Managing Groundwater in California. The Challenge of Allocating and Protecting Groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley. Groundwater and the Environment Groundwater Uses Legal and Social History of GW in California Present-day Problems of Quantity and Quantity.
The Challenge of Allocating and Protecting Groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley
Early 1800s: U.S. adopted English customary or common law, with it doctrines governing surface water and groundwater. Groundwater extraction technology limited.
~1900: Correlative Rights recognized.
~1920s: Irrigation acts spurn demand and new technology allows increased extraction of groundwater.
1930s-40s: Large portions of California’s Central Valley are converted from wetlands to agriculture.
1950s: Overdraft is king
1950s-1960s: Surface water deliveries (CVP, SWP)
1950s-Today: Courts largely used as a dispute resolution mechanism.Legal History of Groundwater
Discord between quality and quantity management
Collective action problems
Planning (at the appropriate spatial and temporal scale)
JurisdictionCurrent Management Problems
Goal setting: Optimize what?
Planning process: How to achieve the goals?
Institutional side: Delegate authority, set common goals
User-side: How does it affect the users, third-parties?Conclusions: Managing Groundwater