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Alphabetical Listing

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Releases from State Water Project reservoirs to supplement natural flows in order to meet outflow requirements for protection of beneficial uses in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
absolute water right
A water right, with a specifi priority date, that has been placed to a beneficial use
acre foot
The volume of water required to cover one acre of land to a depth of one foot (43,560 cubic feet or 325,851 gallons).
Adjustments to natural and human systems to moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities in response to actual or expected effects of climate change.
adaptive capacity
The ability of systems, organizations, and individuals to (1) adjust to actual or potential adverse changes and events, (2) take advantage of existing and emerging opportunities that support essential functions or relationships, and/or (3) cope with adverse consequences, mitigate damages, and recover from system failures. It is an indicator of how well a system will adjust to and/or recover from external changes or large perturbations (e.g., severe floods or droughts). See also resilience.
Adaptive Management
(AM), also known as adaptive resource management (ARM), is a structured, iterative process of optimal decision making in the face of uncertainty, with an aim to reducing uncertainty over time via system monitoring. In this way, decision making simultaneously maximizes one or more resource objectives and, either passively or actively, accrues information needed to improve future management.
The judicial process through which the existence of a water right is confirmed by court decree.
adverse use
Using decreed water owned by another appropriator.
agricultural applied water use
The applied water use for irrigated agriculture including water applied for groundwater recharge.
agricultural lands stewardship
Conserving natural resources and protecting the environment by compensating owners of private farms and ranches for implementing stewardship practices. Context: Resource Management Strategy.
agricultural water use efficiency
The ratio of applied water to the amount of water required to sustain agricultural productivity. Efficiency is increased through the application of less water to achieve the same beneficial productivity or by achieving more productivity while applying the same amount of water. Context: Scenario Factor, Resource Management Strategy.
agriculture water reliability (average)
A measure of a water system’s ability to sustain the social, environmental, and economic agricultural systems that it serves during a year of average precipitation.
alluvial groundwater
Ground water that is hydrologically connected to a surface stream that is present in permeable geologic material, usually small rock and gravel.
A general term for clay, silt, sand, gravel, or similar unconsolidated detrital material, deposited during comparatively recent geologic time by a stream or other body of running water, as a sorted or semi-sorted sediment in the bed of the stream or on its floodplain or delta, as a cone or fan at the base of a mountain slope.
anadromous fish
Fish that live a majority of time in the ocean, and breed in fresh water.
Of human origin or resulting from human activity.
applied water
The total amount of water that is diverted from any source to meet the demands of water users without adjusting for water that is used up, returned to the developed supply or irrecoverable. It is the quantity of water delivered to the intake to a city water system or factory or a farm head-gate, directly or by incidental flows to a marsh or wetland for wildlife areas. For existing in-stream use, applied water demand is the portion of the streamflow dedicated to in-stream use or reserved under the federal or State Wild and Scenic Rivers acts or the flow needed to meet salinity standards in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta under State Water Board standards.
Appropriation Doctrine
The system of water law primarily used in the western United States under which: 1. The right to water is acquired by diverting water and applying to a beneficial use; and 2. A right to water use is superior to a right developed later in time.
The person or persons who put water to beneficial use.
approriative right
The right to use water that is diverted or extracted by a non-riparian or non-overlying party for non-riparian or non-overlying beneficial uses. In California, surface water appropriative rights are subject to a statutory permitting process while groundwater appropriation is not. See also riparian rights and pueblo rights.
A body of rock or sediment that is sufficiently porous and permeable to store, transmit, and yield significant quantities of groundwater to wells and springs.
A confining bed or formation composed of rock or sediment that retards but does not prevent the flow of water to or from an adjacent aquifer. It does not readily yield water to wells or springs, but stores groundwater.
area of origin
Area of origin interests represent the water users and agencies located in the watershed where water supply originates. See also area of origin as defined in California Water Code Sections 11460 through 11463.
artificial recharge
The (intentional) addition of water to a groundwater reservoir by human activity, such as putting surface water into dug or constructed spreading basins or injecting water through wells. Also referred to as intentional recharge or managed recharge.
augmentation plan
A court-approved plan that allows a junior water user to divert water out of priority so long as adequate replacement is made to affected stream system preventing injury to the water rights of senior users.
available groundwater storage capacity
The volume of a groundwater basin that is unsaturated and capable of storing groundwater.
available soil moisture
The amount of water held in the soil that can be extracted by a crop; often expressed in inches per foot of soil depth. It is the amount of water released between in situ field capacity and the permanent wilting point.
average annual cost of implementing option
Annualized total monetary cost of option required for “turnkey” implementation including environmental and third party impact mitigation, storage, conveyance, energy, capitalized operations and maintenance, administrative, planning, legal and engineering costs.
average annual runoff
The average value of total annual runoff volume calculated for a selected period of record, at a specified location, such as a dam or stream gage. (cf. normal)
average year water demand
Demand for water under average hydrologic conditions for a specific level of development.
base flow
The amount of water in a stream that results from ground water discharge.
The area of land that drains to a particular river.
Basin Plan
A Basin Plan establishes a comprehensive program of actions designed to preserve, enhance, and restore water quality in all water bodies within California. A Basin Plan is each Regional Water Board’s master water quality control planning document. It designates beneficial uses of surface water and groundwater and water quality objectives that protect those uses and identifies future needs and expansion.
benefcial use
The application of water necessary to accomplish the purpose of the appropriation, without waste. (1) As part of the nine Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Basin Planning efforts, up to 25 water quality beneficial use categories for water have been identified for mostly human and in-stream uses. From Section 13050(f) of California's Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act: ‘Beneficial uses’ of the waters of the state that may be protected against water quality degradation include, but are not necessarily limited to, domestic, municipal, agricultural, and industrial supply; power generation; recreation; aesthetic enjoyment; navigation; and preservation and enhancement of fish, wildlife, and other aquatic resources or preserves. (2) As stated in Section 1240 of the California Water Code: An appropriation must be for some useful or beneficial purpose, and when the appropriator or successor in interest ceases to use it for such a purpose (typically five years or greater) the right ceases. In this context, beneficial uses are defined in the California Code of Regulations. Categories of beneficial uses recognized in California include the following: Aquaculture, raising fish or other aquatic organisms not for release to other waters; Domestic, water used by homes, resorts, or campgrounds, including water for household animals, lawns, and shrubs; Fire Protection, water to extinguish fires; Fish and Wildlife, enhancement of fish and wildlife resources, including raising fish or other organisms for scientific study or release to other waters of the state; Frost Protection, sprinkling to protect crops from frost damage; Heat Control, sprinkling to protect crops from heat; Industrial Use, water needs of commerce, trade, or industry; Irrigation, Agricultural water needs; Mining. Hydraulic, drilling, and concentrator table use; Municipal, city and town water supplies; Power, generating hydroelectric and hydro-mechanical power; Recreation, boating, swimming, and fishing; Stock watering, commercial livestock water needs; Water Quality Control, protecting and improving waters that are put to beneficial use.
Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Practices that are technically and economically feasible and for which significant water conservation or water quality benefits can be achieved.
A process of reducing the concentration of a contaminant in one water source by blending or dilution with water that has a lower concentration.
blue water
The remaining fraction of water that is not consumed by evapotranspiration. See also green water.
brackish water
Water with a salinity that exceeds normally acceptable standards for municipal, domestic, and irrigation uses, but less than that of seawater.
brownfield land
Underutilized real estate assets or land.
Groundwater models covering the Central Valley, which has a three groundwater layers.
California Doctrine
A legal doctrine retaining aspects of both riparian rights and the principles of prior appropriation.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
) The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a California statute passed in 1970, shortly after the United States federal government passed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to institute a statewide policy of environmental protection. CEQA does not directly regulate land uses, but instead requires state and local agencies within California to follow a protocol of analysis and public disclosure of environmental impacts of proposed projects and adopt all feasible measures to mitigate those impacts.[1] Because CEQA makes environmental protection a mandatory part of every California state and local agency's decision making process, it has become a model for environmental protection laws in other states. It has also become the basis for numerous lawsuits concerning public and private projects.
California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS)
CIMIS is a network of automated weather stations that are owned and operated cooperatively between the DWR and local agencies. The stations are installed in most of the agricultural and urban areas in the State and provide farm and large landscape irrigation managers and researchers with "real-time" weather data to estimate crop and landscape ET rates and make irrigation management decisions.
The request by an appropriator for water which the person is entitled to under his decree; such a call will force those users with junior decrees to cease or diminish their diversions and pass the requested amount of water to the downstream senior making the call.
CALSIM (California Water Resources Simulation Model)
A DWR-developed surface water storage allocation model for the State Water Project. CALSIM II is the latest application of the generic CALSIM model to simulate State Water Project/Central Valley Project operations. The model is a product of joint development between the California Department of Water Resources and US Bureau of Reclamation.
capacity building
Capacity building is the process of equipping entities, usually public agencies, with certain skills or competences, or for general upgrading of its performance capability by providing assistance, funding, resources, training, etc. Three fundamental elements of conjunctive management: project construction, groundwater management, and capacity building.
catastrophic vulnerability
The probability and magnitude of potential negative economic, public health, and environmental impacts associated with water management actions. Context: Scenario Factor, Evaluation Criteria
The area of land which catches and collects water above a reservoir or other storage structure.
