SGMA in the News

Newman: Groundwater recharge project shows encouraging results

April 1, 2019

“A pilot project banking groundwater in the Newman area is showing positive results.  The project is a joint effort of the Central California Irrigation District and the Del Puerto Water District, said Chris White, CCID general manager.

The site is located on 20 acres of property west of Eastin Road, within the Del Puerto Water District. … ”

Read more from Westside Connect here:  Newman: Groundwater recharge project shows encouraging results

Category: News Article

As Deadline Looms for California’s Badly Overdrafted Groundwater Basins, Kern County Seeks a Balance to Keep Farms Thriving

March 28, 2019

“Groundwater helped make Kern County the king of California agricultural production, with a $7 billion annual array of crops that help feed the nation. That success has come at a price, however, as decades of unchecked groundwater pumping in the county and elsewhere in California have left some aquifers severely depleted.

Now, the county’s water managers have less than a year left to devise a plan that manages and protects groundwater for the long term yet ensures that Kern County’s economy can continue to thrive, even with less water. … ”

Read more from Western Water here:  As Deadline Looms for California’s Badly Overdrafted Groundwater Basins, Kern County Seeks a Balance to Keep Farms Thriving

California City OKs groundwater plan

March 28, 2019

“The City Council ap­proved a regional plan for managing the area’s ground­water resources, which brings a measure of local control and to qualify for state funds for water-re­lated projects.

The Fremont Basin In­te­grated Regional Water Plan has been in the works for at least four years, fill­ing in a hole in water plans in the area, as the sur­rounding groundwater basins already have plans in place. … ”

Read more from the Antelope Valley Press here:  California City OKs groundwater plan

CA WATER LAW SYMPOSIUM: Groundwater adjudication under SGMA

March 27, 2019
Attorney Eric Garner and EDF’s Christina Babbitt discuss adjudication and management under SGMA in a panel discussion moderated by Justice Ron Robie

​The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act explicitly states that nothing in the legislation will alter surface or groundwater rights under the common law.  However, the legislation requires groundwater basins be managed to prevent the “undesirable results” caused by extraction of groundwater.  This begs the question: how will these two seemingly-opposing provisions of the legislation be reconciled?

At the 2019 California Water Law Symposium, Eric Garner, managing partner of Best Best & Krieger, and Christina Babbitt, Program Manager for Groundwater at the Environmental Defense Fund discussed groundwater adjudications in the new age of groundwater management under Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in a panel discussion moderated by the Honorable Ronald Robie.  This panel was organized by students from McGeorge School of Law.

Click here to read this article at Maven’s Notebook.

DWR Offers Technical and Support Services to Help GSAs Implement SGMA

March 27, 2019

From the Department of Water Resources:

The Department of Water Resources provides assistance to groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) to help in the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

The GSA Forum is an example of DWR’s assistance role. DWR hosted the event to provide a platform for GSA members and stakeholders to exchange ideas, establish professional networks and foster successful engagement.

DWR’s assistance role includes:
Technical Services
  • DWR offers statewide data and tool apps on its website for critically important SGMA-related data like groundwater levels, well completion reports and climate change information. This information makes it easy for local agencies to find information needed to develop their GSPs.
  • DWR provides technical assistance by developing statewide datasets, conducting groundwater analyses, and by publishing a variety of SGMA best management practices documents, guidance documents, and technical reports.
  • With the Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program, DWR provided grant funds to local agencies to help develop sustainable groundwater plans and projects.
  • DWR awarded $85.8 million of Proposition 1 funds in 2018, with $16.2 million specifically awarded to fund projects serving Severely Disadvantaged Communities.
  • Proposition 68 extends this planning grant program with $50 million for a round that will begin in Spring 2019.
  • Proposition 68 will also fund $100 million for the Sustainable Groundwater Implementation Grant Program, set for early 2020.  These grants will be awarded to projects and programs that assist local agencies with implementing their GSPs.
  • GSAs may apply to have professional facilitators help with: Meetings, identifying and engaging interested parties, and public outreach. DWR Regional Office staff are also available to help.

Click here to learn more about DWR’s support services.

Video for DWR Groundwater Sustainability Agency Forum Now Available

March 27, 2019

The video recording of the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Forum is now available on the department’s website.

DWR hosted the Forum on March 21, 2019, as part of its assistance role in the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

The Forum brought representatives from GSAs and stakeholders from across the state together to highlight their efforts, facilitate the exchange of ideas, establish professional networks, and foster successful stakeholder engagement.

Click below to view the following:

For questions, email

Category: DWR Updates

How does SGMA affect Glenn County?

March 27, 2019

“A California law that passed in 2014 gave local control to agencies to manage their groundwater.  The Glenn Groundwater Authority – created in 2017 – is an agency that was formed under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act to regulate groundwater at a local level.

“The last thing anybody wants is more regulation, I get that,” said Dave Ceppos, program manager for SGMA, during a public workshop on the law on Thursday. “… What SGMA did was gave over a huge amount of local control.” … ”

Read more from the Glenn County Transcript here:  How does SGMA affect Glenn County?

Category: News Article

From California to Central India: Implementing Water Stewardship at the Local Level

March 24, 2019

“From a young age, most people know the basic requirements of planting: seeds, soil, sunlight and water. Farming and water, specifically freshwater, are intrinsically linked. Agriculture accounts for 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals, according to the World Bank.

In its 2018 Global Responsibility Report, food company General Mills identified water risk as a material issue and pledged to champion the “activation of stewardship plans in its priority watersheds across its global value chain.

Jeff Hanratty, applied sustainability manager for General Mills, spoke with TriplePundit about the company’s efforts to identify and address key water risks related to agricultural production. He began by explaining how the organization created its focus on priority watersheds. … ”

Read more from Triple Pundit here:  From California to Central India: Implementing Water Stewardship at the Local Level

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority discusses, approves revised budget

March 24, 2019

“Discussion and approval of a revised budget and awarding of a $240,000 contract for water marketing consulting services were the main action items for the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board March 21.

A report and discussion on Plan of Action and Milestones, a report on Proposition 1 grant status, and a report on pump fee status and schedule were among other items on the agenda.

“Staff went through and basically reworked the budget from the start,” said Indian Wells Valley Water District General Manager Don Zdeba. … ”

Read more from the Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority discusses, approves revised budget

Category: News Article
Keywords: Funding

The drought’s over? Sure. But our hydrological bank account is still drained, says the LA Times

March 22, 2019

They write,

“California had a wet November, a moist December, an absolutely drenched January and February, and so far a fairly watery March. Los Angeles exceeded its average annual rainfall a month ago, less than halfway into the “water year” (which runs from October through the following September). The Sierra snowpack is at more than 150% of average. The state is soaked.

So how come the U.S. Drought Monitor waited until Wednesday to declare California drought free for the first time in seven years? Hasn’t he been paying attention? And who is that guy, anyway? … ”

Read more from the LA Times here:  The drought’s over? Sure. But our hydrological bank account is still drained

Category: News Article