SGMA in the News

NOTICE: Updated groundwater protection area maps and website

January 8, 2020

From the Department of Pesticide Regulation:

The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) added 122 new Ground Water Protection Areas (GWPAs) to 15 counties based on groundwater detections of 3CCR 6800(a)-listed pesticides (atrazine, simazine, bromacil, diuron, prometon, bentazon, or norflurazon).

DPR has completed the update of our website to include the locations of the new GWPAs. Links directly to the Ground Water Protection Area Locations web page and Pesticide Use Regulations web pages are now located on the Groundwater Protection Program home page:

Each county that has GWPAs now has an updated web page that includes new maps, shapefiles, and lists of GWPAs by section:

CalPIP has been updated to include the new GWPAs:

CalAgPermits has also added the new GWPAs to their system for the upcoming permit season.

The newly regulated sections will become effective on January 1, 2020 and will bring the total number of GWPAs in the state to 3,840. The GWPAs were implemented to protect vulnerable areas from groundwater contamination due to agricultural use of specific pesticides that have been detected in groundwater and designated as having the potential to pollute groundwater.

Use of these 3CCR 6800(a)-listed pesticides are restricted in GWPAs and require the implementation of specific management practices that are outlined in the regulations:</a


Keywords: Contamination

NOTICE: Sampling for pesticide residues in California well water – 2018 update

January 8, 2020

From the Department of Pesticide Regulation:

The Department of Pesticide Regulation’s Groundwater Protection Program has posted the annual well sampling report to our website: -> Report WIR2018, Sampling for Pesticide Residues in California Well Water – 2018 Update.

This report summarizes the results of groundwater sampling for pesticide residues from January through December 2017 by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The report also includes United States Geological Survey (USGS) data from 2011 to 2016 that had not been previously reported to DPR. Actions taken by DPR to prevent migration of pesticides to groundwater from nonpoint agricultural sources are also identified.

SGMA in the News

January 8, 2020


Valley land has sunk from too much water pumping. Can Fresno County fix it? The Fresno County Board of Supervisors adopted a plan on Tuesday meant to maintain groundwater and keep users from pumping too much from underground basins.  The supervisors adopted plans for two areas connected to the Delta-Mendota subbasin. Officials throughout the San Joaquin Valley have been required by the state to adopt a plan by the end of the month. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Valley land has sunk from too much water pumping. Can Fresno County fix it? 


Pajaro Valley water project balances ag and saltwater intrusion:  “Facing the continued creep inland of seawater intrusion into irrigation supplies, the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency board has approved expansion of its water service area to include an additional 700 acres of coastal farmlands.  The agency’s board of directors unanimously agreed at Dec. 18 meeting to award a $3.2 million contract to build the new so-called F-Pipeline Project to San Luis Obispo-based Specialty Construction, Inc. After finalizing the project’s environmental impact study update last month, construction is expected to begin as early as late January on the seaward side of San Andreas Road. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here: Pajaro Valley water project balances ag and saltwater intrusion

Paso Robles approves groundwater sustainability plan:  “After almost two years of planning, public outreach and discussion, the City of Paso Robles approved the Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the Paso Robles Water Basin on Dec. 17. The GSP’s completion and approval is a vital step in keeping the power of water management in local hands and not controlled by the State of California.  The City of Paso Robles Groundwater Sustainability Board, comprised of the City Council, passed the GSP in a majority vote of 3-0 with Mayor Steve Martin and Councilmember Maria Garcia absent. … ”  Read more from The Paso Robles Press here: Paso Robles approves groundwater sustainability plan

As groundwater basins ‘rest,’ Santa Barbara looks to reservoirs for future water supplies:  “This winter has started out as a wet one, but even if the rain tapers off, Santa Barbara can meet the water demands of its customers through 2022 with existing supplies, according to city staff.  It’s been more than eight years since Lake Cachuma filled up and spilled, and groundwater basins all over Santa Barbara County are at historically low levels after being heavily pumped during the long drought.  Groundwater well pumps are off to help basins “rest,” and it will take an estimated five years for the basins to recover from the drought, water supply analyst Dakota Corey told the city’s Water Commission at Thursday’s meeting. ... ”  Read more from Noozhawk here: As groundwater basins ‘rest,’ Santa Barbara looks to reservoirs for future water supplies


