SGMA Introductory Materials
California’s Groundwater and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
A basic fact sheet from the Department of Water Resources. Download here: California’s Groundwater and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA): Understanding the Law
The California Farm Bureau Federation developed this resource for farmers and landowners to help them understand why SGMA is important and how they can be involved. Download here: California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA): Understanding the Law
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ from the Community Water Center covers:
- What does sustainable groundwater management mean?
- Why are the rules changing?
- I have a private well, will I be told how much I can pump?
- Who will develop and implement the new rules?
- What if I live in an area outside of an irrigation district, water district, or city?
- How can water corporations or mutual water companies participate?
- Will this raise my water bill?
- What will happen if we don’t comply with the law?
- How can I find out more about what is happening in my area?
Download the document here: Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: Frequently Asked Questions (English/Espanol)
Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs)
FAQ: Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Frequently Asked Questions
- Are low- and very-low-priority basins subject to the same GSA formation requirements and SGMA timelines as high- and medium-priority basins?
- What are the SGMA requirements if an existing high- or medium-priority basin was reprioritized to low or very-low priority?
- Which local agencies are eligible to be GSAs?
- What role do mutual water companies or water corporations play in GSA formation?
- Upon deciding t o become or form a GSA, what information must a local agency submit to have a complete GSA formation notice?
- When does the decision to become a GSA take effect?
- Must the exclusive local agencies listed in Water Code section 10723 file a GSA formation notice?
- What is an exclusive GSA?
- What is “overlap” and how is it created?
- How is overlap resolved?
- Can a local agency form a GSA for a portion of a basin located outside its boundaries?
- If overlap in a basin is not resolved will the county be the GSA in the disputed area?
- What happens if an entire basin is not covered by a GSA(s) by the statutory deadlines?
- Must a GSA be formed if a local agency wants to prepare and submit an Alternative Plan, as described in Water Code section 10733.6?
- Must a GSA be formed if portions of a basin are not adjudicated?
- Must a local agency exclude federal and tribal lands from its service area when forming a GSA?
- What are the stakeholder outreach responsibilities for local agencies and GSAs?
- When does a GSA get the powers and authorities defined in SGMA?
- What are the GSA formation deadlines for basins that were re-prioritized in 2019?
- Can GSAs in a basin change or restructure after June 30, 2017?
- Once a GSA is formed how can it be modified?
- Will modifications to an exclusive GSA notice create a new 90-day “waiting period” for the revisions to take effect?
Download FAQ sheet here: Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Frequently Asked Questions (DWR)
Actions for Local Agencies to Follow When Deciding to Become, Form, or Modify a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA)
This document discusses the requirements for a local agency to become or form a groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) and to be identified as an exclusive GSA by the Department of Water Resources. This document also discusses the process that should be considered when making modifications to a posted notification to formalize basin governance, adjust GSA boundaries, or withdraw from being a GSA in all or part of a basin. Download the fact sheet here: Actions for Local Agencies to Follow When Deciding to Become, Form, or Modify a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) (DWR)
FAQ: Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, Unmanaged Areas, County Concerns
This FAQ from the State Water Resources Control Board addresses these questions:
- What are the roles of the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Board
in reviewing groundwater sustainability agency notices of intent?
- Can a local agency manage groundwater outside of its jurisdictional boundaries?
- Must the county provide notice if it is accepting its presumed status as the
groundwater sustainability agency for an unmanaged area?
- How can a county prevent an unmanaged area from being subject to reporting of
extractions and payment of fees to the State Water Board if the county cannot
determine which areas will be unmanaged as of July 1, 2017?
- Can a county file a notice to be the GSA for unmanaged areas or opt-out of being
the GSA for unmanaged areas, prior to July 1, 2017?
- Must a local agency become the GSA for a basin if a local agency has submitted an
alternative plan pursuant to Water Code section 10733.6?
- How will the State Water Board respond regarding GSA overlap that occurred prior to
Senate Bill 13 (SB 13) becoming effective?