Category 1 recharge area
Areas that are active recharge areas at the present time under the control of water management agencies. The infiltration rate at these areas is high, and they are carefully managed to maintain that high infiltration rate and to protect the quality of the water that is being recharged. At most sites monitoring activities track groundwater levels, rate of movement of the recharged water into the aquifer, and chemical changes.
Category 3 recharge area
Areas with a lower infiltration rate that makes the area much less suitable for an artificial recharge program managed by a local water agency. These areas may be subject to a lower degree of monitoring and management of potential contaminating activities.
Categroy 2 recharge area
Areas that are known to have a fairly high infiltration rate, but that are not under the control of a water management agency. There may be little or no monitoring.
Central Valley Project (CVP) deliveries
The volume of water imported to a given area through the Federal Central Valley Project. CVP-Base Deliveries: The delivery of prior rights water to CVP contractors; CVP Project Deliveries: The delivery of project water to CVP contractors.
Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long Term Sustainability (CV-SALTS)
CV-SALTS is a regional collaborative salinity management effort.
change of water right
- Any change in a way a water right is used. Can be changed in type, place, time of use, point of diversion, adding points of diversion, etc. Changes of water rights must be approved by the water court to assure that no injury occurs to other water rights.
climate change
Changes in average annual temperature and precipitation and their monthly patterns in 2050 compared to today.
closed basin
No stream naturally exits the basin.
Colorado Doctrine
The doctrine regulating water usage by priority of appropriation as opposed to riparian rights. See appropriation doctrine.
Colorado River deliveries
(1) The volume of water diverted from the Colorado River by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Imperial Irrigation District, Coachella Valley Water District, the Yuma Project, and others under California’s entitlement to use Colorado River water. (2) California has the right to import from the Colorado River. California’s allocation is 4.4 million acre-feet per year plus 50% of any declared surplus.
community water system
A public water system that serves at least 15 service connections used by yearlong residents or regularly serves at least 25 yearlong residents. See also public water system.
An agreement between states apportioning the water of a river basin to each of the signatory states.
compact call
The requirement that an upstream state cease or curtail water diversions from the river system that is the subject of the compact so that downstream states’ compact entitlements may be met.
conditiional water right
The legal preservation of a priority date that provides a water user time to develop his or her water right, but reserves a more senior date. A conditional right becomes an absolute right when water is actually put to beneficial use.
confined aquifer
An aquifer that is bounded above and below by formations of distinctly lower permeability than that of the aquifer itself. An aquifer containing confined groundwater.
conjunctive management (use) of surface and groundwater storage
Coordinated and planned management of both surface and groundwater resources in order to maximize the efficient use of the resource; that is, the planned and managed operation of a groundwater basin and a surface water storage system combined through a coordinated conveyance infrastructure. Water is stored in the groundwater basin for later and planned use by intentionally recharging the basin during years of above-average surface water supply. Surface water and groundwater resources typically differ significantly in their availability, quality, management needs, and development and use costs. Managing both resources together, rather than in isolation from one-another, allows water managers to use the advantages of both resources for maximum benefit.
conservancy district
A special taxing district, created by a vote of the district’s electors, that has authority to plan, develop, and operate water supply and/or potable water projects.
conservation district
A geographical area designated by the State Legislature for water management purposes with a board appointed by county commissioners.
conservation offset
Actions by developer of a proposed project to save water at or above the demand level of the project.
conservation tillage
A tillage practice that leaves plant residues on the soil surface for erosion control and moisture conservation.
consumptive use
A quantity of applied water that is not available for immediate or economical reuse. It includes water that evaporates, transpires, or is incorporated into products, plant tissue, or animal tissue. Consumptively used water is removed from available supplies without return to a water resource system (uses such as manufacturing, agriculture, landscaping, food preparation, and in the case of Colorado River water, water that is not returned to the river.)
Any substance or property preventing the use or reducing the usability of the water for ordinary purposes such as drinking, preparing food, bathing washing, recreation, and cooling. Any solute or cause of change in physical properties that renders water unfit for a given use. (Generally considered synonymous with pollutant.)
Provides for the movement of water. Conveyance infrastructure includes natural watercourses as well as constructed facilities like canals and pipelines, including control structures such as weirs. Examples of natural watercourses include streams, rivers, and groundwater aquifers. Conveyance facilities range in size from small local end-user distribution systems to the large systems that deliver water to or drain areas as large as multiple hydrologic regions. Conveyance facilities also require associated infrastructure such as pumping plants and power supply, diversion structures, fish ladders, and fish screens.
conveyance facilities
Canals, pipelines, pump lifts, ditches, etc. used to move water from one area to another.
conveyance irrecoverable water
The amount of water that evaporates, is used by plants (evapotranspiration) and percolates to a salt sink during transport.
conveyance outflow
The outflow needed to meet water quality and beneficial uses in the Delta.
cost of reliability enhancement
The total cost required to add an increment of reliability.
cost recovery
Designates who (marginal or existing users) pays the marginal and existing water costs. Also specifies circumstances where other revenue sources are used to recover costs. Costs can include capital, operation and maintenance, financing, environmental compliance (documentation, permitting and mitigation), etc. Context: Scenario Factor
critical conditions of overdraft
A groundwater basin in which continuation of present practices would probably result in significant adverse overdraft-related environmental, social, or economic impacts. The definition was created after an extensive public input process during the development of the Bulletin 118-80 report.
crop coefficient
A numerical factor (normally identified as Kp or Kc) that relates the evapotranspiration (ET) of the individual crop (ETc) to reference evaporation or some other index.
crop unit water use
The volume of irrigation water used per unit area of land, commonly expressed in acre feet per acre. As used in scenario evaluation, a change in unit water use can be a function of evapotranspiration rates and cultural practices, but NOT use efficiency.
cubic feet per second (cfs)
A rate of water flow at a given point, amounting to a volume of one cubic foot for each second of time. Equal to 7.48 gallons per second, 448.8 gallons per minute, or 1.984 acre feet per day.
dedicated (or developed) water supplies
water distributed among urban and agricultural uses, used for protecting and restoring the environment, or storage in surface water and groundwater reservoirs. In any year, some of the dedicated supply includes water that is used multiple times (reuse) and water held in storage from previous years.
deep percolation
(1) Movement of applied water to usable groundwater aquifer. Water that is applied for agricultural, urban, and managed wetlands in excess of the net use requirements. Water either is applied for groundwater recharge or percolates naturally to the water table. This does not include reuse, evaporation, evapotranspiration of applied water, or flows/percolation to a salt sink. (2) Percolation of water through the ground and beyond the lower limit of the root zone of plants into groundwater. Efficient agricultural and urban irrigation practices limit or eliminate deep percolation.
Delta outflow
Freshwater outflow from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect the beneficial uses within the Delta from the incursion of saline water.
Delta Primary Zone
This zone is the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta land and water area of primary State concern and statewide significance as described in Section 12220 of the Water Code, but not within either the urban limit line or sphere of influence line of any local government's general plan or studies existing as of January 1, 1992. The precise boundary lines of the Primary Zone includes the land and water areas as shown on the map titled "Delta Protection Zones" on file with the California State Lands Commission. Where the boundary between the Primary Zone and Secondary Zone is a river, stream, channel, or waterway, the boundary line shall be the middle of that river, stream, channel, or waterway. The Primary
Delta Secondary Zone
This zone is the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta land and water area within the boundaries of the legal Delta not included within the Primary Zone, subject to the land use authority of local government, and that includes the land and water areas as shown on the map referenced in Delta Primary Zone above. The Secondary Zone consists of approximately 238,000 acres. Cal. Pub. Resources Code Section 29731
The loss of water from surface water reservoirs or groundwater aquifers at a rate greater than that of recharge.
designated ground water
Ground water which, in its natural course, is not available to or required for the fulfillment of decreed surface rights, and which is within the geographic boundaries of a designated ground water basin.
detention ponds
– A basin that stores storm water flows for a limited amount of time thereby reducing the amount of flow downstream of the basin.
developed water
Water that is produced or brought into a water system through the efforts of people, where it would not have entered the water system on its own accord.
Action taken towards the perfection of a conditional water right.
direct diversions
The amount of water diverted from streams and rivers directly that is not withdrawn from storage in reservoirs.
direct flow right
Water diverted from a river or stream for use without interruption between diversion and use except for incidental purposes, such as settling or filtration.
discharge area
An area where the groundwater that has been recharged flows out of the aquifer under natural conditions or is removed from the aquifer by wells. See also recharge area. Context: Resource Management Strategy
distribution system
– System of ditches or conduits and their controls that conveys water from the supply canal to the farm points of delivery.