Los Angeles may store water under an Owens Valley lake drained to fill its faucets:  “Quick shifts in climate have prompted Los Angeles to consider an unlikely place to bank some of its Sierra Nevada snowmelt: beneath dry Owens Lake, which the city drained starting in 1913 to fill the L.A. Aqueduct and supply a thirsty metropolis.  The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has launched studies of ambitious plans to store water in the lake’s underground aquifer so that it could be pumped up in summer months and drought years to create pools of water to limit the dust sweeping across the vast lakebed’s salt flats. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Los Angeles may store water under an Owens Valley lake drained to fill its faucets

Ridgecrest: Zdeba, Kicinski provide GSP update at Dems lunch:  “The topic of water took center stage at the Democratic Club of the High Desert on Saturday as Indian Wells Valley Water District general manager Don Zdeba and board member Ron Kicinski provided some updates.  Zdeba touched on the status of the groundwater sustainability plan and the IWV Groundwater Authority. The GSP is a roadmap that will detail how the IWV basin needs to achieve a sustainable safe yield by 2040, as mandated by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.  “Surface water has been regulated in California for nearly 100 years, but before SGMA came along, groundwater was not managed at all,” Zdeba said. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Ridgecrest: Zdeba, Kicinski provide GSP update at Dems lunch

Category: News Article

ACWA releases technical framework for increasing groundwater replenishment

December 11, 2019

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) has prepared A Technical Framework for Increasing Groundwater Replenishment in response to a growing need to promote groundwater replenishment activities as a strategy to maintain or improve groundwater levels statewide. This framework summarizes the tools and resources and provides a narrative framework and checklist for water managers to consider as they pursue groundwater recharge projects and activities.

Click here to download this document.

For more information on groundwater recharge,
Visit the groundwater recharge page at the Groundwater Exchange.

Category: New reports

Funding a future for water in the San Joaquin Valley

December 11, 2019

From the California Water Institute:

For all of California’s problems with surface and groundwater, the one not receiving the attention it arguably deserves is the problem of funding for new infrastructure, as well as the ongoing maintenance of existing infrastructure, much of which is now old and decaying.  Nationwide, the American Water Works Association estimates that an investment of about $1 trillion in infrastructure is needed by 2035 to make sure that Americans have access to clean drinking water (Thompson 2015).  Just achieving this in California alone would require spending approximately $30 to $160 million more a year on infrastructure, which, along with flood control and ecosystem preservation, are believed to be more poorly funded than water storage infrastructure (Hanak et al. 2014).

Where will the necessary funding come from to develop, upgrade, expand, and refurbish the water infrastructure systems in the San Joaquin Valley?

Read the California Water Institute’s first in a series of reports about funding options and strategies for water infrastructure in the San Joaquin Valley.  This first report, “Funding a Future for Water in the San Joaquin Valley: A Literature Review of Public Funding For Water Infrastructure” is available for review by clicking here. Special thanks to Professor Holyoke and his students in Fresno State’s College of Social Sciences for conducting this initial research effort.  We would also like to thank the generous contributions of our anonymous donor that graciously provided funding for this important work.  Stay tuned for the next reports.

Solutions to regional effort can only be made with regional input, we would like to hear your opinion! Please send any comments and or suggestions to this report to

Click here to download this report.
Category: New reports
Keywords: Funding

UPCOMING EVENTS: Free webinar on streamlined permitting for underground storage; DWR and SWB to host SGMA Workshops in January

December 11, 2019

Free ACWA webinar to highlight new state water board streamlined groundwater permit

In November the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Water Rights announced a new permitting process that provides a streamlined approval approach for diverting and capturing water from high flow events for the purposes of recharging groundwater basins.

The streamlined process is intended to directly assist Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and other local agencies working to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Replenishing groundwater basins is an important management activity that GSAs will need to consider for inclusion on their groundwater sustainability plans and as part of basin sustainability.

ACWA is hosting a free informational webinar with the State Water Resources Control Board to share the new streamlined water rights permitting process for underground storage. The webinar will be held on Dec. 13 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. PST. Interested parties can register here.

DWR and SWRCB to Host SGMA Workshops in January

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) are hosting educational workshops in January for Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) submitting Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) for DWR evaluation. The purpose of these workshops is to discuss the following:

      1. GSP evaluation and assessment process.
      2. DWR and SWRCB interaction during GSP evaluation.
      3. Annual reporting requirements and process.
      4. DWR and SWRCB assistance programs that will support GSP implementation and future GSP updates.