- Which local agencies are eligible to be GSAs?
- How can a water corporation regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission
or a mutual water company participate in a GSA?
- What happens if the 90-day waiting period to become an exclusive GSA has not
expired by June 30, 2017?
Groundwater Sustainability Plan Evaluation and State Water Board Intervention
Overview of Submittal and Evaluation of Groundwater Sustainability Plans in Critically Overdrafted Basins
This joint fact sheet from the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Board covers timelines, steps in the evaluation process, and agency roles. Download here: Overview of Submittal and Evaluation of Groundwater Sustainability Plans in Critically Overdrafted Basins (DWR)(Espanol)
Frequently Asked Questions on Public Commenting on Groundwater Sustainability Plans
- Who can comment on a GSP?
- How can I comment on a GSP?
- When does the public comment period start?
- Can public comments be submitted after the close of the comment period?
- Where can public comments on a GSP be viewed?
- Will GSAs receive notice when public comments are sent to DWR?
- What will GSAs do with public comments submitted to DWR?
Probationary Designation and Groundwater Regulation by the State Water Board
Probationary Designation and Groundwater Regulation by the State Water Board (State Water Board, 4/11/2019) (Espanol)This fact sheet offers summary information regarding how the state will regulate groundwater use if local management is found to be inadequate under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
FAQ: Groundwater Quality and SGMA
This FAQ sheet from the State Water Board addresses the following questions:
- Why consider water quality?
- How do the authorities granted to GSAs in SGMA relate to water quality?
- Can a GSA set objectives in a GSP that improve water quality in the basin or address water quality issues beyond the minimum requirements of SGMA?
- Does a GSA have authority to collect water quality data from a private domestic well?
- Why should GSAs consider the needs of drinking water systems?
- Do GSAs need a permit from the State Water Board for groundwater management activities related to water quality?
- Do GSAs need to comply with land use plans or coordinate with cities or counties that can regulate land use when addressing water quality degradation?
- Where can a GSA find information on water quality data and existing programs in a specific basin?
- Is there a map of Public Water Systems not meeting water quality standards?
- Can GSAs coordinate with the Regional Water Quality Control Boards on the planning and implementation of SGMA?
- Should a GSA consider coordinating with other water quality regulatory agencies and programs?
- The GSP regulations state that the hydrogeologic conceptual model must describe general water quality in each basin’s principal aquifers. What does “general water quality” mean?
- How might water quality affect a basin’s water budget?
- How should a GSP assess water quality conditions prior to January 1, 2015
- Does a GSA need to address water quality considerations when planning groundwater recharge projects?
- Which water quality constituents should a GSA consider when setting minimum thresholds?
- How might a GSA consider existing water quality regulatory programs when identifying which constituents and concentrations are of concern for the basin and when developing sustainable management criteria?
- Is a GSA required to establish sustainable management criteria for the degradation of water quality in its GSP? Can a GSA defer developing these criteria until a later date (e.g., a five-year update)?
- Can a GSA use water levels as a proxy for minimum thresholds for degradation of water quality?
- How can a GSA align GSP development to take advantage of grant opportunities related to water quality?
