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Regulating Groundwater in California: Will Groundwater Sustainability Agencies Change the Landscape?

December 2015

Citation: ELR 11104

Author: Wesley A. Miliband

“The history of California is written on its waters. . . .” These words by California appellate justice Ronald B. Robie in State Water Resources Control Board Cases reflect the state’s reputation for epic water wars, past and present. With landmark groundwater legislation—the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)—passed into law late last year, the landscape for groundwater will change for years and decades to come. That much is certain: Groundwater basins in California will be mandatorily regulated and managed statewide for the first time in California’s 165-year history. However, still uncertain is to what extent unintended consequences or adverse impacts will result from implementing SGMA.

Wesley A. Miliband is Of Counsel at Stoel Rives LLP.

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