Implementing California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: Farmer Perceptions and the Balance of Groundwater and Economic Sustainability
Stockholm Environment Institute
Video Not Available
Picture Not Available
Implementation of the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) will require policy creation at the level of individual groundwater basins. This will require cooperative efforts between counties, municipalities, irrigation districts and others to fully represent the array of stakeholders reliant on groundwater resources. The goal of the work described in this presentation is to develop and apply a decision making framework that can be widely used to address the planning challenges local agencies will encounter during the implementation of the SGMA. With funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and a focus on a high priority groundwater basin in Yolo County, the objectives are (i) to understand farmer behavior in light of the SGMA, (ii) develop a shared mental model for the study area amongst stakeholders using quantitative models embedded within formal participatory processes, and (iii) to develop a program of outreach and communication to increase the impact and scalability of both process and outputs. The overall approach utilizes the principles of Robust Decision Making (RDM). Specific tools used in implementing RDM include integrated water resources and economic models that are developed and driven by a stakeholder process involving farmer surveys, focus groups and a stakeholder advisory committee. In this talk we will present an integrated water resources model that was built to respond to the participatory decision making process, an assessment of risk perception to new policy among farmers in Yolo County, and how this participatory decision making framework that utilizes innovative visualization of results can inform and influence the risk perception of farmers and water managers in the context of SGMA, by co-developing a shared mental model amongst diverse stakeholders.