The Natural Communities dataset is a compilation of 48 publicly available State and federal agency datasets that map vegetation, wetlands, springs, and seeps in California. A working group comprised of DWR, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) reviewed the compiled dataset and conducted a screening process to exclude vegetation and wetland types less likely to be associated with groundwater and retain types commonly associated with groundwater, based on criteria described in Klausmeyer et al., 2018.
Two habitat classes are included in the Natural Communities dataset: (1) wetland features commonly associated with the surface expression of groundwater under natural, unmodified conditions; and (2) vegetation types commonly associated with the sub-surface presence of groundwater (phreatophytes).
The data included in the Natural Communities dataset do not represent DWRs determination of a GDE. However, the Natural Communities dataset can be used by GSAs as a starting point when approaching the task of identifying GDEs within a groundwater basin.
Klausmeyer, K., Howard J., Keeler-Wolf T., Davis-Fadtke K., Hull R., and Lyons A. (2018). Mapping Indicators of Groundwater dependent ecosystems in California
Data and Resources
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Sustainable Groundwater Management Program
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