Earlier this month, Bakersfield.com posted an opinion piece about groundwater management in California achieving a major milestone. This January, 21 regions with the most depleted groundwater supplies submitted their plans to balance groundwater supply and demand within 20 years. These regions met the planning deadline for implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act passed in 2014 to ensure California sustainably manages its groundwater for future generations of people, agriculture, and wildlife.
I was especially pleased to see the accounting platform Sitka has been developing with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District (WSD) was specifically called out as a “creative and innovative” new strategy. Last year, we started building this platform to use satellite-based water usage estimates provided by OpenET to help landowners in the region more accurately track their agricultural water usage.
This platform will serve as the foundation for regional water trading programs, encouraged by EDF to “increase flexibility by facilitating the movement of water between landowners while protecting disadvantaged communities and ecosystems.” The fact that EDF and Rosedale-Rio Bravo WSD agreed to build the platform using open-source software ensures what was built for one water storage district can be easily adapted and used in other regions around the world. Building open-source solutions is key to our vision, and I’m happy to see it positively impacting groundwater sustainability.
If you’d like to read the full article, you can access it here.