In 2014, California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), requiring local agencies to balance groundwater supply and demand; Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District responded by developing an open-source, online groundwater accounting and trading platform to help the district and its landowners manage their available water supplies and comply with SGMA.

Why does this project matter?

As California transitions into a new era of groundwater management, this platform will help stakeholders sustainably manage their precious resources. Because this platform was developed and licensed as open-source software, the source code can now be used freely by other water districts in the US and beyond who need to balance groundwater supply and demand.

 

What is ESA doing to help?

Our technology group worked with project partners to develop a web application that enables landowners and water managers to develop more accurate water budgets, efficiently manage water usage, and simplify water trading. The platform combines water supply and use data in near real time so landowners can check their water budget and outstanding balance online, similar to how they check their bank account. The platform also enables district managers to account for water across a district to meet water budgeting and enforcement needs. The trading portion of the platform empowers landowners to buy and sell allocations of available water supplies via a web-based marketplace.

As we developed the Open Water Accounting Platform, we worked closely with the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District, along with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Additional project partners included California Water Data Consortium, Olsson, OpenET, and WestWater Research.

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Pacific Northwest
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"We developed this accounting and trading platform because we want to provide landowners and growers with as many tools as possible to manage their water more sustainably and balance their water budget. We envision water management agencies replicating and expanding this open-source platform to serve other areas of the Central Valley and beyond."

Eric Averett, Former General Manager

Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District (current Board Member, California Water Data Consortium)

Details

Client Environmental Defense Fund

Location Central Valley, CA

Market Water

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