Ground water management is a major issue in California. The Governor’s Commission to Review California Water Rights Law, in its December 1978 report, recommends a new ground water management law for California. During the 1978 and 1979 sessions of the California Legislature, similar bills were introduced but to date the only related legislation enacted was S8 1505 (Nejed1y, 1978) which directed the Department to identify the ground water basins of the State, including those subject to critical conditions of overdraft. Basins are to be identified on the basis of geological and hydrological conditions and consideration of political boundary lines whenever practical.
The ground water basin boundaries in this report can provide a basis for ground water management, should the Legislature enact such a program.
New ground water management legislation is needed. While some local agencies are managing ground water effectively with the limited powers available to them, increased authority would permit more extensive local development and implementation of plans for management of the storage space in the underlying ground water basin, ground water extraction, and artificial recharge.
Ground water management is an institutional and a political process. The ground water basin boundaries identified in this report respond in large part to the views of agencies expressed in the workshops and public hearings.
Three hundred fifty seven ground water basins are identified in this report as shown in Bulletin 118, California’s Groundwater, 1975. Thirty-seven basin boundaries differ from those in Bulletin 118 (1975). Of these, twenty-two were in accord with local agency comments, and three were selected from among conflicting local comments. Pursuant to Section 10004 of the California Water Code, this report is submitted to the Legislature and shall become part of the California Water Plan.