In addition, DWR and SWRCB staff will be available to answer questions and provide web-tool demonstrations. Workshop dates and locations are listed below. These locations were strategically selected to be near groundwater basins with the January 31, 2020, GSP submittal deadline. A condensed version of the workshop content will be presented, and broadcasted via web, at the January 15, 2020, California Water Commission meeting in Sacramento. The workshops are free to attend, but to assist with planning, please RSVP by clicking on the “RSVP” link next to the workshop date.

January 8, 2020, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM – RSVP

    • Paso Robles City Hall – Council Chambers
    • 1000 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA

January 9, 2020, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM – RSVP

    • Clovis Veterans Memorial District—Veterans Room
    • 808 4th St, Clovis, CA 93612

If you have any questions, please email

Category: Announcement

New tools added to the Groundwater Exchange

December 11, 2019


The Department of Pesticide Regulation maintains the well inventory database (WIDB) of wells sampled for pesticides by DPR and other agencies.  This database includes information about the well, the study name, the sampling agency, sample date, analysis date, analyzing laboratory, chemical analyzed, concentration reported, reporting limit, analytical method notes, legal agricultural use determination (point or non-point source determination), and the year the record was included in the database. Testing done for other water parameters (i.e. pH, salt, calcium) is not included in the database.

Click here to access the database.


RAS REALtime Aquifer Services and Dewey Data provides geophysical logs with electrical resistivity profiles that are available in an area including the broader Central Valley.  When a new well is drilled, logs are acquired to identify water bearing locations and geologic parameters.  We have logs from approximately 30,000 wells which have been drilled over periods of drought and flood.  Reviewing these logs can potentially help evaluate larger aquifer parameters.  Some wells also have hydrophysical logs, which indicate the specific flow at different depths in a particular well.  Logs can also indicate saltwater intrusion and other water quality.

Click here for more information.


The Central Valley Water Tracker is an automated system that provides up-to-date and accurate data on surface water distributions in the Central Valley. The tool has information on surface water, habitat types, crop types, and wetlands.

Click here to view this tool.


FASS represent stream systems where the State Water Board has determined that there is insufficient water supply to allow any new water right applications/registrations.  The FASS Web Map Tool provides interactive geospatial mapping of FASS along with information specific to the particular stream system, such as seasonal diversion limitations and relevant court and Board decisions.

Click here to view this tool.

Looking for more tools and data sources?
Click here to view the Directory of Tools and Data at the Groundwater Exchange.

Category: Announcement

DR. MICHAEL KIPARSKY: Can Recharge Net Metering contribute to sustainable groundwater management?

December 11, 2019

Dr. Michael Kiparsky is the founding director of the Wheeler Water Institute within the Center for Law, Energy, and Environment at the UC Berkeley School of Law and has worked at the intersection of the technical and policy aspects of water resources management for 15 years. In this presentation from GRA’s 2019 Western Groundwater Congress, Dr. Kiparsky discussed a pilot project in the Pajaro Valley that is designed to incentivize private landowners to do groundwater recharge.

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

Perspectives on Groundwater Sustainability: Q&A with Susan Harvey, North County Watch, Paso Robles

December 11, 2019

“Q: How did you get involved with sustainable groundwater management issues?

A: I have been a volunteer activist in the county for 20 years. As irrigated agriculture came in and started planting in the region it started to become obvious that we needed to pay attention to how much groundwater there was. In 2005, the County published a study they’d done of the groundwater aquifer and they published a second one in 2009 or 2010, and then a third one. As irrigated agriculture grew and we faced this drought, residents’ wells started to go dry. … ”

Read more from the We All Live Downstream blog here:  Perspectives on Groundwater Sustainability: Q&A with Susan Harvey, North County Watch

SGMA in the news …

December 11, 2019

Groundwater: A firehose of paperwork is pointed at state water officials:  “The onslaught of paperwork will be mind boggling. Eye popping. Elephant choking. Pick your metaphor and it still won’t capture the situation.  When the calendar strikes Jan. 31, 2020, water agencies around the state will have sent hundreds of thousands of pages of technical data, plans and comments meant to shore up groundwater levels in our most overdrafted areas.  Officials at the state Department of Water Resources are expecting about 45 groundwater sustainability plans to be filed by the deadline. They’ll come from 19 water basins bunched mostly in the Central Valley that are considered critically overdrafted per the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. … ”  Read more from SJV Water here: Groundwater: A firehose of paperwork is pointed at state water officials

Trading water: Can water shares help save California’s aquifers? California is by far the United States’ most populous state, as well as its largest agricultural producer. Increasingly, it is also one of the country’s most parched places. But Edgar Terry, a fourth-generation farmer in Ventura County, just outside Los Angeles, thinks he has a key to reversing worsening water stress: establishing tradeable rights to shares of fast-depleting groundwater aquifers. … ” Read more from Reuters here: Trading water: Can water shares help save California’s aquifers?


