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Physical and Environmental Geography

Alida Cantor

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California Groundwater Management, Science-Policy Interfaces, And The Legacies Of Artificial Legal Distinctions, David Owen, Alida Cantor, Nell Green Nylen, Thomas Harter, Michael Kiparsky Mar 2019

California Groundwater Management, Science-Policy Interfaces, And The Legacies Of Artificial Legal Distinctions, David Owen, Alida Cantor, Nell Green Nylen, Thomas Harter, Michael Kiparsky

Alida Cantor

California water law has traditionally treated groundwater and surface water as separate resources. The 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) broke with this tradition by requiring groundwater managers to avoid significant and unreasonable adverse impacts to beneficial uses of surface water. This paper considers the trajectory of this partial integration of science, law, and resource management policy. Drawing on legal analysis and participatory workshops with subject area experts, we describe the challenges of reconciling the separate legal systems that grew out of an artificial legal distinction between different aspects of the same resource.

Our analysis offers two main contributions. First ...