SGMA in the News

Farmers tap free-market ideas in bid to rescue aquifer

August 6, 2018

From E&E News:

“A debate has raged for decades over the true price of water in the parched West.  Edgar Terry’s answer: Let the market decide.  The farmer is on the cusp of launching the country’s most robust groundwater trading market: cap and trade for water.

“We all deal in markets every day,” Terry said during a recent tour of his vegetable fields. “What makes water any different than oil? If you have oil under your ground, you get to pump it and sell it. And it becomes an asset on the balance sheet. Why can’t water become an asset?”

His timing couldn’t be better. … “

Continue reading at E&E News here.

Category: News Article

Four Ways to Foster Cooperation over Groundwater

August 6, 2018

From the PPIC blog:

“Last summer, some 250 local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) were formed―the first step in meeting the requirements of California’s historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).  Now these agencies face the difficult task of developing and implementing plans to bring their groundwater basins into balance over the next 20 years.

A recent event by the Groundwater Resources Association of California explored groundwater governance, and laid out ways that locals will need to cooperate to manage groundwater for long-term sustainability. Here are four key takeaways. … “

Click here to read at the PPIC Blog.

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley Water District discusses future role with Groundwater Authority

August 2, 2018

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“When the Indian Wells Valley Water District board of directors held its midyear workshop on Tuesday, one topic took center stage: its role in the IWV Groundwater Authority.

The Water District stands poised to take over leadership of the Groundwater Authority board and general manager in January. Leadership rotates among three of the five member agencies, known as “The Big Three” — the City of Ridgecrest, Kern County, and the Water District.

“Hopefully we will have an opportunity to move ahead in the direction we all see as working for the ratepayers and the district,” said board president Ron Kicinski. … “

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent by clicking here.

Category: News Article

As Soquel wastewater treatment plant study end draws near, public plies district with questions

August 2, 2018

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

“Soquel resident Wayne Stanton wants to know how long it will be before he can go back to having lawns and vegetable gardens.

Stanton was one of a handful of community members on Tuesday at Twin Lakes Church to take up Soquel Creek Water District on their offer to comments on and question a draft environmental study for its proposed Pure Water Soquel project. The water district is in the midst of studying potential impacts of building a new treatment plant that would pump purified wastewater into the area’s groundwater basins. The report highlights treatment plant construction noise, plus well pumping during operations, as the project’s only major environmental impact for which mitigation measures cannot counteract. … “

Continue reading at the Santa Cruz Sentinel by clicking here.

Category: News Article
Region: recharge

KCBX Two-way: Groundwater in the Cuyama Valley

August 2, 2018

From KCBX:

“In 2014, state lawmakers passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act or SGMA. It changed everything about how groundwater will be used in the future. But will it work?

Jeremy P. Jacobs is a reporter for E&E News. That’s a non-partisan news service based in Washington DC. Jacobs is one of the news service’s California-based reporters. He recently took a close look at the Cuyama Valley, on the Central Coast. Jacobs wrote about what he found in an article that appeared in Greenwire, a publication of E&E News. His article is part of a series called “When The Wells Run Dry.”

KCBX News spoke with Jacobs about his reporting in the Cuyama Valley, and started by asking him how he got interested in groundwater—and in that particular place. … “

Continue reading at KCBX by clicking here.

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley: Groundwater Authority policy, technical committees meet Thursday

August 1, 2018

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s policy and technical advisory committees meet Thursday at the IWV Water District offices, 500 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. The TAC meets at 1 p.m. and the PAC at 6 p.m.

The PAC will review a technical advisory committee memo on recycled water for any policy-related issues. Recycled water is one of many studies the Groundwater Authority is considering as part of its groundwater sustainability plan, or GSP.

With the IWV basin considered to be in critical overdraft, the GSP must provide a roadmap for sustainability of water pumped from the basin over 20 years from the day it is implemented. The plan must be submitted to the California Department of Water Resources by Jan. 31, 2020, for approval. … “

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent by clicking here.

Category: News Article

Future of Salinas Valley water set for community meetings

July 31, 2018

From the Monterey County Herald:

“With the future of Salinas Valley groundwater supply and usage hanging in the balance, residents of the farming-rich area known as the Salad Bowl of the World will get a chance to weigh in this week on how their water is managed under the state’s Groundwater Sustainability Act.

In a series of community meetings set for this week, the public will be given the opportunity to offer their opinions on the creation of a required groundwater sustainability plan that will govern how the valley’s water users including cities, agricultural interests, and others balance water usage and recharge, and how to pay for it, under the state legislation. … “

Continue reading at the Monterey County Herald by clicking here.

