Debra Perrone (left), a postdoctoral research scholar at Stanford University, gave an excellent groundwater presentation at the recently-concluded AWRA Annual Water Resources Conference in Denver. Her co-author is Rebecca Nelson of the Woods Institute for the Environment.
Here is their abstract with a PDF of Debra's PPT presentation just below it:
The Western Water Dashboard: Comparing Groundwater Regulation Among the Western States ‐ Debra Perrone, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (co‐author: R. Nelson)
The Western Water Dashboard is a web‐based visualization tool that displays information about water resources in the 17 western states. The dashboard focuses on various aspects of groundwater management: groundwater governance, criteria for issuing groundwater permits, metering and reporting groundwater withdrawals, penalties for violating the terms of a groundwater permit, and requirements to prove that sufficient groundwater exists to support development ('key regulatory elements'). In September 2014, California adopted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which grants regulatory powers to local agencies managing groundwater. The move to adopt such legislation was unprecedented in California; historically, the state has focused its management of groundwater resources on finding and augmenting new supplies and has little experience with permitting regimes, outside of small geographic areas. Thus, the goal of this work is to distil the key elements of effective regulation out of the profound complexity of state water laws, assess the extent to which each state employs those elements, and convey this information in a useful and informative manner. This work is timely for California, and also, it is helpful to other states looking for tools to manage their groundwater better. We developed a template and an associated codebook to compare the different regulatory regimes across the West. The template allowed us to capture differences in groundwater legislation through interpretation of the law using a range of legal material research techniques (e.g., text searches, reviewing secondary literature, contacting state agency staff). Because of the myriad differences between states' regulatory approaches, our template evolved to ensure that it captured all of the variation we saw as we moved throughout the 17 Western states. Our preliminary results indicate that groundwater regulation varies across states, as well as within states. We identified special management areas within each state where groundwater management laws differ from the default regime of groundwater management laws that exists elsewhere in the state. These special management areas are defined subareas within states that have been designated due to concerns about the effects of groundwater withdrawal. For both the states in general, and their special management areas, we identified the key regulatory elements outlined above. In addition, we worked with state water agencies to capture areas of difference between 'laws on the books' and practice allowing us to provide a preliminary view of implementation issues and gaps between the law and practice. The first phase of this project demonstrates in a detailed and quantitative way, for the first time, the frequency with which key regulatory elements appear in the groundwater legal regimes of the 17 Western States, and provides the basis for further work connecting these elements with groundwater conditions.
Debra said this site should be up in spring 2016, but no later than summer 2016.
This is going to be something - a real asset to groundwater management in the West.
If you have any questions or suggestions, contact Debra: email@example.com
"The Rio Grande is the only river I ever saw that needed irrigation." – Will Rogers