Being Well Prepared in the Sacramento Valley this Summer

Wednesday, Jun 8th, 2022

By David Guy

As we begin a very dry summer in the Sacramento Valley with limited surface supplies available in many parts of the region, a high priority will be to help ensure safe drinking water for communities as described in A Pathway for the Future: Sustainable Groundwater Management in the Sacramento Valley.

This week the Department of Water Resources announced the availability of “tools and resources to help communities and domestic well owners prepare for potential well outages and other drought impacts.” See DWR Encourages Counties, Communities to be ‘Well Prepared’ to Support Dry Drinking Water Wells. “Being ‘Well Prepared’ means that state and local agencies and well owners have an understanding of local groundwater conditions, can identify areas where drinking water supplies may be threatened, and know how to access assistance when it is needed. To meet the challenges of this current drought and future droughts, DWR is providing new and updated tools to help county drought leaders develop informed solutions that work best for their local communities.”

This includes several tools and resources that will be helpful to local communities as dry wells emerge this summer:

  • A new Dry Well Susceptibility Tool launched by DWR, in coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board, that identifies areas in groundwater basins across the state that may be prone to domestic well outages;
  • An updated Dry Well Reporting System, a user-friendly online system for reporting incidents of household drinking water wells that have gone dry due to drought impacts. Certain counties also have similar programs to help identify wells with challenges.

Local entities across the Sacramento Valley are also coordinating on well permitting as required by Governor Newsom’s March Drought Executive Order N-7-22 to help protect communities and domestic wells. Both of DWR’s tools have value for local well permitting agencies and groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) as they navigate the new well permitting requirements contained in Action 9.

Additionally, there has been local assistance for new wells through the Small Community Drought Relief Program that has recently helped the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the Artois Community Services District; Elk Creek and Feather Ridge Estates in the Sacramento Valley.

Various grants have also been made available in the Sacramento Valley to help local Offices of Emergency Services (OES) with water tanks and bottled water in areas where necessary.

The leaders in the Sacramento Valley have committed through the North State Drinking Water Solutions Network to ensure that all communities in our region have access to safe drinking water, both now and into the future. We encourage you to share this information throughout your communities to help make these valuable resources available to help ensure safe drinking water for all.




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