September 01, 2015

Marketing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: Applying Economics to Solve California’s Groundwater Problems

David Aladjem and Dr. David Sunding

In 2014 California adopted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which represents California’s first statewide groundwater management planning program. SGMA calls for local agencies to develop groundwater sustainability plans within the next five to seven years and then achieve sustainable levels of groundwater extraction by approximately 2040–2045. Given the current levels of overdraft in many California groundwater basins, substantial reduction in groundwater extractions will be necessary to meet the mandates of SGMA.

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