Removal of water from its natural course or location by canal, pipe, or other conduit.
drainage basin
All the land that serves as a drainage for a specific stream or river.
drinking water standards
State and federal regulations regarding water delivered by water purveyors that is used as a potable supply. Context: Scenario Factor
drought condition
Hydrologic conditions during a defined period, greater than one dry year, when precipitation and runoff are much less than average.
drought preparedness
The magnitude and probability of economic, social or environmental consequences that would occur as a result of a sustained drought under a given study plan. Evaluation criteria measure the "drought tolerance" of study plans.
drought year supply
The average annual supply of a water development system during a defined drought period.
duty of water
The total volume of irrigation water required to mature a particular type of crop. It includes consumptive use, evaporation, and seepage as well as the water returned to streams by percolation and surface water.
economic incentives
Financial assistance and pricing policies intended to influence water management including, for example, amount of use, time of use wastewater volume, and source of supply.
ecosystem restoration
The activity of improving the condition of natural landscapes and biotic communities.
ecosystem valuation methods
Ecosystems perform a multitude of complex and interrelated functions that not only provide basic biological support but also provide valuable goods and services to society (for example, enhanced water supply and quality, flood damage reduction, recreation). If these goods and services can be identified and measured, then it may be possible to place monetary values on them using market or nonmarket valuation methods.
effective porosity
The volume of voids or open spaces in alluvium and rocks that is interconnected and can transmit fluids.
effective precipitation
That portion of precipitation that supplies crop evapotranspiration. It includes precipitation stored in the soil before and during the growing season.
effective rooting depth
The depth from which soil moisture is extracted; it is determined by the crop rooting characteristics and soil depth limitations.
Water discharged after use.
effluent exchange
The practice of exchanging wastewater effluent for other water sources without causing injury to other water rights as a replacement source of water for diversion of water farther upstream that would otherwise have been out of priority.
electrical conductivity (EC)
The measure of the ability of water to conduct an electrical current, the magnitude of which depends on the dissolved mineral content of the water.
emerging pollutants
Some unregulated chemicals and pollutants are being discovered to have unexpected health and environmental effects. Chemicals found in pharmaceuticals and personal care products, byproducts of fires and fire suppression, and discarded elements of nanotechnology are emerging as actual or potential water contaminants. Air deposition of a whole host of pollutants is now seen as a significant contributor to water pollution.
Endangered Species Act
Federal law that governs how animal and plant species whose populations are dangerously in decline or close to extinction will be protected and recovered.
energy availability
The energy consumption to facilitate water management-related actions such as desalting, pump-storage, groundwater extraction, conveyance or treatment. This criterion pertains to the economic feasibility of a proposed water management action in terms of operations and maintenance costs.
energy costs
Refers to the cost of energy use related to producing, conveying and applying water. It also refers to the cost of energy use for processes and inputs not directly related to water, but which can affect the demand for water (e.g., the cost of nitrogen fertilizer, tractor manufacturing).
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
An environmental impact statement (EIS), under United States environmental law, is a document required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for certain actions "significantly affecting the quality of the human environment".[1] An EIS is a tool for decision making. It describes the positive and negative environmental effects of a proposed action, and it usually also lists one or more alternative actions that may be chosen instead of the action described in the EIS. Several US state governments require that a document similar to an EIS be submitted to the state for certain actions. For example, in California, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) must be submitted to the state for certain actions, as described in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
environmental justice
The fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. (Section 65040.12 (c) Government code)
environmental water
Minimum flow levels of a specific quality that is needed in order to assure the continued viability of fish and wildlife resources for a particular water body. This is water that is used to maintain and enhance the beneficial uses related to the preservation and enhancement of fish, wildlife, and other aquatic resources or preserves as specified in the Porter/Cologne Water Quality Control Act, 2008. (flow based) " The amount of water dedicated to in-stream fishery uses, Wild and Scenic rivers, required and actual Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta outflow, and the Environmental Water Account. (land based)" The amount of water used for fresh- and brackish-water managed wetlands and native vegetation.
Environmental Water Account (EWA)
EWA is an element of the CALFED Bay-Delta Program’s overall management strategy for the Bay-Delta ecosystem. Its purpose is to project fish of the Bay-Delta Estuary through environmentally beneficial changes in the operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.
environmental water quality
Water quality in terms of ecosystem health, recreation, salinity intrusion, usability per sector, treatment costs, etc. Aquatic species and water bodies are vulnerable to changes to water quality.
ETo (Reference Evapotranspiration)
The evapotranspiration rate from an extended surface of 3 to 6 inch (8 to 15 cm) tall green grass cover of uniform height, actively growing, completely shading the ground, and not short on water.
eutrophic conditions
Body of water which has high primary productivity due to excessive nutrients and is subject to algal blooms resulting in poor water quality. Typically deficient in oxygen in the deeper regions of these waters ranging from hypoxic to anoxic. These conditions do not favor fish species that require or prefer cold, well oxygenated water such as trout.
evaluation criteria
The technical information that will be used to compare the favorability of different response packages of resource management strategies against future scenarios in California Water Plan Update 2009. They are designed to identify and measure potential effects on water supply, the environment, energy use or production, recreational opportunities, groundwater overdraft, and many more.
evapotranspiration (ET)
The process of changing a liquid to a gas (vapor); for example, when water turns into steam or water vapor.
efficient water management practice
Excess Delta Outflow
Freshwater outflow from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that exceeds the amount required by law.
A process by which water, under certain conditions, may be diverted out of priority at one point by replacing it with a like amount of water at another point.
Exchange Contractors (EC)
Consists of four entities on the Westside of the Central Valley who hold water rights to the San Joaquin River via riparian and pre-1914 diversions made by Henry Miller. In 1930’s these entities were asked to quantify their water rights by the United States and then to “exchange” their right to divert water from the San Joaquin and Kings rivers for a guaranteed delivery of “substitute” water from the Sacramento River by the Delta Mendota Canal (DMC). The Exchange Contractors did not relinquish their rights to the San Joaquin River, but instead agreed to not exercise their water rights as long as guaranteed deliveries continued to be made to them by the Bureau through the DMC or from other Bureau sources. The EC are guaranteed 100% of their contractual allotment (840,000 ac’) and in critically dry years, 75% (650,000 ac’).
exempt uses
Any recognized uses that are not subject to administration under the priority system.
extraction wells
In the process of extracting groundwater for remediation, the groundwater flows through the aquifer(s) toward the extraction wells where it is removed for treatment.
federal reserved rights
An implied water right that occurs when the federal government withdraws its land from the public domain and reserves it for a federal purpose, the government, by implication reserves appurtenant water then unappropriated to the extent needed to accomplish the purpose of the reservation.
firm annual yield
The yearly amount of water that can be dependably supplied from the raw water sources of a given water supply system.
firm water supply
The Central Valley Project Improvement Act Section 3406(d) (Refuge Water Supply) establishes the primary goal of providing a "firm water supply" for wildlife refuges. See firm-yield approach.
firm-yield approach
Deliver the same amount every year regardless of water supply conditions.
flood event
A 100-year flood is the flood event having a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. A structure located within a special flood hazard area shown on a National Flood Insurance Program may have a 26 percent chance of suffering flood damage during the term of a 30-year mortgage.
A low area of land adjacent to a stream or other water course which is subject to flooding and holds the overflow of water during a flood. Often delineated on the basis of the 100 year storm event.
floodplain management
Actions designed to reduce risks to life, property, and the environment due to flooding. Actions can include watershed management, infrastructure construction and operation, variations in land use practices, floodway designations, etc. Context: Study Plan Building Block
flow diagram
Diagram that characterizes a region’s hydrologic cycle by documenting sources of water such as precipitation and inflows and tracks the water as it flows (through many different uses) to its ultimate destinations.
flow diagram table
An itemized listing of all the categories contained in the Flow Diagram including more detailed information, organized by "inputs" and "withdrawals."
The processes associated with rivers and streams comprising the motion of sediment and erosion of or deposition on the river bed. Forecast-coordinated Operations – F-CO consists of improving tools to forecast precipitation and river flows to allow drawing down flood management reservoirs in anticipation of major runoff so more reservoir space is available to control downstream flood releases from a reservoir without impacting water supply. Context: Resource Management Strategy
fresh water
Low salt water (less than 0.5 parts per thousand dissolved salts).
full cost
(1) all monetary costs associated with project planning, implementation, financing, or impact mitigation plus any recurring costs required to sustain benefits; PLUS (2) all nonmonetary costs that are incurred either at implementation or on a recurring basis such as unmitigatable environmental or cultural impacts, public trust, environmental justice, or other nonmarket-based societal values. (Coincides with CEQA/NEPA study and other permitting requirements.)
green water
Actual evapotranspiration; the combined flux of water to the atmosphere from soil surveys and plants by evaporation and through plants by transpiration. See evapotranspiration (ET).
greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
Also referred to as carbon intensity or carbon footprint. The storage and transport of water generates hydroelectricity, which is California's largest source of energy that does not produce GHG emissions. At the same time, though, water conveyance, groundwater extraction, water and wastewater treatment, and especially water use can involve the use of substantial amounts of carbon-based energy, which in turn results in GHG emissions that contribute to climate change. Each water management strategy should be evaluated for its contribution to the accumulation of GHG in our atmosphere.
