Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Allison Luengen


Groundwater is an essential water resource, accounting for about 40 percent of supply in California and 80 percent in the Central Coast hydrologic region, but significant monitoring data gaps have limited sustainable management efforts. Twenty-four basins within the Central Coast hydrologic region were identified as critically overdrafted in 2014. For this study, two basins were chosen based on differing sustainability concerns so that a comparative analysis could be performed on the groundwater monitoring methods. I obtained original groundwater elevation data reported (2000-2020) from the various groundwater monitoring organization wells to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) within the Cuyama and Santa Cruz Mid-County groundwater basins. Groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) from these two basins were evaluated to perform a comparative analysis on the management strategies implemented and the monitoring networks in place. Regulation of groundwater is a newly formed legislation in California (Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)). It is expected that monitoring efforts will exhibit a quantitative increase following the enactment of SGMA in 2014, and that each basin will require separate local management provisions to reform data management concerns that affect estimated groundwater supply accuracy. A standard provision method guided by Saito et al. (2021) offers a universal standard protocol to monitoring groundwater resources that each management agency can follow. Results from the GSP and original data analysis highlight the need for a consistent groundwater elevation monitoring effort, which is an integral method in developing and maintaining a sustainable basin.