Senate Bill X7 6 (SBX7 6) (Chapter 1, Statutes 2009) added provisions for Groundwater Monitoring to Division 6 of the Water Code (Water Code § 10920 et seq.), and authorizes the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to establish permanent, locally managed, groundwater-elevation monitoring and reporting in all of California’s 515 alluvial groundwater basins.
To implement SBX7 6, DWR developed the California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) program. SBX7 6 requires DWR to report to the Governor and the Legislature by January 1, 2012, and thereafter in years ending in “5” or “0” regarding the findings of this program.
The purpose of CASGEM is to establish a program of regular and systematic monitoring of groundwater elevations and to track seasonal and long-term trends in groundwater elevations statewide. The law directs DWR to rely and build upon the many established, local, long-term groundwater monitoring and management programs conducted by local entities throughout the state. DWR’s role is to coordinate the CASGEM program, to work cooperatively with local entities, and to maintain the submitted groundwater elevation data in a manner that is readily and widely available to the public. Collection and evaluation of groundwater elevation data throughout the state is an important fundamental step toward improving management of California’s groundwater resources.
Within the first two years of program development, DWR has met the requirements specified in SBX7 6 to establish a statewide groundwater elevation monitoring and reporting program by January 1, 2012.