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In our last few posts we covered how to identify water risk, the challenges and opportunities in understanding water risk, and the importance of monitoring change to water risk. Armed with your new perspective, what are the next steps to make intelligent decisions based on your insights? Unfortunately, the best answer is it depends on your operation. Fortunately, there are indicators that can assist you in deciding your best mitigation options.
The Soil Agricultural Groundwater Banking Index (SAGBI) was developed by U.C. Davis and depicts beneficial areas for groundwater banking on active farmlands. SAGBI is helpful when you want to explore mitigation strategies for a farming operation. SAGBI is an important indicator of whether banking water in wet years may mitigate water risk during dry years. The drawback with the public SAGBI dataset is that it is difficult to determine which parts of a parcel may be graded as “Excellent” or “Poor.” We include SAGBI rating as part of our paid research tool along with parcel boundaries and other soil information, that when combined, can assist with ascertaining groundwater banking viability per parcel.
Alternative Water Supplies
When water supplies are low and analysis indicates if certain conditions occur a decrease in water supplies, one mitigation strategy is to contract for more water. One interesting development linked to the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is the power of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) to operate groundwater transfers. Additionally, growing support for conjunctive use programs allow for the exchange of water between surface and groundwater supplies to balance agricultural need and groundwater basin health. Finally, we may see groundwater credits and surface water markets take hold in California allowing flexibility in water management as swings in climate continue to disrupt water management strategies.
Utilizing tools like AQUAOSO’s Water Risk Research Platform, allow for better planning and investment strategies to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic impacts to an organization. Those who plan now are better situated to weather the next drought and the transition to groundwater regulation. Don’t work harder by doing this alone, work smarter by taking advantage of technology built with water expertise right here in California.
Continue the Journey
We appreciate your time investment in learning more about water risk. The journey does not end here. Now that you are armed with information, review our white papers and contact us with your thoughts. We truly appreciate interactions with the water community and make building trusted relationships a cornerstone of our mission. If you have data or suggestions on the user experience of the free map, please let us know using our contact form.