Groundwater Accounting & Data Reporting Pilot Project


California Department of Water Resources

Why is this project needed? Groundwater accounts for between 40-60% of California’s water supply and is heavily relied upon in dry years. Despite its importance to the state’s water supply, groundwater remained largely unregulated until passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014. Passage of SGMA requires local agencies to collect information about the health of their groundwater basins and use that information to develop groundwater sustainability plans to achieve groundwater sustainability.

What will this project focus on? In partnership with the Department of Water Resources (DWR), State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), this project will advance two key elements to support local agencies developing groundwater sustainability plans under SGMA:

  1. Expansion of an open-source Water Accounting Platform. Learn more about the water accounting platform here.
  2. Co-development of data reporting best management practices.

Project Implementation

This project was announced in a joint press release with the DWR, SWRCB, and EDF on May 11, 2021 and officially launched at a public meeting hosted on June 23, 2021. A proposed project timeline is shown below.

  • Phase 1: Expand Platform Accessibility & Functionality

    2021 to mid 2022

  • Phase 2: Pilot Projects & Scenario Planning

    Late 2021 & 2022

  • Phase 3: Support Water Trading & Other Local Management Actions

    Late 2022 & 2023

Venues for participation

  • Public events (see below for upcoming events)
  • Working Groups. Project development and implementation will be guided by three working groups
    • The Advisory Working Group will provide high-level guidance and input on platform scaling, data integration and data reporting requirements, and stakeholder outreach.
    • The Technical Working Group will support alignment of technical elements of platform development, including data reporting requirements and integration, open-source licensing, and other technical issues.
    • The Platform Scaling Working Group will provide input and iterative feedback on platform development, functionality, and usability.

Public Events

Project Partners

Partner organization logos