AB 830 would capture floodwater to recharge local groundwater
SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria’s AB 830 was approved by the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife today, April 18th.
“Groundwater is an important resource in our region, both for drinking and for agricultural irrigation,” said Assemblywoman Soria. “Unfortunately, groundwater overdraft presents a significant problem in the San Joaquin Valley. AB 830 represents a common-sense step forward to both fighting floods and recharging groundwater.”
AB 830 would support groundwater recharge by private landowners who agree to take water from nearby streams that have either reached flood stage or flood-monitor stage during flooding or extremely high-flow events.
AB 830 aligns with the goals of Governor Newsom’s August 2022 California Water Supply Strategy which called for streamlining of groundwater recharge permitting. Additionally, the bill is in line with the Merced Irrigation District, and the Department of Water Resources’ advocacy for Flood-MAR (Managed Aquifer Recharge) as a tool for groundwater recharge using floodwater.
“Current requirements create a massive disincentive for farmers or other water purveyors who want to use a temporary water permit to divert floodwater into their local groundwater basins,” said Hicham Eltal, Merced Irrigation Deputy General Manager of Water Supply and Rights. “This bill provides an avenue for them to take full advantage of this flood water and their temporary water right.”
“California water managers need every tool possible as we face a future with wetter wet years and more dry years,” said Assemblywoman Soria. “This will provide one more of those tools by helping divert flood water into local aquifers for future use.”
For questions about this bill, or to express opposition or support, please Contact Assemblywoman Soria.