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March 10, 2023

Gov. Newsom Issues Executive Order Allowing Floodwater to be Used to Recharge and Store Groundwater

As storms continue to hit the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on March 10, 2023 to temporarily lift regulations and allow floodwater to be diverted to groundwater basins.

The order suspends regulations and restrictions on permitting and use to enable water agencies and water users to divert flood stage water for the purpose of boosting groundwater recharge.

“California is seeing extreme rain and snow, so we’re making it simple to redirect water to recharge groundwater basins. This order helps us take advantage of expected intense storms and increases state support for local stormwater capture efforts,” Newsom said.

In August, Newsom’s Administration released “California’s Water Supply Strategy: Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future” calling for investing in new sources of water supply, accelerating projects and modernizing how the state manages water through new technology. In a statement, Western Growers President & CEO Dave Puglia said Newsom’s plan “recognizes the urgent need to build new and improve existing infrastructure and to streamline and improve the practicality of the regulatory processes that govern them. Critically, that means new and expanded surface and groundwater storage to capture wet year flood flows that are too infrequent to be missed.”

Today’s executive order can be read in its entirety here.