Yesterday, the California Water Quality Control Board shared the new water right measurement and reporting requirements to water right holders of California. A clear understanding and fair enforcement of prior appropriative and riparian water rights requires accurate information on historic and current water use, flow rates and volumes at diversions and storage locations through time. It will cost some money and it adds to an already busy life of water users, but it creates benefits that are realized when drought denies us the water that we need.
Some people feel this data will never be used by the regulating community. Others feel it will be used against them. I consider the generation of monitoring data as an opportunity to identify water solutions that help us by increasing the certainty that we will have water when conditions are limited. We want to protect our water rights and optimize water’s use in a fair and equitable manner. Without accurate data, we find it difficult to maintain certainty when drought hangs over our land.
When dealing with a water resource, information is critically important. See the benefits and start collecting water data. In fact, exhaust the usefulness of all your monitoring data, groundwater and surface water. You will come out better than you realize.