Water that occurs beneath the land surface and fills the pore spaces of the alluvium, soil, or rock formation in which it is situated. It excludes soil moisture, which refers to water held by capillary action in the upper unsaturated zones of soil or rock. Groundwater classified as underflow of a surface water system, a “subterranean stream flowing through a known and definite channel,” is subject to statutory permitting process. However, most groundwater in California is presumed to be “percolating water,” that is, water in underground basins and groundwater which has escaped from streams and is not subject to a permitting process. See also subterranean stream.
groundwater bank
Groundwater banks consist of water that is “banked” during wet or above average years. The water user stores water for future use; this is not a sale or least of water rights.
groundwater basin
An alluvial aquifer or a stacked series of alluvial aquifers with reasonably well-defined boundaries in a lateral direction and having a definable bottom. See also recharge basin.
groundwater budget
A numerical accounting, the groundwater equation, of the recharge, discharge and changes in storage of an aquifer, part of an aquifer, or a system of aquifers.
groundwater management
The planned and coordinated management of a groundwater basin or portion of a groundwater basin with a goal of long-term sustainability of the resource.
groundwater management plan
– A comprehensive written document developed for the purpose of groundwater management and adopted by an agency having appropriate legal or statutory authority.
groundwater mining
The process, deliberate or inadvertent, of extracting groundwater from a source at a rate in excess of the replenishment rate such that the groundwater level declines persistently, threatening exhaustion of the supply or at least a decline of pumping levels to uneconomic depths.
groundwater monitoring network
A series of monitoring wells at appropriate locations and depths to effectively cover the area of interest. Scale and density of monitoring wells is dependent on the size and complexity of the area of interest, and the objective of monitoring.
groundwater overdraft
The condition of a groundwater basin in which the amount of water withdrawn by pumping exceeds the amount of water that recharges the basin over a period of years during which water supply conditions approximate average conditions.
groundwater quality
Water quality can affect supply integrity. Many pollutants are hydrophilic and not easily filtered by soil. Treated groundwater can be added to water supply. See also water quality.
groundwater recharge
Groundwater recharge is the mechanism by which surface water moves from the land surface, through the topsoil and subsurface, and into de-watered aquifer space, or through injection of water directly into the aquifer by wells. Groundwater recharge can be either natural or managed. Groundwater recharge applied water use: The amount of intentional water application to increase deep percolation; GW recharge E+ET: The amount of evaporation and evapotranspiration occurring from intentional groundwater recharge.
groundwater recharge facility
A structure that serves to conduct surface water into the ground for the purpose of replenishing groundwater. The facility may consist of dug or constructed spreading basins, pits, ditches, furrows, streambed modifications, or injection wells.
groundwater remediation/aquifer remediation
Groundwater Remediation involves extracting contaminated groundwater from an aquifer, treating it, and then either putting it back in the aquifer or using it for agricultural or municipal purposes. Aquifer Remediation is usually accomplished by treating groundwater while it is still in the aquifer, using in-situ methods involving biological, physical, or chemical treatment or electrokinetics.
groundwater source area
An area where groundwater may be found in economically retrievable quantities outside of normally defined groundwater basins, generally referring to areas of fractured bedrock in foothill and mountainous terrain where groundwater development is based on successful well penetration through interconnecting fracture systems. Well yields are generally lower in fractured bedrock than wells within groundwater basins. cf groundwater basin
groundwater storage
Groundwater storage can be defined in three different ways depending on the context of its use: (a) the quantity of water that occurs beneath the land surface and fills the pore spaces of the alluvium, soil, or rock formation beneath the land surface; (b) the volume of usable physical space available to store water in the pore spaces of the alluvium, soil, or rock formation beneath the land surface; (c) the act of storing water in the pore spaces of the alluvium, soil, or rock formation beneath the land surface.
groundwater storage capacity
Volume of void space that can be occupied by water in a given volume of a formation, aquifer, or groundwater basin.
groundwater sub-basin
A subdivision of a groundwater basin created by dividing the basin using geologic and hydrologic conditions or institutional boundaries. See groundwater basin.
guiding principles
The guiding principles describe the core values and philosophies that dictate how to achieve the vision, mission, and goals. In other words, the guiding principles will describe how to make decisions and do business.
Very salt-tolerant grasses.
head gate
A control structure or gate upstream of a lock or canal; A floodgate that controls the flow of water, as in a ditch.
hydraulic barrier
A barrier created by injecting fresh water to control seawater intrusion in an aquifer, or created by water injection to control migration of contaminants in an aquifer.
hydraulic conductivity
A measure of the capacity for a rock or soil to transmit water; generally has the units of feet/day or cm/sec.
A graph that shows some property of groundwater or surface water as a function of time at a given point.
hydrologic basin
Where conceptually any drop of water that falls in the basin will flow to a stream or groundwater basin within it. It is a larger set of which a subset is the groundwater basin which can be within a hydrologic basin. DWR’s hydrologic regions are collections of the larger hydrologic basins. [Basin names] are based on published and unpublished reports, topographic maps, and local terminology. Names of more recently delineated basins or subbasins are based on the principal geographic feature, which in most cases corresponds to the name of a valley. In the case of a subbasin, its formal name should include the name of the basin (for example, Sacramento Valley Groundwater Basin, North American Subbasin). However, both locally and informally, the term subbasin is used interchangeably with basin (for example, North American Basin).
hydrologic cycle
The circulation of water from the ocean through the atmosphere to the land and ultimately back to the ocean.
hydrologic region
A geographical division of the state based on the local hydrologic basins. The Department of Water Resources divides California into 10 hydrologic regions, corresponding to the state’s major water drainage basins: North Coast, San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, South Coast, Sacramento River, San Joaquin River, Tulare Lake, North Lahontan, South Lahontan, and Colorado River.
hydrologic unit
The United States is divided and subdivided into successively smaller hydrologic units which are classified into four levels: regions, subregions, accounting units, and cataloging units. The hydrologic units are arranged within each other, from the smallest (cataloging units) to the largest (regions). Each hydrologic unit is identified by a unique hydrologic unit code (HUC) consisting of two to eight digits based on the four levels of classification in the hydrologic unit system. (See for more information.
A science related to the occurrence and distribution of natural water on the earth including the annual volume and the monthly timing of runoff.
Channel modification (channelization), flow alterations, levees, and dams.
hyporheic zone
The region of saturated sediments beneath and beside the active channel and that contain some proportion of surface water that was part of the flow in the surface channel and went back underground and can mix with groundwater.
hypoxic zone
Salt becomes too concentrated, nutrient salts become excessive.
indurect reuse
When a downstream entity withdraws water from a stream and a portion of that water is wastewater from an upstream discharge that has commingled with the ambient streamflow, the reuse is termed "indirect reuse."
Water moving into the ground from a surface supply such as precipitation or irrigation.
The flow of water downward from the land surface into and through the upper soil layers.
infiltration basin
A shallow basin designed to infiltrate storm water into the ground.
infiltration capacity
The maximum rate at which infiltration can occur under specific conditions of soil moisture.
The underlying foundation or basic framework of a system, For water, this includes the canals, pipelines, pumps, reservoirs, and treatment plants that make up the treatment and delivery system.
injection wells
Injection wells are used primarily to recharge confined aquifers. The design of an injection well for artificial recharge is similar to that of a water supply well. The principal difference is that waterflows from the injection well into the surrounding aquifer under either a gravity head or a head maintained by an injection pump.
in-lieu recharge
The practice of providing surplus surface water to historical groundwater users, thereby leaving groundwater in storage for later use. (cf. groundwater recharge)
Instream Flow Net Water Use
The use of water within its natural watercourse as specified in an agreement, water rights permit, court order, FERC license, or other State or federal requirement.
instream flows
The use of water within its natural watercourse as specified in an agreement, water rights permit, court order, FERC license, etc. They support natural ecosystems, create habitat for plants and animals, and may provide additional benefits such as recreation. See also required instream flows. Context: Water Portfolio
instream recharge
Allows water to percolate through the streambed itself. Context: Resource Management Strategy
instream uses
The beneficial uses of water within a stream for river without diversion from the stream.
integrated flood management (IFM)
IFM is a comprehensive approach to flood management that considers land and water resources at a watershed scale within the context of integrated water management; employs both structural and non-structural measures to maximize the benefits of floodplains and minimize loss of life and damage to property from flooding; and recognizes the benefits to ecosystems from periodic flooding.
Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM)
A multi-objective approach that encourages using a mix of resource management strategies to provide benefits to regions.
Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP)
The Integrated Regional Water Management Planning Act of 2002 authorized regional water management groups, as defined, to prepare and adopt an integrated regional water management plan. The act requires an integrated regional water management plan to identify the manner in which the plan furthers a specified state policy concerning reducing reliance on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for water supply and improving regional self-reliance for water, if the region depends on water from the Delta watershed. This would be a requirement to be qualified to receive state funding for water related activity and projects.