Water Quality Considerations for GSAs
This letter from the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Board describes key issues for consideration when developing GSPs and to briefly describe some of the resources that are available to assist in the development and/or implementation of GSPs. Download the letter here: Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board issues for consideration in development of groundwater sustainability plans for Central Coast groundwater basins
Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program
The Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program monitors ambient groundwater quality, provides hydrogeologic technical support to statewide programs, and includes several projects to meet the statutory requirements of the Groundwater Quality Monitoring Act of 2001 (AB 599). Download the fact sheet here: Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program (State Water Board)
Flood Control, Groundwater Recharge, and Water Rights
This fact sheet from the State Water Board covers groundwater recharge and water rights. Download here: Flood Control, Groundwater Recharge, and Water Rights
Accelerating groundwater recharge
This fact sheet from Sustainable Conservation discusses their efforts to expand on-farm recharge. Download here: Acclerating Groundwater Recharge
Guidance in establishing on-farm recharge sites for groundwater basins
This fact sheet from Sustainable Conservation provides support to growers, agencies and policy makers who are considering developing a successful on-farm recharge management program including operational elements, while addressing regional water quality needs. Download here: Guidance in establishing on-farm recharge sites for groundwater basins
Purposes of Use for Underground Storage Projects
This fact sheet from the State Water Board defines beneficial use, discusses extractive vs. non-extractive uses and touches on Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and surface water rights. Download the fact sheet here: Purposes of Use for Underground Storage Projects
Other Fact Sheets and Brochures
SGMA and Groundwater Hydrology
This brochure from the California Farm Bureau Federation covers water budgets, the importance of stakeholder involvement and more. Download here: SGMA and Groundwater Hydrology
dWR's Technical Support Projects
DWR is advancing eight new projects to provide GSAs, stakeholders, and the public with regional and statewide data, tools, and analysis aligned with the technical requirements of the GSP regulations and SGMA.
Below are fact sheets for each project:
- Conduct Airborne Electromagnetic Surveys - Published 2019
- Improve Groundwater Elevation and Quality Monitoring Network - Published 2019
- Statewide Land Use Data Collection - Published 2019
- Improve Subsidence Monitoring Network - Published 2019
- Install and Maintain Stream Gauges - Published 2019
- Maintain and Enhance Statewide Well Completion Reports - Published 2019
- Manage and Report Sustainable Groundwater Information - Published 2019 (Includes planned timeline for projects)
- Enhance and Maintain DWR’s Modeling Tools - Published 2019
These projects are funded by Proposition 68. For information, visit the Prop 68 tab on the Data and Tools webpage.
FAQ: Integrated Hydrologic Modeling and Water Budgets pertaining to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and Groundwater Sustainability Plan Regulations
This FAQ from the Department of Water Resources covers:
1. What integrated hydrologic modeling tools are available from DWR?
2. Are numerical groundwater and surface water models required for GSP development?
3. Are GSAs required to use a DWR model to develop their GSPs?
4. Will DWR use C2VSim to check the water budget of GSAs in the Central Valley, submitted as part of their GSPs? What happens if a GSA’s water budget doesn’t agree with that of C2VSim?
5. Can C2VSim be used to generate a water budget for my GSA area?
6. Does DWR plan to develop a model specific to GSA boundaries?
7. Can C2VSim be adapted by GSAs for their basin?
8. Are GSAs required to submit location specific information for groundwater pumping in the water budgets submitted in their GSP?
9. My GSA has developed our own model. Does DWR intend to compare the water budget from my GSA’s model with DWR’s water budget information?
10. Does my GSA’s water budget need to consider the impacts to adjacent basins?
11. Will DWR use information submitted by GSAs to improve DWR’s water budgets and C2VSim?
Download the FAQ here: Frequently Asked Questions on Integrated Hydrologic Modeling and Water Budgetspertaining to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and Groundwater Sustainability Plan Regulations
Funding Opportunities for Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (4/11/2019) (Espanol) This fact sheet lists some funding opportunities for groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) and other organizations involved with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
More funding opportunities:
This brochure provides information about why is CASGEM important for management of California's groundwater.
This brochure describes a role of a land owner related to the CASGEM program.
This brochure provides information about the CASGEM and describes how the CASGEM works. The contact infor-mation and the timeline for the program are included in the brochure.
This brochure answers questions related to CASGEM Monitoring Entities.
The SBX7 6 flier provides the background for California Groundwater Elevation Monitoring, gives an overview of SBX7 6, states two major deadlines for the program, and lists frequently asked questions.
All information provided by the Groundwater Exchange and the California Water Library is made available to provide immediate access for the convenience of interested persons. While we believe the information to be reliable, human or mechanical error remains a possibility. Therefore, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or correct sequencing of the information. Neither the Groundwater Exchange nor any of the sources of the information shall be responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the use or results obtained from the use of this information.