Ecosystem Preservation


5-10 minute reads

What are GDE’s?

On-Farm Recharge of Annual Crops: Waterbirds Habitat Quick Reference

Instream Flow Program

A brief description of what groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs), with links to more information on specific ecosystems such as wetlands, streams, and springs.

Agriculture contributes over 50% of all waterbird habitat in California. This factsheet is outlines the importance of water birds and guidelines for managing annual crop fields to support waterbirds.

The CDFW Instream Flow Program (IFP) develops instream flows required to maintain healthy conditions for aquatic and riparian species. This site describes what instream flows are and links to further factsheets.

CDFW Groundwater Program

This site describes planning considerations for ensuring preservation of fish and wildlife in California under SGMA, as well as the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife’s role in groundwater management.


15-30 minute reads

Water Rights: Public Trust Resources

California’s Stream Flow Monitoring System is Essential for Water Decision Making

The State Water Board is responsible for the protection of resources, such as fisheries, wildlife, aesthetics, and navigation, which are held in trust for the public. This site summarizes laws related to beneficial use of water and instream flow dedications.

This issue brief presents the importance of monitoring stream flow to preserve native ecosystems in California. It describes the role of data in various water management strategies.

1 hour reads

Instream Flow Studies for the Protection of Public Trust Resources

Learning from California’s Experience with Small Water System Consolidations

The purpose of this report is to inform the Legislature about the complexities and resources involved in completing instream flow studies, and to identify waterbodies that serve as habitat for threatened and endangered species that may benefit from instream flow studies.

Consolidation of small water systems can create economies of scale that improve water access in disadvantaged communities. This report synthesizes a workshop aimed at identifying lessons learned from consolidations and building dialogue among stakeholders.

Greater than 1 hour reads

Mapping Indicators of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems in California: Methods Report

Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Instream Flows: New Tools to Quantify Water Quality Conditions for Returning Adult Chinook Salmon

Here, 48 detailed wetland and vegetation datasets were compiled to generate a digital database of indicators of groundwater dependent ecosystems (iGDEs) in California’s groundwater basins.

A guide to some of the best available science to help agencies, consultants, and stakeholders efficiently incorporate GDEs into Groundwater Sustainability Plans.

This paper examines the effect of implementing a water transaction program to address potential water quality limitations for returning adult fall-run Chinook salmon in a stream system where the agriculture is the dominant land and water use.

Mapping Indicators of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems in California: Methods Report

A guide to mitigating and assessing the effects of projects on Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs). Includes descriptions of major physical and biological characteristics of GDEs.