Groundwater Monitoring

Overview

Given the importance of sustainable groundwater resources in Napa County, long-term, systematic monitoring programs are essential to provide data that allow for improved evaluation of water resources, conditions, and to facilitate effective water resources planning.

Groundwater data availability in Napa County varies widely among the subareas. The bulk of the historical and current groundwater level and quality data is located in the Napa Valley Floor Subareas. Recent efforts have expanded the geographic extent of data collection to other subareas.

In 2018, the Department of Water Resources resumed monitoring efforts at four wells that had been suspended in response to multiple, large wildfires that burned in many areas around Napa County in October 2017. The majority of these sites were privately owned wells volunteered by their owners and monitored by Napa County. Here is a video that highlights the importance of the program and the data collected.

 

The Basin Analysis Report for the Napa Valley Subbasin provides an updated sustainability goal for the Subbasin based on the requirements of SGMA (LSCE, 2016c). The Basin Analysis Report meets the functionally equivalent standard for alternatives to a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) in part by updating sustainability criteria for the Napa Valley Subbasin in conformance to the definitions provided in SGMA. To evaluate the condition of the Subbasin in relation to the sustainability goal, the sustainability criteria include measurable objectives and minimum thresholds developed to avoid the six undesirable results identified in SGMA (LSCE, 2016c). For SGMA purposes a “measurable objective” is a “specific, quantifiable goals for the maintenance or improvement of specified groundwater conditions” (Section 351). SGMA additionally defines a “minimum threshold” as “a numeric value for each sustainability indicator used to define undesirable results” (Section 351).

 

2020 Groundwater Sustainability Indicators
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The measurable objectives established in the Basin Analysis Report for the Napa Valley Subbasin provide a reasonable margin of operational flexibility under adverse conditions where applicable and utilize components such as historical water budgets, seasonal and long-term trends, and periods of drought. Groundwater elevations serve as the proxy for multiple sustainability indicators where reasonable. For representative monitoring sites where, long-term periods of record are not available, as in the case of the dedicated monitoring wells constructed in 2014, which were developed specifically to monitor groundwater-surface water interactions, measurable objectives established at these facilities will be reviewed and reevaluated as appropriate, as the collection of available data for each site expands to better reflect true long-term variability at those locations.

 

Learn more by visiting the Napa County's Groundwater Sustainability Website!

And explore the Groundwater Subarea Maps at this site.