NOTICE: DWR Sustainable Groundwater Management Office announces updates for translation services

From the Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Office:

DWR’s Written Translation Service is available to help groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs), or other groups assisting in local SGMA implementation efforts, communicate groundwater management activities with their non-English speaking constituents.

GSAs, or other groups, can submit written notices, letters, forms, presentations, fact sheets, pamphlets, and other materials to DWR for translation into one or more of the following languages: Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.  

A couple updates have been made to the Service:

  • The word limit has increased from 1,500 words to 5,000 words per groundwater basin/subbasin.
  • Applicants can now submit Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint files that include formatting. Please note that content spacing and formatting may be affected through the translation process and should be checked prior to finalization by the applicant.

For details, visit the Written Translation tab on the Assistance and Engagement webpage and to submit a request, fill out the short online application.  

SGMO NEWS: New funding opportunities, Read DWR articles on groundwater level change maps and stream gages, and more …

From the Department of Water Resources, Sustainable Groundwater Management Office:

NEW SGM Grant Program Draft Proposal Solicitation Package: Public Comment Open and Meeting Scheduled

Public comment is open for the draft Proposal Solicitation Package for the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR)  Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant Program. During the first round of funding, $26 million will be available for critically overdrafted basins for projects that will assist with the implementation of groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs). A second round of funding will be available beginning in 2022 and will have approximately $62 million available for projects for high- and medium-priority basins.

Public Webinar Meeting

  • September 3, 2020
  • 10 a.m. to Noon
  • The meeting will be recorded for later viewing.

Click here to register Public Comment Comments can be emailed to Kelley List at SGWP@water.ca.gov. Comments can be mailed to:

Kelley List DWR Financial Assistance Branch Division of Regional Assistance P.O. Box 942836 Sacramento, CA 95814

Public comment ends September 18, 2020. DWR will release the final version and solicit proposals after reviewing submitted comments. For questions, please email SGWP@water.ca.gov.


NEW Federal WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants Offered

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants for Fiscal Year 2021. The matching grants provide funding to irrigation districts, water districts, tribes, states, and other entities with water or power delivery authority. Hydropower and water conservation projects are eligible for funding. Applications are due September 17, 2020. For more information, view the Bureau of Reclamation announcement.


NEW SGMA Watershed Coordinator Grant Program Holds Workshops

The California Department of Conservation will host one-hour workshops to answer questions about the SGMA Watershed Coordinator Grant Program application. The grants fund watershed coordinator positions and projects in high- and medium-priority basins. Special districts, groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs), GSAs with approved alternatives, nonprofit groups, local governments, and tribes may apply. Workshops

  • August 6, 2020, at 2:30 p.m.
  • August 11, 2020, at 1 p.m.

Click here to register.

Grant applications are due September 15, 2020. For questions and workshop registration, email wcp@conservation.ca.gov or call (916) 324-0850.


NEW Read DWR Articles on Groundwater Level Change Maps and Stream Gages

New articles on Seasonal Maps Provide Snapshot of State Groundwater Levels and Stream Gages Help Californians Better Understand Water Resources are available on the DWR website. The projects highlighted in the articles are part of DWR’s technical assistance offered to GSAs implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Additional articles can be viewed on the DWR Updates webpage.


REMINDER Public Meetings Can Be Held Remotely During Pandemic

Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20 encourages elected officials to conduct public meetings by teleconference or other electronic venue during the pandemic. The order temporarily waives requirements in the Bagley-Keene Act and Brown Act as long as specific requirements are met. The order applies to GSAs and others involved in the implementation of SGMA.


REMINDER Written Translation Services Available

DWR’s written translation service is available to help with communication to non-English speaking constituents. Translation services for materials are available in Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. For details, visit the Written Translation tab on the Assistance and Engagement webpage.


REMINDER Submit Your GSP Initial Notification

Before starting a GSP, agencies are required to notify DWR in writing using the SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System. The portal allows edits to be made to previously submitted Initial Notifications, including the ability to withdraw a submittal. For more information, contact the regional coordinators in DWR’s four Regional Offices. For assistance with the system, email monica.reis@water.ca.gov.


Connect with Your Basin Point of Contact

DWR has designated basin points of contact to assist local agencies as they develop and implement their plans and to assist with applications for Technical Support Services and Facilitation Support Services.

