With the current drought conditions throughout California, it is essential for communities to maintain and regulate groundwater usage. The California Water Institute, through the leadership of project director Sarge Green, assisted in addressing groundwater regulations in Merced County.
The objectives of the project were to evaluate and report on groundwater conditions within Merced County then meet with a committee to discuss the need, intent, and scope of a water ordinance. With the findings from the meeting and the report, the proposed ordinance was developed and presented. Lastly, a group was established to implement and manage the ongoing program.
The new water ordinance affects anyone building new wells or exporting water from existing wells. In the instance of new wells, residents must now apply for a permit to drill a well. Also, a new well is required to have an appropriate monitoring device placed on it to report the water usage to the Merced County Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health. Exporting groundwater outside the water basin it originates in is now restricted.
The full ordinance is located at http://www.co.merced.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/10910
Principal Investigator: Sarge Green
Written by Emily Coate, Public Relations Student at Fresno State