Groundwater Accounting Platform Offers Data-Driven Solution for the American West

May 28, 2024

(Sacramento, CA - May 28, 2024) – As the American West faces intensifying water challenges, water managers, landowners, and water users are increasingly turning to the Groundwater Accounting Platform as a data-driven tool that enables them to track water availability and usage with user-friendly dashboards and workflows. This critical tool is now available throughout California to support sustainable groundwater management practices. 

Unsustainable groundwater pumping across much of the West has endangered long-term water supplies and lead to millions of dollars of infrastructure damage from sinking land. The Groundwater Accounting Platform empowers users to manage long-term, and helps communities avoid undesirable outcomes and maintain clean water supplies at lower costs. Additionally, this critical functionality supports Groundwater Sustainability Agencies as they manage resources in priority basins under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
 
“It is more important than ever that water managers and agricultural water users have access to the best possible data to guide their decisions and balance supply and demand for groundwater,” said Dr. Noa Bruhis, senior analyst at the Environmental Defense Fund. “The open-source Groundwater Accounting Platform was developed to provide them with an easy to use, cost-effective option that helps secure their communities’ water future.”  

The platform can integrate data from various sources, including satellite imagery, flow meters, and sensor networks. This consolidation of water supply and usage information allows for precise tracking of water budgets at the parcel level. Additionally, the platform provides a comprehensive water manager dashboard to account for water distribution across districts and regions, informing crucial management decisions such as billing and allocation planning. Utilizing open-source code, the platform offers flexibility for water districts to develop and customize their unique software solutions.  

A notable feature of the Groundwater Accounting Platform is its utilization of open-source technology. This means the technology is available to anybody who wants to work with the source code, empowering water agencies everywhere to harness the platform's robust technology to create their own unique, cost-effective groundwater accounting platforms. This approach aims to foster collaboration and innovation among water management professionals. 

For the past several years, the Groundwater Accounting Platform has been in development with pilot partners Rosedale Rio-Bravo Water Storage District, Yolo County Flood Control & Irrigation District, Merced Irrigation-Urban GSA, Pajaro Valley Water, and Merced County Subbasin. The Platform is now ready for adoption and use by Groundwater Sustainability Agencies throughout California. East Turlock Groundwater Sustainability Agency is helping to lead the way and has recently selected the platform as their formal accounting tool. 

Developed through collaboration between the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), California Water Data Consortium, Environmental Science Associates (ESA), and Olsson, the Groundwater Accounting Platform provides a new tool for effectively balancing water supply and demand.

To access the platform, visit groundwateraccounting.org

Points of contact: 

Learn more about the platform in this new conversation with the waterloop podcast:

https://youtu.be/fSvwklRF3rU?feature=shared

 

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org) creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund