Podcast: Environmental Justice and SGMA

SGMA Basin Map
Statewide SGMA Basin Prioritization

Groundwater is a really important resource in California. It's depended on by many as a primary water source, and it's used as a backup water supply during droughts. Until recently, groundwater had no laws governing it's use. In 2014 California passed a set of laws to regulate the use of groundwater to help prevent overdraft. In this podcast, CEPB undergraduate researcher Evelyn Shu examines issues related to environmental justice in the context SGMA

For this podcast episode, Evelyn talked to some of the people who are leading the research on governance inequality within the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, is the first policy effort in California to govern groundwater use, which is an essential water resource for Californians. After doing some initial research, she talked to some people about what SGMA is and why groundwater is important. Next she talked to researchers about what inequity means and why it exists for small disadvantaged communities and tribal groups. In general, communities are simply being left out of the governance process. There are multiple reasons why some communities are being excluded more than others, such as issues like: time, language, cultural, and monetary barriers. Lastly, she talked to someone from the Community Water Center who is providing technical assistance for some of the communities affected. This podcast is meant to help bridge the gap between current research and the public. For issues that impact people’s livelihoods as well as the environment, decision makers, activists, and other change makers should be informed about current research to ensure maximum effectiveness.

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