Wednesday, February 21 , 2018, 2:02 pm | Fair 59º


Governor Signs Jackson Bill to Ensure Accurate Picture of Groundwater Supplies in Ventura County

In the midst of California’s severe and record-breaking drought, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, to allow a groundwater management agency in Ventura County to inspect wells to verify how much water has been withdrawn.

Senate Bill 988 authorizes the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency (FCGMA) to inspect any groundwater extraction facility within its boundaries with the consent of an owner to gather information on the status of the well. Currently, the agency relies on self-reporting, which can include omissions and errors.

“During this drought, groundwater is becoming more and more precious and in ever shorter supply,” Jackson said. “Just like a bank account, local agencies need to accurately know just how much is in the account, and how much is being withdrawn, to be wise stewards of this very precious shared resource. This provides a Ventura County water management agency with an important tool to better assess and manage its limited groundwater during this period of extreme drought and in the future.”

If the owner does not provide consent, this bill allows the agency to seek a warrant to inspect the facility.

Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency currently manages 1,200 wells in the Fox Canyon Aquifer in Ventura County, the majority of them on agricultural land.

Just a few months ago, under the direction of Governor Jerry Brown, the California Natural Resources Agency, in partnership with a number of other state agencies, released the California Water Action Plan. The plan specifically recognizes the need to provide local communities with tools that help them stay on top of their groundwater supplies.

The bill is sponsored by Fox Canyon and has the support of the California Farm Bureau Federation and the County of Ventura.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >