically connected at the near basin scale, the Stevens was hydraulically connected at the pool scale and was disconnected between pools and the Temblor was disconnected within pools. Researchers used these results to analyze possible brine leakage driven by geologic carbon sequestration. They also reviewed over 200 articles on historic groundwater contamination. They concluded that no instance of contamination due to upward leakage of brine in the Central Valley was reported.
In 2001, the California Department of Water Resources embarked on one of the most elaborate public involvement processes in state history. Over the...
In 2001, the California Department of Water Resources embarked on one of the most elaborate public involvement processes in state history. Over the course of five years and 200 meetings, a 65-member Stakeholder Advisory Committee and a 350-member Extended Review Forum worked with agency staff to produce a new water plan for California. The process consumed some 23,000 person-hours in face-to-face discussions alone.
Although the state had been updating its water plan approximately every five years since 1957, the 2005 process produced a dramatically different type of document. For one thing, the 2005 Update is conceptually more accurate, complex, nuanced, and comprehensive. The policy recommendations described in its strategic plan address a broader range of issues—including climate change and environmental justice—yet they engendered somewhat less political controversy than the policies identified in the 1998 Update. Moreover, there is evidence that the collaborative process used in 2001-2005 catalyzed improvements in the relationships among California's historically warring water stakeholders, and also sparked the beginnings of positive cultural changes within certain quarters of DWR.This research report authored by Ariel Ambruster catalogues the outcomes of the 2005 Water Plan Update process and those of its predecessor, the 1998 Update.
California’s Area of Origin Laws have long been in the background of the State’s major water issues. They were enacted 50-80 years ago,...
California’s Area of Origin Laws have long been in the background of the State’s major water issues. They were enacted 50-80 years ago, are written very generally, and have not been subject to a lot of interpretation by the courts. However, they remain a potential linchpin to resolving many of California’s most vexing water disputes. For that reason alone, the Area of Origin Laws are worthy of attention. It is the purpose of this report to: provide a brief description of the Area of Origin Laws, to discuss recent court cases that have discussed them, and to summarize the major principles embodied in the laws.