Groundwater Users

​key information


Sustainable groundwater management means water for all beneficial groundwater users.  SGMA specifically calls for the engagement of a diversity of water users. Community members and other interested people need to actively participate in groundwater sustainability planning to ensure their interests are represented. 

​Everyone can be involved in ​the development of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan, so engage and become a voice for your community.  Your involvement will help produce the most robust groundwater plans.

Engaging Your Groundwater Sustainability Agency

SGMA requires ​Groundwater Sustainability Agencies to consider all beneficial users and uses of groundwater in developing their ​Groundwater Sustainability Plans.  
Learn more about how you can become involved.

​Degraded water quality is one of the six undesirable results that GSAs must address.  
Learn more about how to protect drinking water under SGMA by clicking here.

​Groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are plant and animal communities that require groundwater to meet some or all of their water needs. SGMA requires ​Groundwater Sustainability Plans to consider impacts to GDEs in their planning process.
Learn more about ​Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems.

​SGMA grants new tools and authorities granted to ​Groundwater Sustainability Plans to achieve sustainable groundwater management.
Learn more about ​Groundwater Sustainability Agency authorities.

GSAs must submit a Groundwater Sustainability Plan to DWR by Jan. 30, 2020 if the basin is critically overdrafted or Jan. 30, 2022 for all other basins.  
Learn more about developing a ​Groundwater Sustainability Plan and avoiding the six undesirable results central to SGMA.

Farmers and SGMA

The California Farm Bureau Federation has ​outreach materials to help farmers and landowners understand why SGMA is important and to be involved.  ​

​DWR's Ag Water Use Efficiency Program has information on agricultural water management plans, farm gate reporting, and agricultural water measurement.  Learn more about the Agricultural Water Use Efficiency Program

​CDFA's State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) offers grants for irrigation efficiency projects.  Learn more ​about SWEEP.

​On-farm recharge methods show great promise for replenishing depleted groundwater basins.  Learn more about groundwater recharge.

Crops like rice, corn, and alfalfa provide over a million and a half acres of potential habitat when managed for multiple-benefits. Waterbird use of flooded habitats depends primarily on the depth and timing of flooding, and the extent and height of vegetation. Guide to On-farm Recharge and Waterbird Habitat (The Nature Conservancy)

Water markets and trading can ​provide flexibility in managing water supplies.  Lean more about water markets and trading.

Domestic wells and sGMA

Most domestic well owners are likely considered de minimis extractors under SGMA.
For more information on domestic wells and SGMA, click here.

There is no agency regulating water quality from domestic wells, thus domestic well owners are encouraged to test water quality in their well on a regular basis.