GRACast: Managing the Groundwater-Surface Water Interface Under California’s New Groundwater Law

Presented by:

Dr. Thomas Harter
University of California, Davis

 The California 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), for the first time in the state's history, protects beneficial uses of surface water from significant and undesirable impacts due to groundwater pumping. The law also explicitly protects groundwater dependent ecosystems. Under SGMA, local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) must define monitoring networks, minimum thresholds, and measurable objectives to sustain the groundwater-surface water connection and groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Regulations spell out some minimum monitoring requirements, but provide flexibility in how to plan and implement sustainable groundwater-surface water connections. Among the groundwater sustainability objectives prescribed by SGMA, achieving sustainable groundwater-surface water and groundwater-dependent ecosystem objectives may be among the most challenging: California groundwater basins with some of the least prior groundwater management activities are most affected; the dynamics of the interface may cause long and hidden delays in impacts; and management of groundwater-surface water connectivity is uncommon, hence there are no readymade toolboxes to look for. Instruments available to GSAs to assess groundwater-surface water connections and the potential impact from groundwater use and management activities can be broadly categorized into: water level data, water budget information, streamflow data, analytical modeling tools, numerical modeling tools, and statistical tools. 


*Early Registration (by November 4) is $75 for Members* and $100 for Non-Members*
*Registration after November 4 is $100 for Members* and $125 for Non-Members*


Dr. Thomas Harter Thomas Harter is the Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair for Water Resources Management and Policy at the University of California, Davis. He holds a joint appointment as Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources and is currently chair of the Hydrogolic Sciences Graduate Group. Dr. Harter received his BS and MS in Hydrology from the Universities of Freiburg and Stuttgart, Germany; and his PhD in Hydrology from the University of Arizona.  He spent the first six years of his career with UC Davis at the Kearney Agricultural Research Center in Fresno County, where he became familiar with San Joaquin Valley groundwater management and protection issues and established his research program in agricultural groundwater hydrology - a program he has continued to pioneer over the past 15 years at UC Davis. Currently, he is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the National Groundwater Association, and the Soil Science Society of America. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Environmental Quality, and the Vadose Zone Journal; and is serving on the Board of Directors of the Groundwater Resources Association and of the Water Education Foundation. Dr. Harter's research and extension emphasizes the nexus between groundwater and agriculture. His research group focuses on nonpoint-source pollution of groundwater, sustainable groundwater management, groundwater and vadose zone modeling, groundwater resources evaluation under uncertainty, groundwater-surface water interaction, and on contaminant transport. His work uses a range of numerical, statistical, and stochastic modeling approaches and field work to evaluate the impacts of agriculture and human activity on groundwater flow and contaminant transport in complex aquifer and soil systems, and to support development of tools needed in agriculture and by decision- and policy makers to effectively address sustainable groundwater management and water quality issues in agricultural regions. In 2008, Dr. Harter's research and extension program received the Kevin J. Neese Award in recognition of its efforts to engage scientists, regulators, farm advisers, dairy industry representatives, and dairy farmers to better understand the effects of dairy operations on water quality.


John Lambie is a consulting hydrogeologist and groundwater hydrologist in private practice with E-PUR. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from MIT in geology, sediment mechanics, and water resources engineering. John is a Professional Geologist, Certified Engineering Geologist, and a Professional Civil Engineer in California. He has provided water resources assessment and supply development consulting services throughout California. He has authored and co-authored several related technical publications including the December 2015 publication of “Multi-Event Universal Kriging” in Advances in Water Resources. This methodology enables groundwater system conceptual models to be tested against real data and outcomes for adaptive management. In addition to being an active member in the Groundwater Resources Association of California,  John is also the current chair of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Water Resources Committee.


Wed, Nov. 9, 2016
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
(GMT-0700) America/Los_Angeles

How Much?

  • Member Early Bird -  $75.00
    (ends 11/04/2016)
  • Non-Members - Early Bird -  $100.00
    (ends 11/04/2016)
  • Members -  $100.00
    (ends 11/08/2016)
  • Non-Members -  $125.00
    (ends 11/08/2016)
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This GRACast will use a conference call for audio and WebEx to display the presentation slides. Each registration is allowed access via one phone line and one log in to the WebEx module. More than one person may participate per registration by using a shared computer screen and speaker phone. ...

This GRACast will use a conference call for audio and WebEx to display the presentation slides. Each registration is allowed access via one phone line and one log in to the WebEx module. More than one person may participate per registration by using a shared computer screen and speaker phone. GRA reserves the right to invoice those individuals and/or organizations that are logged in or connected from telephone numbers that don't correspond to a paid registration.

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