CA IRRIGATION INSTITUTE: Groundwater Sustainability Plan development: How is it going on the ground?

A San Joaquin Valley perspective, a Sacramento Valley perspective, a researcher’s perspective and a consultant’s perspective on GSP development

Since the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014, people across the state have been working to implement the legislation.  With Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) formed to manage the groundwater basins that are subject to SGMA, the agencies now turn to the major task at hand: developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan that will meet the requirements of the legislation.

Developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan is a complex and intensive process and the deadline for plan adoption is coming up fast.  Critically-overdrafted basins have less than a year; their Groundwater Sustainability Plans must be adopted by January 31, 2020.  All other GSAs must adopt their plans by January 31, 2022.

So how are GSAs around the state progressing in developing their plans?  At the recent California Irrigation Institute conference, four speakers gave their perspective on plan development.  Seated on the panel was Jerritt Martin, the Deputy General Manager at Central California Irrigation District (CCID); Mary Fahey, Program Manager for the Colusa Groundwater Authority and Water Resources Manager for Colusa County; Tara Moran, Research Associate and Program Lead for Sustainable Groundwater at Stanford’s Water in the West; and Dan Dooley, principal with New Current Water and Land LLC, a strategic consulting firm on water and land-related issues.

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