Butte County: Groundwater management boundaries shifting

July 30, 2018

From the Chico Enterprise-Record:

“The local effort to manage the water beneath Butte County continues to be tweaked, with the Board of Supervisors Tuesday backing a change for some planning boundaries.

The changes still have to be approved by the state.

Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, plans have to be prepared to maintain the amount and quality of the water in California’s aquifers. In Butte County’s case, the area of the Sacramento Valley floor is included, but not the foothills. … “

Click here to continue reading at the Chico Enterprise-Record.

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley Water District Committee talks Groundwater Authority

July 29, 2018

From the Ridgecrest Independent:

“The IWV Water District water management committee touched on a number of items Thursday afternoon, including the results from the July 19 IWV Groundwater Authority meeting.

Both the committee members and the public voiced concerns about the costs associated with studies being conducted for the required groundwater sustainability plan.

Resident Judie Decker noted how Stetson Engineers and its president Steve Johnson, the company retained as the Groundwater Authority’s water resources manager, presented at a technical advisory committee a study of the infrastructure on how to collect wastewater from septic systems for treatment. … “

Continue reading at the Ridgecrest Independent by clicking here.

Category: News Article


July 28, 2018

From the Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Program:

Basin Boundary Modifications Submission Period Extended to September

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has extended the Basin Boundary Modifications submission period to September 28, 2018, in response to comments received on the Draft 2018 SGMA Basin Prioritization. The extension will allow additional opportunity for local agencies to consider basin boundary modifications that support and promote sustainable groundwater management.

This extension affects the timeline for finalizing both Basin Boundary Modifications and Final 2018 SGMA Basin Prioritization. The schedule for Basin Prioritization has been updated accordingly.

Additional information is available on the Basin Boundary Modifications webpage. All information to support basin boundary modifications must be submitted on the Basin Boundary Modifications Request System. For more information, contact Dane Mathis at or (559) 230-3354. 

  • Basin Boundary Modifications submission period: Extended to September 28, 2018.
  • Draft 2018 Basin Boundary Modifications: Release expected in November 2018.
  • Final 2018 Basin Boundary Modifications: Release expected in February 2019.

Basin Prioritization Schedule Update

The schedule for Basin Prioritization was updated in response to comments received and as a result of the Basin Boundary Modifications submission period extension. Please be reminded that until the prioritization list is  finalized, the 2014 CASGEM Basin Prioritization continues to define SGMA priority basins.

  • Draft 2018 SGMA Basin Prioritization public comment period: Extended to August 20, 2018.
  • Basins not affected by modification requests: Final 2018 Basin Prioritization release expected in November 2018.
  • Basins affected by modification requests:
    • Draft 2018 Basin Prioritization release expected in February 2019.
    • Draft release will be followed by a 30-day public comment period.
    • Final 2018 Basin Prioritization release expected in May 2019.

During the public comment period, DWR seeks additional data or information that is consistent with the statewide datasets identified in the Basin Prioritization Process and Results Document. Basin prioritization datasets are available online.

Please visit the public comment webpage to submit comments, data, or information. Comments submitted and information uploaded in support of comments will be posted and visible to the public on DWR’s webpage for Draft 2018 Basin Prioritization Public Comments.

Frequently Asked Questions: The 2018 SGMA Basin Prioritization Frequently Asked Questions have been updated.

Flood-Managed Aquifer Recharge White Paper Released

The Department of Water Resources has released two documents detailing flood-managed aquifer recharge (Flood-MAR). A Flood-MAR white paper evaluates the potential of using flood water on farmland and other working landscapes to help recharge groundwater supplies. The DRAFT Research and Data Development Framework identifies ways to advance Flood-MAR and has also been released for public comment. Comments are due by September 20, 2018. Read the DWR Update to learn more.

Spanish Translation of SGMA Documents Now Available

Spanish translations of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan Emergency Regulations Guide and Stakeholder Communication and Engagement guidance document are now available online.

Recorded Webinar Available

The recording of the 2018 SGMA Basin Prioritization Webinar held on May 30, 2018, is available online.

Connect with Your Basin Point-of-Contact

DWR has designated Basin Points-of-Contact to assist local agencies and GSAs as GSPs are developed and implemented and to assist with applications for Technical Support Services and Facilitation Support Services. To determine your Basin Point-of-Contact, please see the following links that provide maps and contact information:

For regional inquiries, please contact

For general inquiries, please contact