SGMA in the News

Tehachapi: ‘It will change the way the city uses our water;’ City Council approves plan to study ways to increase groundwater supply

April 10, 2019

“City officials approved a plan for a new groundwater sustainability project, hoping it will be a solution to increase the supply of groundwater and find a place for excess effluent water coming to the Tehachapi Waste Water Treatment Plant. The benefits will not appear for decades, when the project is complete.

The Tehachapi City Council unanimously approved this second of five phases at its April 1 meeting. … ”

Read more from the Tehachapi News here:  Tehachapi: ‘It will change the way the city uses our water;’ City Council approves plan to study ways to increase groundwater supply

Category: News Article

Water Planners Share SGMA Strategies

April 3, 2019

“Water planners and stakeholders from across the state convened in West Sacramento recently for the Department of Water Resources’ Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Forum to share experiences and ideas as they implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

DWR’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Office hosted the event on March 21, 2019, to assist GSAs as they plan for sustainability and to encourage stakeholder engagement and GSA coordination and collaboration within basins and between adjacent basins. … ”

Read more from DWR News here:  Water Planners Share SGMA Strategies

Category: News Article

New GAMA Program Online Tools for Groundwater Quality Data

April 3, 2019

From the State Water Resources Control Board:

The GAMA program team has made California’s groundwater quality data more easily available to you. This announcement summarizes some recent developments to the GAMA Program website and to GAMA Groundwater Information System.

Updates to the GAMA Groundwater Information System (

  • A capability to filter data based on well screen interval: this filter is up and running, and we are in the process of adding well construction data into the database
  • User-selected “comparison concentration” chemical level(s) tool
  • Ability to download search results in KML format for display in Google Earth
  • Ability to filter data by Groundwater Sustainability Agency boundaries
  • Public water system well screen information download tool

We also have added several tools to help users evaluate groundwater data in real time

  • A groundwater vulnerability tool using relative groundwater age allows the user to explore relative groundwater ages in California groundwater. Areas with relatively younger water indicate recent recharge and potential vulnerability.
  • A web map showing California’s inventory of Salt and Nutrient Management Plans.
  • The “Is My Property Near a 123-TCP Impacted Well?” application allows users to input their address and locate impacted wells within a 2-mile radius. An update to the nitrate tool is also available.
  • Other web-based tools including a source water protection data hub, a trends tool, and a large set of digitized well construction records are coming soon. Stay Tuned!

Visit the GAMA Program website at today!

Keywords: Water Quality

Sonoma: Focus is on wells as groundwater board does its research

April 3, 2019

“Parts of Sonoma Valley, particularly southeast of the city of Sonoma and in the El Verano/Fowler Creek areas, have seen a persistent decline in groundwater levels over the last decade – and it may be expanding. These chronic declines, based on data from the USGS and the Sonoma County Water Agency, indicate that groundwater withdrawals are occurring at a rate exceeding the rate of replenishment within the deeper aquifer zones of southern Sonoma Valley.

Saltwater intrusion is also threatening to compromise groundwater quality at Sonoma’s southernmost tip. … ”

Read more from The Kenwood Press here:  Sonoma: Focus is on wells as groundwater board does its research

Category: News Article

Inside Santa Cruz’s environmentally friendly water recharge

April 2, 2019

“On a quiet industrial side street near 41st Avenue and Soquel Drive, the Santa Cruz Water Department has been quietly pumping millions of gallons of water through temporary PVC piping. Every minute, about 400 gallons flow past pressure gauges and shut-off valves into a 2-foot-high concrete box that marks the top of Beltz Well 12. If a pilot program goes well, this whole system could play a pivotal role in the water security of communities from Aptos to UCSC.

Normally, water is pumping out of this well, not into it. As part of the reversal process, engineers went into the well and removed column piping, which now lies in a pile under a plastic tarp off to the side. Two 35,000-gallon tanks sit empty. … ”

Read more from Good Times Santa Cruz here:  Inside Santa Cruz’s environmentally friendly water recharge

Category: News Article

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.