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Groundwater Sustainability

In 2014, Governor Brown signed landmark legislation to monitor and regulate groundwater usage in California.  The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) authorizes the establishment of groundwater sustainability agencies to allocate groundwater supplies between users and limit or suspend groundwater extraction within the GSA boundaries.

The GSAs will be responsible for developing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) for high risk basins.  The Department of Water Resources must release the criteria for the GSPs in 2016.

CCM is closely monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act to ensure water rights are maintained and regularly and cost burdens are minimal.

Implementation Deadlines

A Groundwater Sustainability Agency must be established for medium and high priority basins by July 17, 2017.  If a GSA is not established, the State Water Resources Board will assume regulatory authority of that basin.

A GSA must adopt a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for high and medium priority basins by January 31, 2022. Basins that have been designated by DWR as subject to critical conditions of overdraft must adopt a GSP by January 31, 2020. If a GSA fails to adopt a GSP, or if the GSP fails to meet criteria set forth by DWR, the State Water Resources Control Board may adopt an interim plan on behalf of the GSA.