For regional inquiries, contact sgmp_rc@water.ca.gov. For general inquiries, contact sgmps@water.ca.gov.

DWR SGMO NEWS: GSP public comment period ending soon; Draft report on drought and water shortage vulnerability released; SVSim beta model released

From the Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Office

GSP Public Comment Period Ending Soon

Public comments on the first set of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) are due May 15, 2020. The next comment period closes June 3, 2020.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) extended public comment periods for submitted GSPs by 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Comment periods vary based on when a plan was posted to the DWR website.

DWR encourages public review and comment on submitted plans which show how local water agencies plan to manage groundwater basins for long-term sustainability. Comments can be posted and viewed online on the DWR SGMA Portal and a SGMA Portal account is not necessary.

Information about how to comment on a plan can be found in fact sheets in English and Spanish.

For questions, email sgmps@water.ca.gov.


Draft Report on Drought and Water Shortage Vulnerability Released

DWR recently released the draft Small Water Suppliers and Rural Communities at Risk of Drought and Water Shortage Vulnerability and Recommendations and Guidance to Address the Planning Needs of these Communities report. The report provides information for GSAs to consider and incorporate into future updates to GSPs and will help inform management decisions as these plans are implemented.

DWR created a new online Water Shortage Risk tool that can be used to explore the relative risk assessment of small water suppliers and rural communities in groundwater basins.

The public comment period ends June 19, 2020. Two webinars will be scheduled to discuss the report recommendations and the Water Shortage Risk tool.

Comments can be submitted online or emailed to DroughtRisk@water.ca.gov.

More information is available on the Countywide Drought and Water Shortage Contingency Plans webpage.


SVSim Beta Model Released

DWR has released the beta version of the Sacramento Valley Groundwater-Surface Water Simulation Model (SVSim) that can be used during GSP development. Instructions for use are included in the Roadmap to Running SVSim document. A calibrated version of SVSim is expected in fall 2020.

For questions or more information, please email Linda Bond at Linda.Bond@water.ca.gov or Chris Bonds at Chris.Bonds@water.ca.gov.


View Video on Draft Water Budget Development Handbook Webinar

The April 21 webinar for the Handbook for Water Budget Development: With or Without Models is now available online. The webinar focuses on challenging water budget topics. The handbook presents existing information on various methods and data sources for developing water budgets and can help in the development of water budgets for any geographic area and time period.

The public comment period for the handbook was extended by 30 days because of the pandemic and closes May 7, 2020. Email comments to cwpcom@water.ca.gov, attention Abdul Khan.

For more information, view Frequently Asked Questions on the Water Budget Handbook or visit the Reports tab on the Data and Tools webpage.


REMINDER Public Meetings Can Be Held Remotely During Pandemic

Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20 encourages elected officials to conduct public meetings by teleconference or other electronic venue during the pandemic. The order temporarily waives requirements in the Bagley-Keene Act and Brown Act as long as specific requirements are met. The order applies to groundwater sustainability agencies and others involved in the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.


REMINDER Written Translation Service Available

DWR’s written translation service is available to help with communication to non-English speaking constituents. Translation services for materials are available in Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

Visit the Written Translation tab on the Assistance and Engagement webpage for details.


REMINDER Submit Your GSP Initial Notification

Before starting a GSP, agencies are required to notify DWR in writing using the SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System. The portal allows edits to be made to previously submitted Initial Notifications, including the ability to withdraw a submittal.

For more information, contact the regional coordinators in DWR’s four Regional Offices. For assistance with the system, email monica.reis@water.ca.gov.


Connect with Your Basin Point of Contact

DWR has designated basin points of contact to assist local agencies as they develop and implement their plans and to assist with applications for Technical Support Services and Facilitation Support Services.

For regional inquiries, contact sgmp_rc@water.ca.gov.

For general inquiries, contact sgmps@water.ca.gov.

Video of water budget webinar now available

A video is available of last week’s webinar on the draft Handbook for Water Budget Development: With or Without Models. The DWR publication provides multiple methods for developing water budgets for any geographic area. The webinar covered ways to use various portions of the handbook. Public comments on the draft are being accepted through Thursday May 7.

