News & Events:

Groundwater Accounting Platform Offers Data-Driven Solution for the American West

May 28th, 2024

Sacramento – As the American West faces intensifying water challenges, water managers, landowners, and water users are increasingly turning to the Groundwater Accounting Platform (Platform) as a data-driven tool that enables them to track water availability and usage with user-friendly dashboards and workflows. The Platform is now available throughout California to support sustainable groundwater management practices.

Unsustainable groundwater pumping across much of the West has endangered long-term water supplies and led to millions of dollars of infrastructure damage from sinking land. The Groundwater Accounting Platform empowers users to manage water supplies long-term, and helps communities avoid undesirable outcomes and meet community-established goals. Within California, the Platform functionality supports Groundwater Sustainability Agencies as they manage resources in priority basins under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

“It is more important than ever that water managers and agricultural water users have access to the best possible data to guide their decisions and balance supply and demand for groundwater,” said Dr. Noa Bruhis, senior analyst at the Environmental Defense Fund. “The open-source Groundwater Accounting Platform was developed to provide users with an easy-to-use, cost-effective option that helps secure their communities’ water future.”

The Platform can integrate data from various sources, including satellite imagery, flow meters, and sensor networks. This consolidation of water supply and usage information allows for precise tracking of water budgets at the parcel level. Additionally, the Platform provides a comprehensive water manager dashboard to account for water distribution across districts and regions, informing crucial management decisions such as billing and allocation planning.

A notable feature of the Groundwater Accounting Platform is its utilization of open-source technology. This means the technology is available to anybody who wants to work with the source code, empowering water agencies everywhere to harness the Platform’s robust technology to create their own unique, cost-effective groundwater accounting platforms. A growing user base fosters collaboration and innovation to ensure Platform functionality meets a range of needs for water management professionals and the diverse communities that they serve.

For the past several years, the Groundwater Accounting Platform has been in development with pilot partners Rosedale Rio-Bravo Water Storage District, Yolo County Flood Control & Irrigation District, Merced Irrigation-Urban GSA, Pajaro Valley Water, and Merced County Subbasin. The Platform is now ready for adoption and use by Groundwater Sustainability Agencies throughout California. East Turlock Groundwater Sustainability Agency is helping to lead the way and has recently selected the Platform as their formal accounting tool.

Developed through collaboration between the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the California Water Data Consortium, Environmental Science Associates (ESA), and Olsson, the Groundwater Accounting Platform is a reliable tool for effectively balancing water supply and demand.

To access the Platform, visit groundwateraccounting.org.

Points of Contact

Request a Platform Demo | John Burns – jburns@esassoc.com

US Platform Coordination and Outreach | Noa Bruhis – nbruhis@edf.org

California Platform Coordination and Outreach | Hannah Ake – hake@cawaterdata.org

Modeling, Scenario Planning, and Groundwater Evaluation Toolbox | Jim Schneider – jschneider@olsson.com

 

Learn more about the platform in this new conversation with the waterloop podcast:

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The California Water Data Consortium is an independent nonprofit formed by state agencies and others to provide accurate and comprehensive water and ecological data. Our work helps Californians make smart decisions for a sustainable future by improving how we understand and use water data. For more information, visit cawaterdata.org.