Integrated Water Resources Information System (IWRIS)
IWRIS, released by DWR in 2008, is the first centralized groundwater data management system developed to help local and regional water management entities integrate and analyze existing data about their groundwater system and potential value of current groundwater management in their integrated planning processes. It serves as a centralized information system for accessing the data about groundwater as well as groundwater management and some DWR grant program funding statewide. See also Water PIE
Smaller watersheds or areas outside of the larger watershed boundaries used at the regional planning scale.
interregional import projects
Movement of water between regions through mechanisms such as the State and federal water projects.
– An interconnection permitting passage of utility service (water, electricity) between two or more systems such as electric and water utility systems.
invasive species
Non-indigenous plants or animals that adversely affect the habitats they invade economically, environmentally, or ecologically.
ion exchagne
Processes of purification, separation, and decontamination of aqueous and other ion-containing solutions with solid ion exchangers such as sodium carbonate used for water softening.
irrecoverable water
The amount of applied water that flows to or percolates to a salt sink, is used by the growth process of plants (evapotranspiration), or evaporates from a conveyance facility or drainage canal. See recoverable water
irrigation efficiency (IE)
The efficiency of water application and use, calculated by dividing a portion of applied water that is beneficially used by the total applied water, expressed as a percentage The two main beneficial uses are crop water use (evapotranspiration, ETc) and leaching to maintain a salt balance.
irrigation water requirements
The quantity of water exclusive of precipitation that is required from various uses.
Irrigation Year
The irrigation year for the purpose of recording annual diversions of water for irrigation.
joint powers agreement (JPA)
An agreement entered into by two or more public agencies that allows them to jointly exercise any power common to the contracting parties. JPA is defined in Ch. 5 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the California Government Code.
junior rights
Water rights that are more recent than older or more senior rights.
Keyline systems of water and soil conservation were developed in Australia during the 1950s by P.A. Yeomans as a response to increasing desertification and erosion of the landscape. Keyline agriculture is a permaculture farming technique offering holistic farm design. Keyline is a set of principles, techniques, and systems, which coordinate into a development plan for rural and urban landscapes. The result is a strategic master plan to develop the natural or existing landscape through regeneration and enhancement. On Keyline properties the typical vistas are of lakes with water birds, roads along the contours and ridge lines,
Natural lakes, ponds and human-made reservoirs ecosystems.
land subsidence
The lowering of the natural land surface due to groundwater (or oil and gas) extraction.
Law of Demand
People will purchase less of a good or service as its price increases.
leaching requirements
The fraction of water entering the soil that must pass through the root zone in order to prevent soil salinity from exceeding a specific value.
legacy pollutants
Examples are mercury, extracted from the Coast Range and used to process gold in the Sierra Nevada mines in the 19th century; industrial chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), used in electrical transformers; and pesticides such as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT).
lithologic log
A record of the lithology of the soils, sediments and/or rock encountered in a borehole from the surface to the bottom.
Local Deliveries
The amount of water delivered by local water agencies and individuals. It includes direct deliveries of water from streamflows, as well as local water storage facilities. Also includes water supply for Instream and Wild and Scenic River flows—a change from Update 2005 wherein there was a separate category for Dedicated Environmental Water.
Local Imports
– The amount of water transferred by local agencies from other regions of the state. Context: Water Portfolio
Low Impact Developmnet (LID)
LID uses site design and storm water management to maintain the site’s predevelopment runoff rates and volumes. Design techniques filtrate, filter, store, evaporate, and detain runoff close to the source of rainfall. LID can be used to benefit water quality, address the modifications to the hydrologic cycle, and be a means to augment local water supply through either infiltration or water harvesting. LID is seen in California as an alternative to conventional storm water management.
Managed Wetlands Applied Water Use
The applied water use for managed wetlands areas.
maximum contaminant level (MCL)
The highest drinking water contaminant concentration allowed under federal and State Safe Drinking Water Act regulations.
micrograms per liter
minimum streamflow requirement
A set amount of water be maintained in a water course for the purpose of reasonably maintaining the environment.
mitigation (measurements/strategies)
Reduction of human activities that affect global climate change; it includes strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
municipal wastewater
Primarily from domestic sources but includes wastewater from commercial, industrial, and institutional sources that discharge to a common collection system where it mixes with domestic wastewater before treatment. Context: Resources Management Strategy
municipal water system
A network of pipes, pumps, and storage and treatment facilities designed to deliver potable water to homes, schools, businesses, and other users in a city or town and to remove and treat waste materials.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Federal law enacted to ensure the integration of natural and social sciences and environmental design in planning and decision-making for federal projects or projects on federal lands.
National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit
A permit required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act regulating discharge of pollutants into the nation’s waterways.
native waters
Surface and underground waters naturally occurring in a watershed.
natural recharge
Replenishment of an aquifer generally from snowmelt and runoff; through seepage from the surface. Recharge of an aquifer that occurs without human interference; also referred to as unintentional recharge.
naturally occurring contaminants
Contaminates that exist but are not human-made or human-introduced. They are considered pollutants when they exceed natural levels.
net groundwater
The amount of groundwater extraction in excess of deep percolation.
net water use (demand)
The amount of water needed in a water service area to meet all requirements. It includes the consumptive use of applied water, the irrecoverable water from the distribution system, and the outflow leaving the service area. It does not include reuse of water within a service area. See also applied water use.
net water wavings
Reduction in the amount of water used that becomes available for other purposes while maintaining or improving crop yield.
new water
Water that is legally and empirically available for a beneficial use; can be developed through many strategies such as capturing surplus water, desalination of ocean water, and reductions in depletions. (Same meaning as real water). Denotes, in part, recycled water that is an augmentation to the state's overall water supply, such as reuse of wastewater discharged to the ocean, rather than planned reuse of wastewater inland where unplanned indirect reuse may already be occurring downstream. The Recycled Water Task Force made this distinction in estimating future potential. Of an estimated potential of 1.5 million acre-feet per year of additional recycled water use by 2030, 1.2 million af/year was estimated to be "new water"
non-consumptive environmental water use
Water dedicated to in-stream environmental needs which does not reduce the available water supply downstream for other uses.
non-consumptive use
Water drawn for use that is not consumed. For example, water withdrawn for purposes such as hydropower generation. It also includes uses such as boating or fishing where the water is still available for other uses at the same site.
non-exempt uses
Any recognized beneficial uses of water that are administered under the priority system.
nonpoint source (NPS)
Pollution discharged over a wide land area, not from one specific location. These are forms of diffuse pollution caused by sediment, nutrients, etc., carried to lakes and streams by surface runoff. See also point source
normal -(cf average) Usage
DWR used to "normalize" data for water supply and uses by compensating for those factors that would cause an increase or decrease in water supply, but that process is largely discontinued and actual water is used for the balances starting with California Water Plan Update 2005. Use of "normal" often refers to that traditional process. Regarding California precipitation, there really isn't a normal year, but there can be average rainfall, storage, etc., numbers.
Objectives tell what we will do and why we are doing it in order to accomplish one or more goals.
offstream recharge
Uses suitable sites outside the streambed. In some operations, the water must be pumped some distance from its source to the offstream recharge area.
offstream storage
Man made offstream storage sites designed to maximize water availability for specified usage. (ex. San Luis Reservoir, proposed Sites reservoir, etc.)
Low in basic nutrients for plants (Lake Tahoe as an example).
operational flexibility
The temporal or spatial operational efficiency of existing and proposed infrastructure to maximize benefits.
operational yield
An optimal amount of groundwater that should be withdrawn from an aquifer system or a groundwater basin each year. It is a dynamic quantity that must be determined from a set of alternative groundwater management decisions subject to goals, objectives, and constraints of the management plan.
The amount of applied water and conveyance water leaving the service area. Also conveyance outflow.
- A water rights term used to describe a surface water drainage system that has more decreed water rights claims on the system than can be satisfied by the physical supply of water available.
See groundwater overdraft
overlying right
Property owners above a common aquifer possess a mutual right to the reasonable and beneficial use of a groundwater resource on land overlying the aquifer from which the water is taken. Overlying rights are correlative (related to each other) and overlying users of a common water source must share the resource on a pro rata basis in times of shortage. A proper overlying use takes precedence over all non-overlying uses.
pelagic fish
Fish that spawn in open water, often near the surface. Many river-dwelling anadromous fishes, such as shad are also pelagic spawners
perched groundwater
Groundwater supported by a zone of material of low permeability located above an underlying main body of groundwater.
Process in which water moves through a porous material, usually surface water migrating through soil toward a groundwater aquifer.
perennial yield
The maximum quantity of water that can be annually withdrawn from a groundwater basin over a long period of time (during which water supply conditions approximate average conditions) without developing an overdraft condition.
The capability of soil or other geologic formations to transmit water.
The pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.
planning area (PA)
A subsection of a hydrologic region containing a number of detailed analysis units (DAU).
point of diversion
A specifically named place where water is removed from a body of water.
point source pollution
Pollution coming from a single identifiable source such as discharge pipes from industry or sewer plants or other means of conveyance including ditches, channels, sewers, and containers.
population density
The average number of people per square mile for a planning area.
population distribution
The geographic location within California of the population projection.
population projection
The 2030 forecast of population made by the California Department of Finance or other agencies. Context: Scenario Factor
Water that is considered safe for domestic human consumption; drinkable water.
Pre-1914 Water Right
In 1872, the California Legislature enacted sections 1410 through 1422 of the California Civil Code. These code sections were in effect until December 19, 1914, hence the name “pre-1914.” These sections established the procedure for fixing the priority of an appropriation of water. Generally, the person intending to obtain the right was required to first post a notice of appropriation at the proposed point of diversion and then to later record a copy of the notice with the appropriate County Recorder. The priority of the appropriative right did not attach until the water was beneficially used. Once acquired, a pre-1914 appropriative right can be maintained only by continuous beneficial use of the water. The right is not fixed by the amount claimed in the original notice of appropriation; the notice of appropriation really only fixes the date of priority. The amount of the right is fixed by the amount that can be shown to be actually beneficially used as to both amount and season of diversion.
precautionary principle approach
When an activity raises threats to the environment or human health, precautionary measures are taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established. Key elements of the principle include exercising precaution in the face of scientific uncertainty; exploring alternatives to possibly harmful actions; placing the burden of proof on proponents of an activity rather than on victims or potential victims of the activity; and using democratic processes to carry out and enforce the principle, including the public right to informed consent.
The amount of precipitation that falls on an area as either rain or snow.
prescriptive right
Rights obtained through the open and notorious adverse use of another’s water rights. By definition, adverse use is not the use of a surplus, but the use of non-surplus water to the direct detriment of the original rights holder.
Privately owned water systems
Include investor-owned utilities, mutual water companies, mobile home parks, and water associations, and may also include various commercial enterprises such as restaurants, hotels, resorts, employee housing, etc. that have their own water supply.
public goods
Public benefits are obtained from providing goods and services that are consumed by society as a whole (national defense, police protection, highways, parks, etc.). Public goods usually are not exchanged in a market place, and consumption of these goods by one individual does not preclude consumption by other individuals. Context: ecosystem valuation methods
Public Trust Doctrine
A legal doctrine recognizing public rights in the beds, banks, and waters of navigable waterways, and the State’s power and duty to exercise continued supervision over them as trustee for the benefit of the people.
pueblo rights
A legal doctrine recognizing public rights in the beds, banks, and waters of navigable waterways, and the State’s power and duty to exercise continued supervision over them as trustee for the benefit of the people.
purple pipes
Part of a dual piping network. The color pipe distributed reclaimed water to distributed it from.
Ranney collectors
Horizontal wells adjacent to or under the bed of a stream.
rate structure
Designates the rate basis for cost recovery (e.g., flat, uniform, tiered). Block/Tiered rates are assumed to provide cost signals to consumers. Costs can include capital, operation and maintenance, financing, environmental compliance (documentation, permitting and mitigation), etc.
real water
Estimates of real water is the estimate of the water supply benefits from the transfer to the water system. There is a risk that these estimates will be inaccurate and that the transfers have unintended consequences to other water users, local economies, or the environment. A key challenge is to improve methods for quantifying these uncertainties and to include adequate monitoring and assurances when implementing water transfers. See also new water.
recharge area
An area where surface water infiltrates into the ground and reaches a saturated zone in either an unconfined aquifer or a confined aquifer. The recharge area for an unconfined aquifer is the ground surface above the aquifer. The recharge area for a confined aquifer is always some distance away from the area where wells have been built that extract groundwater from the aquifer. In other cases recharge of the confined aquifer may occur only where a stream has eroded through the aquitard into the confined aquifer, allowing recharge to occur through the stream bottom.
recharge area protection
The action of keeping recharge areas from being paved over or otherwise developed and guarding the recharge areas so they don’t become contaminated.
recharge basin
A surface facility constructed to infiltrate surface water into a groundwater basin. Recharge basins are frequently used to recharge unconfined aquifers. Water is spread over the surface of a basin or pond in order to increase the quantity of water infiltrating into the ground and then percolating to the water table. Recharge basins concentrate a large volume of infiltrating water on the surface. As a result, a groundwater mound forms beneath the basin. See also groundwater recharge and groundwater recharge facility.
reclaimed water
(1) Treated water or the effluent from any water treatment plant where the inflow water supply is polluted, contaminated, or otherwise tainted. (See also recycled water) (2) From Water Code 26: For the purposes of this code, "recycled water" or "reclaimed water" has the same meaning as recycled water as defined in subdivision (n) of Section 13050. From Water Code 13050: "Recycled water" means water which, as a result of treatment of waste, is suitable for a direct beneficial use or a controlled use that would not otherwise occur and is therefore considered a valuable resource."
recoverable water
The amount of applied water that is available for supply or reuse; including surface runoff to non-saline bodies of water and deep percolation that becomes groundwater. See irrecoverable water
Water-dependent recreation activities that are consumptive (e.g., parks), flat-water (e.g., boating), or flow-based (e.g., whitewater rafting).
recycled water
(1) The application of treated water/reclaimed water to meet a beneficial use, supplanting a potable or potentially potable supply. See also reclaimed water. (2) Treated municipal, industrial, or agricultural wastewater to produce water that can be reused. See also indirect reuse. (3) From Water Code 26: For the purposes of this code, "recycled water" or "reclaimed water" has the same meaning as recycled water as defined in subdivision (n) of Section 13050. From Water Code 13050: "Recycled water" means water which, as a result of treatment of waste, is suitable for a direct beneficial use or a controlled use that would
Regional Exports
Water transferred out of a hydrologic region.
Regional Imports
Water transferred into a hydrologic region from an adjoining area.
regional self-sufficiency
The degree to which a regional area implements regional water management options such that it can provide all its needs for water from within its borders.
related action
Related actions are part of the California Water Plan Update 2009 Implementation Plan and tell how objectives will be carried out. They describe specific actions in measurable, time-based statements of intent. They emphasize the results of actions at the end of a specific time. Some related actions must be undertaken by State government or communities over which DWR has no authority. In these cases, measure and time must be part of the entities’ own strategic plans.
Releases for Delta Outflow - CVP
Releases from Central Valley Project reservoirs to supplement natural flows in order to meet outflow requirements for protection of beneficial uses in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
reliability planning
Water reliability management planning is done by comparing the costs of taking actions to maintain or increase reliability to the costs of accepting less reliability. On this basis, accepting of the costs of adverse effects of less than 100 percent reliability could be a legitimate planning decision. Providing full water supply to meet 100 percent of projected future water demand is not the planning goal, rather, the goal is to find the justified level of reliability.
Remaining Natural Runoff-Flow to Salt Sinks
Represents the In-stream or Wild and Scenic River natural runoff that flows to the ocean or other salt sink.
Required Delta Outflow Net Water Use
Freshwater outflow from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta required by law to protect the beneficial uses within the Delta from the incursion of saline water.
required instream flow
The amount of water required for in-stream use by agreement, water rights permit, or State/federal Acts.
A natural or artificial place to store water; water storage created by building a dam; a pond, lake, or basin used for the storage, regulation, and control of water.
Reservoir System Simulation
ResSim can simulate a range of reservoir operating conditions and accurately simulate downstream flows at specific control point locations. Context: Resource Management Strategy
The capacity of resource/natural system to adapt to and recover from changed conditions after a disturbance.
resource management strategy
A project, program, or policy that helps federal, State or local agencies manage water and related resources. Resource management strategies in the Water Plan are grouped by their intended outcomes: reduce water demand, improve operational efficiency and transfers, increase water supply, improve water quality, practice resource stewardship; and improve flood management. Although most of the resource management strategies have multiple potential benefits, any individual site-specific project or program within a resource management strategy may contribute only one, or a few of the benefits.
return-flow system
– A system of pipelines or ditches to collect and convey surface or subsurface runoff from an irrigated field for reuse.
reused water
The application of previously used water to meet a beneficial use, whether treated or not prior to the subsequent use (cf. recycled water)
reverse osmosis
– A method of purifying water by applying pressure to force a solution of saline water through a membrane, retaining the solute (higher concentrated saline water) on one side and allowing the pure solvent (water) to pass to the other side. This is the reverse of the normal osmosis process, which is the natural movement of solvent (water) from an area of low solute concentration, through a membrane, to an area of high solute concentration (saline water) when no pressure is applied.
Riparian Doctrine
A legal concept in which owners of lands along the banks of a stream or body of water have the right to reasonable use of the water and a correlative right protecting against unreasonable use by others that substantially diminishes the quantity or quality of water. The right is appurtenant to the land and does not depend on prior use.
riparian ecosystems
The riparian ecosystems are labeled according to their inhabitants, thus area streams are referred to by the labels: conifer forest snowmelt streams, trout headwater streams, trout/sculpin streams, sucker/dace/redside streams, and whitefish cutthroat/sucker streams.
riparian right
A right to use surface water, such right derived from the fact that the land in question abuts the banks of streams or other water source (lake or pond). These rights are senior to most appropriative rights. See also appropriate rights and pueblo rights.