DWR WEBINAR: Water Budget Handbook – An Interactive Public Webinar on Challenging Water Budget Topics

On February 7, the California Department of Water Resources released a draft Handbook for Water Budget Development: With or Without Models (Water Budget Handbook), a single-volume, technical reference that systematically presents existing information on various methods and data sources for developing water budgets. The Water Budget Handbook can help in the development of water budgets for any geographic area and time period, and uses modeling and non-modeling approaches. Public comment is now open on the draft document and closes on May 7, 2020. More information about the development of the handbook can be found in the Water Budget Handbook Story Map. A recording of the high-level overview webinar of the Water Budget handbook from March 12th is available for viewing.

Please join us for an interactive public webinar intended to help water budget developers make better use of the Water Budget Handbook. Please take this short survey on water budget development. DWR will the use the results of the survey to tailor the content for the interactive webinar. Please register for the webinar to participate.

The agenda will cover discussion and Q&A of resources and techniques available in the Water Budget Handbook relating to the components or aspects of water budget development that are identified as being the most challenging/important in the survey.

DWR’S SGMO NEWS: DWR operations continue; SGMA data viewer updated with subsidence information; GSP public comment period extended; Update on annual report submittals; and more …

From the Department of Water Resources, Sustainable Groundwater Management Office:

DWR Operations Continue

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is focused on ensuring continued operations while modifying the way we work in the face of the coronavirus to maintain critical functions and protect our staff. DWR staff supporting the Sustainable Groundwater Management Program continue to work and are available to answer questions and provide assistance via email, phone, and web-based meetings.

Fall 2019 Statewide Groundwater Level Change Maps Available

Groundwater level change maps for fall 2019 are available on the DWR website. These maps present a summary of groundwater level trends with multi-year comparisons.

SGMA Data Viewer Updated with Subsidence Information

New subsidence information covering the period of June 2018 to September 2019 has been added to the SGMA Data Viewer under land subsidence. This information can help groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs), water managers and the public implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

For more information and additional SGMA related data and tools, visit DWR’s Groundwater Data and Tools webpage and the California Natural Resources Open Data Platform.

For questions, email sgmps.water.ca.gov.

Public Comment Opens for Draft Upper and Lower San Luis Rey Basin Prioritization

DWR today announced draft Basin Prioritization results for the Upper and Lower San Luis Rey Basins in San Diego County. The prioritization was conducted in response to Senate Bill 779, effective January 1, 2020, which changed the Bulletin 118 basin boundaries of these two groundwater basins. DWR is required to reassess basin prioritization any time Bulletin 118 basin boundaries change.

The Department will hold a 15-day public comment period on the draft Basin Prioritization for these two basins. Email comments to sgmps@water.ca.gov by April 8, 2020.

For more information, visit the SGMA Basin Prioritization webpage or California Natural Resources Agency’s Open Data.

REMINDER: GSP Public Comment Period Extended

Due to ongoing health and safety concerns, DWR is extending its original GSP public comment periods by 30 days. The new deadlines are May 15, 2020, and June 3, 2020.

DWR encourages public comment on recently submitted plans that show how local water agencies plan to manage groundwater basins for long-term sustainability. Comments can be posted online on the DWR SGMA Portal and a SGMA Portal account is not necessary.

Information about how to comment on a plan can be found in fact sheets in English and Spanish.

For questions, email sgmps@water.ca.gov.

Update on Annual Report Submittals

Due to ongoing health and safety concerns, DWR will accept annual reports for the prior water year after the April 1, 2020 deadline from basins with adopted GSPs, approved and pending alternatives to GSPs, and adjudicated areas. The reports can be viewed by the public once they are submitted on the SGMA Portal. The reports provide information on groundwater conditions and management activities for the prior water year.

GSP Annual Reports

Downloadable templates for basin-wide data are available on the GSP Reporting System webpage and must be submitted with the annual report. For questions or more information, email GSPSubmittal@water.ca.gov.

Additional resources are also available:

Alternative to GSP Annual Reports

Alternative Annual Reports will be submitted the same as previous years using the Alternative Reporting System. For questions or more information, email GSPSubmittal@water.ca.gov.

Adjudicated Area Annual Reports

Adjudicated area annual reports will be submitted the same as previous years using the Adjudicated Basins Annual Reporting System. For questions or more information, email Timothy.Ross@water.ca.gov.

Connect with Your Basin Point of Contact

DWR has designated Basin Points of Contact to assist local agencies and GSAs as they develop and implement their plans and to assist with applications for Technical Support Services and Facilitation Support Services.

