The Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation held an informative interactive discussion at the Butte County Fairgrounds Monday afternoon regarding groundwater recharge potential for our county.

California Legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown

The legislation means a more intense and hands on approach to groundwater management at the local level and requires cooperation and participation by all water users. It has the potential to affect everyone who uses water, the local economy as well as the environment.

A study, entitled, Evaluation of Restoration and Recharge Potential within the Groundwater Basins of Butte County, sponsored by Butte County and the Department of Water Resources has been conducted by GEI Consultants, Davids Engineering, Land IQ, ERA Economics and Butte County staff. Preliminary results of the project were presented by staff and consultants.

Vickie Newlin, Assistant Director of Butte County Water and Resource Conservation presented the project background and overview which included a map of sustainable groundwater management sub basins within Butte County and the risk analysis of undesirable results to AWD for groundwater sustainability (GSP) plan.

Newlin explained the current conceptual model and what it means - how, where, when and why recharge occurs in study area or sub basin and how the downward flow of water reaches the water table.

The potential recharge process includes rainfall, irrigation with specific locations such as rivers, streams and bodies of water.

Newlin was followed by Christina Buck, Water Resources Scientist, Butte County Water and Resource Conservation who explained the current Conceptual Model of Recharge in the Butte Basin.

Drought preparation and potential impacts for private well owners was included in a handout which explained what to watch for and how to get help.

It was pointed out that wells throughout the region can face problems and in the valley, shallow wells (less than 100 feet deep) are most at risk during the middle of summer in July and August around peak irrigation season. Butte County asks for help in gathering information on individual well problems to assist in the County's drought assessment efforts and understanding of groundwater basin conditions. Please email to help gather information if you have experienced well problems.

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If you would like a copy of your well log, fill out the Well Log Request located at and return the completed form to Environmental health or call 530-538-7281.