How Can Manage Groundwater Throughout California

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Up to 2014, there had been no coordinated effort on how to manage groundwater throughout California. This widely used water resource had no formal groundwater law or policies governing its use. If anything, the predominant way in which it has been managed has been through water districts that have groundwater management programs and court adjudications. The groundwater rights that exist in the state have been correlative rights, appropriative rights, mutual prescription, and notions of equitable appointment (Profane). Through correlative rights, the overlying users are limited to a feasible amount of groundwater that will not cause any detrimental impacts to other users that are dependent on the aquifer. In other words, the doctrine of…show more content…
When groundwater overdraft was experienced, private pumpers would “acquire rights against one another by the continued act of pumping, without regard to seniority or the location of use.” (prfane). However, this doctrine raised several questions and problems. It was not until the case of City of Los Angeles vs. City of San Fernando, that the doctrine of mutual prescription was limited. This case defined overdraft as “the condition when withdrawals exceed both safe yield and temporary surplus,” but more importantly, it declared that equitable appointment was more important than mutual prescription. In other words, all water rights “must be subject to reasonable conditions and priorities” (prfane). California groundwater law has been diverse. Aside from groundwater laws, the concept of adjudicated basins has been a way to manage groundwater. In adjudicated basins, the court has jurisdiction, watermasters are appointed, local management districts exist, and it is the economics associated to groundwater pumping that determines the behavior of the groundwater users (SITE). Adjudicated basins can form when people, cities or local water entities go to court to address groundwater issues. In this
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