For regional inquiries, contact sgmp_rc@water.ca.gov.

For general inquiries, contact sgmps@water.ca.gov.

SGMA Implementation: GSP Annual Report Module Now Available on SGMA Portal

From the Department of Water Resources:

The Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Annual Report module is available on the Department of Water Resources’ SGMA Portal. Groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) with adopted GSPs can upload their annual reports, which are due April 1, 2020. Downloadable templates for basinwide data are available on the GSP Reporting System webpage and must be submitted with the GSP Annual Report. Additional resources are also available:

Annual reports, which can be viewed by the public once they are submitted, provide information on groundwater conditions and implementation of the GSP for the prior water year. For questions or more information, please email GSPSubmittal@water.ca.gov.

Draft Handbook for Water Budget Development Released; Webinar scheduled

DWR has released a draft single-volume Handbook for Water Budget Development: With or Without Models, which presents existing information on various methods and data sources for developing water budgets. The Water Budget Handbook can help inform the development of water budgets for any geographic area and time period, using modeling and non-modeling approaches.

The Department of Water Resources will hold a public webinar to provide an overview of the Water Budget Handbook.   The link will be posted to this page when available.  No pre-registration required.

For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions on the Water Budget Handbook.

The comment period is now open on the draft document and closes on April 7, 2020. Email comments to cwpcom@water.ca.gov, attention Abdul Khan.

For information on the Water Budget Handbook visit the Reports tab on the Data and Tools webpage.

DWR’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program Offers $47.75 Million in Competitive Grants

From the Department of Water Resources:

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the final Guidelines and Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program.

The program provides financial assistance for sustainable groundwater planning and implementation projects through a competitive grant solicitation process. Entities that may apply for grants include Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) or partner agencies of GSAs.

The program is primarily funded by Proposition 68 from which $46.25 million is available for GSAs or GSA representatives to develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). At least $1.5 million of additional Prop­osition 1 funds will augment Proposition 68 funding.

Grant applications can be submitted using DWR’s online submittal tool, GRanTS and will be accepted starting at 9 a.m. on September 9, 2019 until 1 p.m. on November 1, 2019.

For more information on document releases, new solicitations, upcoming workshops, and other grant-related announces, subscribe to the SGM Grant Program mailing list.

If you have any questions during the solicitation process, please contact the program at (916) 651-9613 or SGWP@water.ca.gov.

DWR update on Bulletin 74 — California Well Standards

From the Department of Water Resources:

Stakeholder engagement is a critical ingredient for the successful development and implementation of updated well standards. The Bulletin 74 team is committed to an outreach program that is proactive and interactive with information, ideas, and opportunities for two-way exchange. Following the June Kickoff Webinars, we’ve engaged with individuals and groups in a variety of settings and formats. Outreach efforts are ongoing, please reach out if you would like DWR to speak to your group about the well standards update.

Expert Panel

DWR will be forming an expert panel as a technical advisory group to provide input on focused and specific issues given the diverse needs of well standards. The expert panel will include experts in groundwater quality management and protection, well construction and destruction, permitting and environmental health issues, and administration and enforcement of well standards, among others. A primary task of the expert panel will be to review a preliminary draft standards content. The panel is still under development and more information will be provided as details are finalized.

Comments on Existing Standards

We’d like to thank those who have submitted comments on the existing well standards and there is still time to submit ideas. We continue to seek comments on Bulletin 74-81, Bulletin 74-90, and the 1999 GHEWs Draft. We encourage any and all suggestions to be submitted, so please share this request with anyone who may have an interest in well standards and/or groundwater quality protection. Comments can be submitted via the Comment Portal.

Accessibility Updates

DWR is committed to making our website equally accessible for all visitors. Our website is designed and maintained to comply with all applicable accessibility laws. We strive to maintain all information at applicable accessibility levels, but some content, including older documents, streaming video, and archived materials may not be fully accessible as of July 1, 2019. We are working diligently to make that content accessible. As such, some webpage content is being reorganized and updated and you may have noticed recent changes to the Well Standards webpage. If you have difficulty accessing any material on our website, please contact us and we will work to provide the information in an alternative format. Direct your request to accessibility@water.ca.gov or call (916) 653-6192.

Well Standards Update — Timeline