AEM Groundwater Surveys Help Water Resources Managers Prepare for Dry Years

Wednesday, Apr 27th, 2022

With the dry year placing additional pressure on the groundwater resources in the Sacramento Valley, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) this week hosted an event to highlight the availability of DWR’s Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) Surveys. The data from this innovative helicopter-based technology provides a picture of the aquifer structure beneath our feet so water resources managers can better understand and manage the resource for long-term drought resiliency. The information and data gathered supports Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) as they implement SGMA for long-term groundwater sustainability.

With the Sacramento Valley facing an unprecedented dry year – particularly on the west side where little or no surface water is available – concerted efforts are being made to carefully manage groundwater resources for communities and farms this summer, while keeping an eye toward longer-term regional sustainability of water resources. The priorities for this year in the Sacramento Valley–as described in A Pathway for the Future: Sustainable Groundwater Management in the Sacramento Valleyare:

  1. Ensure safe drinking water for communities
  2. Advance groundwater recharge opportunities
  3. Better understand and manage surface water and groundwater interaction.
  4. Align state and federal priorities with local and regional needs.

NCWA also is supporting efforts by counties and Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to coordinate well permitting consistent with the provisions in the Governor’s recent Executive Order. See Drought Well Permitting RequirementsDrought Executive Order N-7-22.

This new technology will assist GSAs and water managers with the priorities described above and will help the region manage its water supplies for cities and rural communities, farms, fish and wildlife.

For more information, visit the AEM Website.
Video from the event is available here.

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