State finds two Klamath River Basin groundwater sustainability plans inadequate

Klamath River Folks, 

As you no doubt know, many California Groundwater Basins must develop and adopt groundwater management plans pursuant to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Local agencies develop the plans and the State Department of Water Resources must find those plans comply with the SGMA Law and its implementing regulations. If DWR finds that they do not comply with SGMA, “…groundwater sustainability agencies have 180 days to revise and resubmit their plans. Upon evaluation of resubmitted plans, DWR will determine that the basin is either approved or inadequate. An inadequate determination will initiate consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board for possible State intervention.”

Among the local plans DWR recently found to be inadequate are two that are within the Klamath River Basin: Butte Valley and Tulelake. 

Groundwater Management in Butte Valley impacts springs in the Klamath River’s Cascade Canyon and may impact river flows. Groundwater Management by the Tulelake Irrigation District has a much greater potential impact on Klamath River Flows. Under SGMA groundwater management must not significantly dewater surface streams and that may be the reason the Tulelake Plan was deemed incomplete.

Because Klamath flows can be impacted, I continue to urge tribes, restoration groups and River advocates to get involved, review and comment on these plans. Please, the Tulelake Plan in particular needs the participation of River advocates!

Here’s the link to DWRs announcement about the groundwater plans: 

Felice Pace
Klamath, CA 95548

Gratefully living since 1976 in the Shasta, Karuk and Polikla (Yurok) homelands

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