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Abstract, Challenges faced when trying to export the Danish Model of groundwater management to California.

California has embarked on a historic journey to achieve groundwater sustainability with the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014. Local agencies are vested with the responsibility for achieving sustainability, with the first step for each agency being the preparation of a groundwater sustainability plan (GSP). A specific legislative requirement is the development of a hydrogeologic conceptual model (GSP Regulation §354.14). Historically the “conceptual model” was often a very general description of subsurface layering but the “conceptual model” required by SGMA is a 3D hydro-stratigraphic model capturing the spatial heterogeneity of the subsurface needed as the input for flow modelling.

The same challenges facing California today were faced by Denmark in the early 1990s when groundwater legislation was passed that required all municipalities to characterize and manage the groundwater systems.

In September 2017 California & Denmark signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on water to promote increasing knowledge sharing and collaboration on areas of mutual interest.

Since 2017 I•GIS has been part of the Danish Water Technology Alliance (WTA) which is a strategic collaboration that involves Denmark sharing knowledge with the US gained through decades of experience within the areas of water and wastewater treatment technology, energy management, torrential rainstorm operations and related issues.

In collaboration with Stanford University three pilot project are being carried out using the “Danish Method” creating precedents for “best practice” in groundwater mapping.

Several challenges are faced during these exercises.  Lack of digitization of well completion reports and accurate location, private ownership of data, lack of geological information, and no history in using geophysical methods in groundwater mapping is a challenge the WTA partners must overcome.

This presentation will explain the challenges we are facing and methods on how we plan to overcome them.

Figure 1: transforming analogue data into a digitized 3D geological model is a challenge faced by                                                                            Californian groundwater authorities these day

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