Risk-based Water Deliveries
Balances increasing deliveries in a given year with the risk of not meeting full deliveries in a subsequent dry year. Context: Resource Management Strategy
Robust Decision Making (RDM)
RDM analysis is a new approach to decision support when conditions present deep uncertainty. RDM uses computational methods to identify scenarios likeliest to break assumptions embedded in a long-term resource management plan.
The volume of surface flow from an area. (Natural) The portion of precipitation that runs off the land and makes up the natural flow in rivers. (Incidental) The portion of precipitation that would have been used by natural vegetation but now contributes to runoff. This is a result of roads, paved areas, building roofs, land drainage systems, fields developed for irrigation, and other changes in land use.
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
Federal legislation that regulates the treatment of water for human consumption. Requires testing for and elimination of contaminants for the protection of human health.
safe yield
The maximum quantity of water that can be continuously withdrawn from a groundwater basin without adverse effect saline soil; a nonalkali soil containing soluble salts in such quantities that they interfere with the growth of most plants.
saline intrusion
The movement of salt water into a body of fresh water. It can occur in either surface water or groundwater bodies.
Generally, the concentration of mineral salts dissolved in water. Salinity may be expressed in terms of a concentration or as electrical conductivity. When describing salinity influenced by seawater, salinity often refers to the concentration of chlorides in the water.
saturated zone
The zone in which all interconnected openings are filled with water, usually underlying the unsaturated zone.
saved water
– Saved water constitutes new water only if it is prevented from evaporating from soil or flowing to salt sinks such as saline surface or groundwater or ocean. See new water
Sets of plausible future conditions based on different assumptions of factors such as population size, density, and distribution, per capita income, commercial and industrial activity, and crop area and water use. In California Water Plan Update 2009, the three scenarios for 2050 are Current Trends, Slow & Strategic, and Expansive Growth.
Secchi disk
A small white disk of specific size used to measure depth clarity of a water body.
The gradual movement of water into, through, or from a porous medium; also, the infiltration of water into the soil from canals, ditches, laterals, watercourse, reservoir, storage facilities, or other body of water, or from a field.
semi-confined aquifer
A semi-confined aquifer or leaky confined aquifer is an aquifer that has aquitards either above or below that allow water to leak into or out of the aquifer depending on the direction of the hydraulic gradient. See also artesian aquifer. (cf. confined aquifer, unconfined aquifer)
senior rights
Water rights that have been established first and are older than junior rights.
service area
The geographic area served by a water agency.
soil texture
Soil texture refers to the percentage of sand, silt, and clay particles in a soil. Sand, silt, and clay particles are defined by their size. Soil texture has important effects on soil properties. Water-holding capacity, drainage class, consistence, and chemical properties are just a few examples of properties that are affected by soil texture.
solar evaporator
An enhanced evaporation system that uses timed sprinklers or other equipment that allows the discharge rate to be set and adjusted as necessary to avoid standing water within the surface of the solar evaporator.
specific yield
The ratio of the volume of water a rock or soil will yield by gravity drainage to the total volume of the rock or soil.
Individuals or groups who can affect or be affected by an organization’s activities; or individuals or groups with an interest or “stake” in what happens as a result of any decision or action. Stakeholders do not necessarily use the products or receive the services of a program.
State Water Project (SWP) deliveries
(1) The volume of water imported to a given study area from the State Water Project. (2) The sum of all deliveries to State Water Project contractors.
statewide water management systems
These include physical facilities (more than 1,200 State, federal, and local reservoirs, as well as canals, treatment plants, and levees), which make up the backbone of water management in California, and statewide water management programs, which include water-quality standards, monitoring programs, economic incentives, water pricing policies, and statewide water efficiency programs such as appliance standards, labeling, and education.
statutory permitting system
Water rights permitting system defined in the California Water Code and administered by the State Water Resources Control Board.
Stochastic simulation
This is also known as Monte Carlo simulation or model sampling. An example of this type of analysis is the US Army Corps of Engineer’s software program, HEC-FDA (Flood Damage Assessment) that directly incorporates uncertainties into a flood damage analysis.
storm water (runoff)
Water which is originated during a precipitation event which may collect and concentrate diffused pollutants and carry them to water courses causing degradation. Runoff in the urban environment, both storm-generated and dry weather flows, has been shown to be a significant source of pollutants to the surface waters of the nation. In California, the authority to regulate urban and storm water runoff under the NPDES system has been delegated by EPA to the State Water Resources Control Board and the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards. See Volume 2, Chapter 19 Urban Runoff Management RMS
strategic plan
The long-term goals of an organization or program and an outline of how they will be achieved (e.g., adopting specific strategies, approaches, and methodologies).
The science of rocks. It is concerned with the original succession and age relations of rock strata and their form, distribution, lithologic composition, fossil content, geophysical and geochemical properties—all characters and attributes of rocks as strata—and their interpretation in terms of environment and mode of origin and geologic history.
stream order
Refers to a systematic process for describing the degree of branching of a stream network within a watershed.
Application of irrigation water below the ground surface by raising the water table to within or near the root zone.
subsurface drip irrigation
Application of water below the soil surface through emitters, with discharge rates generally in the same range as drip irrigation. This method of water application is different from and not to be confused with sub-irrigation where the root zone is irrigated by water table control.
subterranean stream
Subterranean streams"fllowing through known and definite channels"are regulated by California’s surface water rights system. The physical conditions that must be present in a subterranean stream flowing in a known and definite channel are: (1) a subsurface channel must be present; (2) the channel must have relatively impermeable bed and banks; (3) the course of the channel must be known or capable of being determined by reasonable inference; and (4) groundwater must be flowing in the channel.
surface storage
Uses reservoirs to collect water for later release and use.
surface storage facilities
The volume and yield of usable reservoir storage in a given area.
surface supply
Water supply obtained from streams, lakes, and reservoirs.
surface water
As defined under the California Surface Water Treatment Rule, CCR, Title 22, Section 64651.83, means “all water open to the atmosphere and subject to surface runoff..." and hence would include all lakes, rivers, streams and other water bodies. Surface water thus includes all groundwater sources that are deemed to be under the influence of surface water (i.e., springs, shallow wells, wells close to rivers), which must comply with the same level of treatment as surface water.
surface water
Water that is not being used directly or indirectly to benefit the environmental, agricultural or urban use sectors.
Surface Water Net Change in Storage
The difference between the water released from and water flowing into surface reservoirs.
Surface Water Storage-End of Year
The amount of water stored in lakes and reservoirs at the end of the water year.
Surface Water Total Available Storage
Total developed surface storage available in a region.
(1) The intent in Water Plan Update 2009 when discussing sustainable development or sustainable use of resources is to portray the concepts of longevity and resilience. A system that is sustainable should meet today’s needs without compromising this ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A sustainable system generally provides for the economy, ecosystem, and social equity. (2) A specific resource that avoids complete depletion over a specified time horizon. The continued feasibility of a specified economic activity over a specified time horizon, usually influenced by management and policy actions.
system reoperation
Changing existing water system operation and management procedures or priorities to either meet competing beneficial uses or derive more total benefits from the water system by operating more efficiently. Context: Resource Management Strategy
Surface runoff water from irrigated agriculture.
third party impacts
The occurrence of incidental economic impacts to parties not directly related to (impact causing) water management actions. For example, agricultural land retirement can impact local tax revenues and/or labor conditions, or San Joaquin River Restoration activities can impact land owners along the river such as seepage issues, etc.
tile water (tile drainage)
– The water drained from agricultural fields by the practice of removing excess water from the subsurface of soil with a network of below-ground pipes that allow subsurface water to move out from between soil particles and into the tile line. Water flowing through tile lines is often ultimately deposited into surface water. Water enters the tile line either via the gaps between tile sections, in the case of older tile designs, or through small perforations in modern plastic tile. Tile drainage brings soil moisture levels down for optimal crop growth and is used as a primary method of controlling soil salinity.
total capital cost
Total monetary cost of option required for “turnkey” implementation including environmental and third party impact mitigation, storage, conveyance, energy, capitalized operations and maintenance, administrative, planning, legal and engineering costs. Context: Planning Concept/Consideration.
total groundwater natural recharge
The percolation to groundwater basins from precipitation falling on the land and from flows in rivers and streams. Context: Water Portfolio
total maximum daily load
TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that at water body can receive and still safely meet water quality standards.
transbasin diversion
The conveyance of water from its natural drainage basin into another basin for beneficial use.
transient noncommunity water system
Serves 25 or more people for at least 60 days per year. (cf. nontransient noncommunity water system)
The process by which water absorbed by plants (usually through the roots) is evaporated into the atmosphere from the plant surface (principally from the leaves).
treated water
Water that has been filtered and/or disinfected; sometimes used interchangeably with "potable" water.
