Napa County, CA

04/02/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/02/2024 17:39

Napa County Groundwater Sustainability Agency approves 2023 Annual Groundwater Report and Workplans

NAPA COUNTY - Making progress towards Napa County's goal of the long-term sustainability of groundwater in the Napa Valley Subbasin, the Napa County Groundwater Sustainability Agency (NCGSA) recently approved the Water Year 2023 Groundwater Annual Report and three workplans related to implementation of the Napa Valley Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP).

Following several years of drought, Water Year (WY) 2023 (October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023) brought wetter weather and 128 percent of average precipitation totaling 32.91-inches, which led to a significant increase in groundwater levels. The Annual Report reflects this improvement, while also highlighting the importance of managing groundwater to better withstand drought and to prevent "undesirable results." Groundwater pumping from wells was less in WY 2023 compared to WY 2022 and totaled approximately 15,270 acre-feet in WY 2023. This is very close to the sustainable yield of 15,000 acre-feet and significantly less than the average for past seven years of 17,620 acre-feet, which is considered an undesirable result under the Napa Valley Subbasin's state-approved GSP.

Opportunities to counter these undesirable results include recharging groundwater through the use of cover crops and building soil health, which improve the ability of the soil to absorb and retain moisture and capture and re-use of tile drain water and stormwater runoff.

The three workplans for GSP implementation come after a three-month review period during which three public meetings were held and the NCGSA's Technical Advisory Group, stakeholders, and the public provided significant input and comments which were revised to reflect the feedback. The approved workplans include a Water Conservation Workplan which is designed as a resource for stakeholders, especially grape growers, to learn about and expand upon voluntary water conservation measures, a Groundwater Pumping Reduction Workplan to develop voluntary programs to achieve a voluntary 10 percent reduction in pumping Subbasin-wide, and an Interconnected Surface Water and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Workplan which expands on biologic monitoring along the Napa River and select tributaries.

A verbal report on progress toward implementation of the three workplans will be presented to the NCGSA in July.

About the Napa Valley Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP)

The Napa Valley Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan is a 20-year plan to ensure that groundwater is managed sustainably within a groundwater basin. One of the primary objectives of a GSP is to define a framework for sustainable groundwater management with consideration of the physical setting and beneficial uses and users of groundwater, consistent with the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Among the goals of the GSP is to reduce pumping from the subbasin by 10 percent.

For questions about groundwater, please contact Natural Resources Conservation Manager Jamison Crosby at [email protected].