Sonoma County: Groundwater monitoring wells: a ‘picture’ of underground water connections for groundwater sustainability plans:  Ann DuBay writes, “During the months of October and November, up to  21 groundwater monitoring wells will be drilled near Sonoma County creeks   to provide new information to managers and the public on the link between groundwater and stream flows. Coordination and construction of the wells are a technical service provided by the   California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to Sonoma County’s three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs).  Each well will be about 50 feet deep, and will be designed specifically for measuring water levels throughout the year. … ”  Read more from the Sonoma Gazette here: Sonoma County: Groundwater monitoring wells: a ‘picture’ of underground water connections for groundwater sustainability plans


San Joaquin County: Water in the bank: Coalition of agencies develops ‘historic’ sustainable groundwater plan:  “There’s progress to report in the momentous task of ensuring that San Joaquin County and surrounding communities have enough water to meet anticipated needs for the next 20 years.  Earlier this month, the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Authority — or ESJGWA, comprised of 16 area agencies including cities, counties and water districts — recommended that each of its member agencies adopt a mutually agreed upon Groundwater Sustainability Plan by Jan. 8. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here: Water in the bank: Coalition of agencies develops ‘historic’ sustainable groundwater plan

Some farmers sell off fields ahead of groundwater law:  “Even with his eyes closed, Doug Martin can recognize the sound of every tractor on his Hanford ranch. There’s the big silver work horse, and the 40-year-old Oliver that can still run his backup generator, but the one he looks at with love is a tiny green thing from 1958. “The first time I plowed ground with it, I was seven years old,” he says, recalling how he mishandled the plow and feared he had ruined the fields. He hadn’t; his father simply re-plowed them. “This little tractor did a lot,” he says, laughing. … ”  Read more from KVPR here:  Some farmers sell off fields ahead of groundwater law


Ridgecrest: Water district board discusses GA budget:  “Discussion over groundwater authority finances once again dominated discussion at the Indian Wells Valley Water District board of directors meeting Monday night.  Board member Ron Kicinski provided fellow directors with an update on the IWV Groundwater Authority and its upcoming public workshop Thursday night at Kerr McGee Center. During the update, he noted that finances for the young agency continue to be a concern. … ”  Read more from the Taft Midway Driller here: Ridgecrest: Water district board discusses GA budget

Ridgecrest:  Proposed pump fee raise delayed:  “A proposed pump fee increase to help bolster the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s budget in 2020 fell somewhat flat at the Nov. 21 board meeting.  The recommended fee hike would have elevated the rate from a monthly $30 per-acre foot pumped to $75/acre-foot, according to IWVGA acting general manager Don Zdeba. It would turn the tables on the IWVGA ending 2020 fiscal year with $465,000 in the red to ending in the positive by $209,000. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Proposed pump fee raise delayed

Ridgecrest: Groundwater Sustainability Plan workshop set for December 12:  “The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority will hold a public workshop regarding its draft groundwater sustainability plan on Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. at the Kerr McGee Center, 100 W. California Ave.  A summary of the GSP will be presented before accepting public comments. All interested persons are invited to attend workshop.  The draft GSP is available in its entirety online at The Public Workshop will be video recorded and posted online at “” after the workshop. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Indpendent here: Groundwater Sustainability Plan workshop set for December 12


Golf course, CVWD cooperation key to keeping groundwater control local:  “Everyone knows the proverb about the man who falls off the Empire State Building and half way to the sidewalk below concludes, “so far, so good.” It’s the story we use to describe the most foolish of complacencies. The proverb is much too extreme to describe the Coachella Valley golf community’s relationship with water. Our complacency is not nearly as irrational, but it too is a complacency unsupported by fact or circumstance. … ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here: Golf course, CVWD cooperation key to keeping groundwater control local

Category: News Article