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Basin Framework for a Multi-benefit Groundwater Replenishment and Water Trading Program: Groundwater Sustainability Plan Chapter Template

| October 1st, 2018

The following Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) chapter templates were developed by Environmental Defense Fund and New Current Water and Land, LLC to assist Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) with incorporating multi-benefit replenishment and water trading mechanisms into GSPs. These chapter templates provide an initial framework that can be adapted to reflect regional conditions and objectives.

Achieving groundwater sustainability in many overdrafted basins is contingent upon collaboration between landowners/pumpers/operators (“operators”) and GSAs to replenish groundwater. Chapter [X] Multi-Benefit Groundwater Replenishment outlines mechanisms to encourage and incentivize operator engagement in groundwater replenishment projects, with opportunities to pair these efforts with community and natural resource values, such as habitat creation and improved drinking water quality.

When properly designed, groundwater trading programs can assist in efficient allocation of scarce resources, while avoiding negative third party impacts. Chapter [Y]: Water Trading provides a framework for implementation of groundwater trading programs as a groundwater management mechanism. Appendix A. outlines qualifying conditions that allow for streamlined approval of water trades.


Groundwater Exchange, groundwater recharge, Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), water markets