- A tributary is generally regarded as a surface water drainage system which is interconnected with a river system. Under Colorado law, all surface and groundwater, the withdrawal of which would affect the rate or direction of flow of a surface stream within 100 years, is considered to be tributary to a natural stream.
tributary ground water
Water present below the earth’s surface that is hydrologically connected to a natural surface stream.
unaccounted for water
Deteriorated and aging infrastructure can play an important role in unaccounted for water (sometimes referred to as water losses), contributing to significant water leakage and a high rate of main breaks. Water utilities are conducting audits to identify water main leaks, unmetered water use for parks and recreation consumption, water theft and inaccurate meters.
unappropriated water
Water which has not been appropriated, and in which no other person has or claims superior rights and interests.
unconfined aquifer
– An aquifer which is not bounded on top by an aquitard. The upper surface of an unconfined aquifer is the water table. See also artesian aquifer. (cf. confined aquifer and semi-confined aquifer)
unit applied water
The quantity of water applied to a specific crop per unit area (sometimes expressed in inches of depth).
Urban Commercial Use
The water used by light industry and light or non-manufacturing business establishments including retail services, office buildings, restaurants, dry cleaners, and other consumer-oriented services or businesses. Also includes employee uses and recreational facilities (temporary lodging). This can include institutional or governmental use as well.
Urban Industrial Use
The heavy water using manufacturing with cooling towers—for processing, manufacturing, and other industrial plant uses (canneries, mills or other large complex users of supply) as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). This water can be used as cooling water, or for rinsing, washing, diluting, and other sanitation operations. Also included are employee uses and landscape irrigation.
urban land use management
– Planning for the housing and economic development needs of the growing population while providing for the efficient use of water and other resources.
Urban Large Landscape
The water used to irrigate recreational and large landscape areas such as golf courses, parks, play fields, highway medians, and cemeteries.
urban runoff management
A broad series of activities to manage both storm water and dry weather runoff.
Urban Water Management Planning Act
Sections 10610 through 10657 of the California Water Code. The Act requires urban water suppliers to prepare urban water management plans which describe and evaluate sources of water supplies, efficient uses of water, demand management measures, implementation strategies and schedules, and other relevant information and programs within their water service areas. Urban water suppliers (CWC Section 10617) are either publicly or privately owned and provide water for municipal purposes, either directly or indirectly, to more than 3,000 customers or supply more than 3,000 acre-feet of water annually.
urban water use efficiency
Methods or technologies resulting in the same beneficial residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional uses with less water or increased beneficial uses from existing water quantities.
usable storage capacity
The quantity of groundwater of acceptable quality that can be economically withdrawn from storage.
use values
vs. non-use values (direct, indirect, option, and bequest vs. ‘because it exists’).
user supplied data
Data or records of water uses provided by an owner/user which has not been verified by state officials.
vernal pools
Subset of wetlands that occur in shallow foothill and valley depressions. Water usually remains in the pools and swales from only a few days to a few months. The presence of
Water that has been used and contains unwanted materials from homes, businesses, and industries; a mixture of water and dissolved or suspended substances.
wastewater reclamation
"Water reclamation" or "wastewater reclamation" can have two meanings: (1) the process of treating wastewater for beneficial use, storing and distributing recycled water, and (2) the actual use of recycled water. This definition is the more common meaning, depending on the context: The treatment of water of impaired quality to produce a water of suitable quality for intended use. See also water recycling, water reuse. Context: Resource Management Strategy
wastewater treatment
Any of the mechanical or chemical processes used to modify the quality of wastewater in order to make it more compatible or acceptable to humans and the environment.
water and sanitation districts
A special taxing district formed by the residents of the district for the combined purpose of providing potable water and sanitary wastewater services.
Water Balances
An analysis of the total developed/dedicated supplies, uses, and operational characteristics for a region; shows what water was applied to actual uses so that use equals supply.
water conservation
The wise use of water with methods ranging from more efficient practices in farm, home and industry to capturing water for use through water storage or conservation projects.
water court
A special division of a District Court with a District Judge designated as and called the Water Judge to deal with certain specific water matters principally having to do with adjudication and change of point of diversion. There are seven water courts in Colorado.
water cycle
Transition and movement of water involving evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, percolation, runoff, and storage.
water demand
The desired quantity of water that would be used if the water is available and a number of other factors such as price do not change. Demand is not static.
water demand elasticity
The desire to use water is based on a number of factors such as the intended use for the water, the price of water, and the cost of alternative ways to meet the intended use.
water development
The process of building diversion, storage, pumping, and/ or conveyance facilities.
water diversion
Changing the natural flow of water to another location by using dams, canals, or pipelines.
water exchanges
Typically water delivered by one water user to another water user; the receiving water user will return the water at a specified time or when the conditions of the parties' agreement are met. (See also water transfers.)
Water PIE
In May 2008, DWR launched a working prototype of the Water Planning Information Exchange (Water PIE), an online information exchange system to share water management information between State, regional, and local agencies and government. See Integrated Water Resources Information System (IWRIS).
Water Portfolio
A picture of the water supply and use for a given year statewide or by region, subject to availability of data; includes the flow diagram, flow diagram table, water balances, and summary table.
water quality standard
Recommended or enforceable maximum contaminant levels of chemicals or substances in water. These levels are established for water used by municipalities, industries, agriculture, and recreation. Standards may also be narrative.
water reliability
(dry) A measure of a system’s ability to sustain the social, environmental, and economic systems that it serves during a dry year. (wet) A measure of a system’s ability to sustain the social, environmental, and economic systems which it serves during a wet year.
water rights
In water law, refers to the right of a user to use water from a water source, e.g., a river, stream, pond or source of groundwater.
water service area
Geographic area in which a water agency is the designated water service provider.
water storage
The locations in which water is stored. They can be above ground in lakes, rivers, and other waterways or below ground as ground water.
water supply exports
The amount of water that a region transfers to another to meet needs.
water supply imports
The amount of water that brought in from other regions to meet needs.
water table
The upper level of ground water; the level below which soil and rock are saturated with water.
water transfer
– A water transfer is defined in the Water Code1 as a temporary or long-term change in the point of diversion, place of use, or purpose of use due to a transfer or exchange of water or water rights. Many transfers, such as those among contractors of the State Water Project or Central Valley Project, do not fit this definition. A more general definition is that water transfers are a voluntary change in the way water is usually distributed among water users in response to water scarcity. Compare to water exchanges, which are typically water delivered by one water user to another water user; the receiving water user will return the water at a specified time or when the conditions of the parties to the agreement are met.
water year
A continuous 12-month period for which hydrologic records are compiled and summarized. Different agencies may use different calendar periods for their water years. DWR water year is Oct 1 through Sep 30.
The region draining into a river, river system or body of water; the total land area, regardless of size, above a given point on a waterway that contributes runoff water to the flow at that point; all the land that serves as a drainage for a specific stream or river.
watershed management
The process of evaluating, planning, managing, restoring, and organizing land and other resource use within an area that has a single common drainage point.
Watershed Management Initiative (WMI)
The WMI remains a part of the State Water Boards Strategic Plan. The WMI establishes a broad framework overlying the numerous federal- and State-mandated priorities. As such, the WMI helps the Water Boards achieve water resource protection, enhancement and restoration while balancing economic and environmental impacts. See also watershed management areas.
Any structure or device used for the purpose or with the effect of obtaining ground water for beneficial use from an aquifer. A shaft or hole into the Earth to tap an underground supply of water.
Wellhead Protection Program
An amendment to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in 1986. Initiated to minimize the potential for contamination of public ground water supplies.
wet season
The period of time on an annual cycle in which the majority of rainfall occurs.
An area of land that is regularly wet or flooded, such as a marsh or swamp. Other common names for wetlands are sloughs, ponds, and marshes.
Wild and Scenic River
State- and federal-designated river system; 17 rivers in California including many forks and tributaries, about 1,900 miles of river are designed wild, scenic, or recreational. Authority: 1968 National 1 Temporary water transfers, Section 1728 of the California Water Code, have a duration of one year or less. Long-term water transfers, Section 1735 of the California Water Code, have a duration of more than one year. Wild and Scenic Rivers Net Water Use – Annual natural flows from the designated State and federal Wild and Scenic Rivers system. Context: Water Portfolio
willingness to accept
A comparable concept to willingness to pay is called willingness to accept or willingness to receive, which measures how much an individual who is a seller would accept or receive as payment if he or she could be induced to forgo a good or service. The amount of payment can then be equated to the economic value of the good or service. In short, the economic value to a seller is equal to his or her "willingness to accept."
willingness to pay
(1) The economic value of a good or service to a person who is a buyer is measured by the maximum amount of other things that he or she is willing to give up in order to acquire that good or service cf willingness to accept. (2) Quantifiable financial support for watershed management in which individuals have a willingness to pay for services provided by a well-managed watershed.
Working landscape
An economically and ecologically vital and sustainable landscape where agricultural and other natural resource-based producers generate multiple public benefits while providing for their own and their communities’ economic and social well-being. Context: resources management strategy
The use of plant materials and practices that minimizes landscaping water use; usually native plants; environmentally friendly form of landscaping. The term “xeriscape” was copyrighted by Denver Water in 1981.
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