Monday, October 4, 2010

Ventura River Groundwater Management Plan

A draft report for the first time develops a water budget for aquifers along the main stem of the Ventura River and outlines an approach for the development of a Groundwater Management Plan.

At the August meeting of the Ventura River Watershed Council, a presentation was given on a draft report titled "Groundwater Budget and Approach to a Groundwater Management Plan - Upper and Lower Ventura River Basin."

This graphic illustrates the important role that groundwater plays in the water cycle. The study compiles data from several sources to quantify the inputs and outputs in the upper and lower Ventura River Basin.

The (draft) report indicates that the overdraft of water from these two groundwater basins in the Ventura River amounts to over 5,000 acre-feet per year. (Note that this study does not include the Ojai Groundwater Basin, for which separate studies are underway.)

The report goes on to make recommendations as to how to develop a groundwater management plan:
  • Develop a groundwater model of the Subbasins to improve estimation of the groundwater budget
  • Obtain data from VRWHM that is more specific to the areas of the Subbasins
  • Obtain agricultural and industrial extraction rates from individual wells
  • Identify wells within the Lower Subbasin for groundwater level monitoring
  • Consider siting additional surface water gauges along the Ventura River and San Antonio Creek to better understand groundwater/surface water dynamics
Comments are being incorporated and the final report is due out next month.

More info:

Upper Lower Ventura River Basin Draft GW Bdgt_8-20-10

Upper and Lower VRB GW Budget and Management Presentation 05-25-2010

Related news:

Recent reports indicate that groundwater supplies in California and around the world are being unsustainably depleted. "...nearly 80 percent of the world’s population lives in areas where the fresh water supply isn’t secure. And while industrialized nations have made massive investments in infrastructure to keep the faucets flowing, those projects have taken a toll on the environment." "...governments should to invest in water management strategies that combine infrastructure with “natural” options such as safeguarding watersheds, wetlands and flood plains. [BBC News]"