SGMA in the News

Owens Valley groundwater basin goes low

May 14, 2019

“California’s Department of Water Resources came out with its latest prioritization of state groundwater basins and, tentatively, the Owens Valley basin is now low. Over the short life of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, Owens Valley has gone from medium to high and now low priority.

That prioritization would have had an impact three years ago. Medium and high priority basins are required to form an agency and sustainability plan; low basins are not. The factor in the earlier ratings was water exports by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. LADWP’s portion of the basin is treated as adjudicated and not required to develop a plan. … ”

Read more from the Sierra Wave here:  Owens Valley groundwater basin goes low

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board meets Thursday

May 10, 2019

“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board of directors meets Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Ridgecrest City Council Chambers at Ridgecrest City Hall, 100 W. California Ave.

The board will hear an update from Steve Johnson, president of Stetson Engineers and the Water Resources Manager on the Plan of Action and Milestones, which outlines progress made on the IWVGA’s mandate to create a groundwater sustainability plan for the IWV basin. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board meets Thursday

Category: News Article

LA/Inyo Standing Committee covers a lot of ground

May 9, 2019

“Here are the positive take-aways from Monday’s Standing Committee meeting: Los Angeles’s Green New Deal outlines a pathway for the City to source 70-percent of its water locally by 2035; both members of the Committee, Los Angeles and Inyo County, are open to a second look at changes to the document managing the Lower Owens River Project.

And, finally this one may put an end to rumors, or not, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power isn’t planning on using Owens Valley water to solve Indian Wells’ sustainable water problems. Water spreading in Rose Valley during the heavy 2017 run-off was a one-off. … ”

Read more from the Sierra Wave here:  LA/Inyo Standing Committee covers a lot of ground

Category: News Article

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority PAC talks water modeling

May 9, 2019

“The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority Policy Advisory Committee took a look at three water modeling scenarios currently being run for consideration by the groundwater authority and the Technical Advisory Committee on Thursday.

Specifically, the scenarios represent “straw man” hypothetical ways the GA could potentially meet the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act to form a Groundwater Sustainability Plan and bring the IWV groundwater basin closer to sustainability. … ”

Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority PAC talks water modeling

Category: News Article

DWR SGMA Newsletter: Draft basin prioritization for modified basins, Survey for next GSA Forum, Stakeholder engagement resources, and more …

May 1, 2019

DWR Announces Draft Basin Prioritization for Modified Basins

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced the draft results of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) 2019 Basin Prioritization Phase 2 for the 57 modified basins affected by the 2018 Basin Boundary Modifications. Today’s announcement begins a 30-day public comment period to allow input from the public and local agencies. DWR will also hold a public meeting to explain the results and accept public comment.

Updated Frequently Asked Questions on Basin Prioritization

Answers to frequently asked questions are provided in the Frequently Asked Questions on Basin Prioritization document.

Public Comment

A public comment period on SGMA 2019 Basin Prioritization Phase 2 Draft results for modified basins is open now through May 30, 2019. All public comments received through the process will be reviewed and evaluated.

Submit public comments.

Public Meeting

Public comments can also be provided at the following public meeting:  Draft SGMA Basin Prioritization for Modified Basins Public Meeting

Monday, May 13, 2019, at 1 p.m.
Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
11020 Sun Center Drive, Suite 200
Rancho Cordova, CA

Agenda

Live webcast: On meeting day, click the link and scroll to “DWR Draft Basin Prioritization for Modified Basins Meeting.” You can view live video or listen to live audio.

RSVP: The meeting is free, but please let us know if you will be attending in person so we can have enough materials.

For questions, email sgmps@water.ca.gov.


NEW Take a Survey to Help Plan the Next GSA Forum

DWR hosted a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Forum on March 21, 2019, which brought together water planners and stakeholders from across the state to share experiences and strategies as they implement the SGMA. Based on the level of interest and comments received from attendees, the forum was a beneficial venue for building networks and sharing strategies associated with SGMA implementation. DWR plans to host additional GSA Forums to further communication among SGMA water managers and stakeholders. Please complete the survey so we can use your input to help plan and improve the next GSA Forum:

Take the GSA Forum Survey.


NEW DWR Releases IRWM Implementation Grants Proposal Solicitation Package

DWR released the final Guidelines and Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Implementation Grant Program, which provides funding for projects that help meet the long-term water needs of the state and incorporate integrated regional strategies. Approximately $222.3 million in Proposition 1 grant funding is available for IRWM implementation projects, with $23.6 million designated for projects that provide support to Disadvantaged Communities. GSAs and SGMA stakeholders interested in IRWM Implementation funding should coordinate with their respective IRWM Region. For more information, visit the IRWM Implementation Grant Program page.


NEW State Water Resources Control Board Fact Sheets Available

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced the release of new and updated fact sheets on SGMA which include Probationary Designation and Groundwater Regulation by the State Water Board, Stakeholder Inclusion, State and Regional Water Boards basics, Funding Opportunities for Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, and Beneficial Use and Underground Water Storage Projects. These fact sheets can be found on the SWRCB’s SGMA webpage.


REMINDER DWR’s Guidance Documents Can Help with SGMA Communication and Engagement

SGMA requires GSAs to consider all beneficial uses and users when preparing groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs). DWR has documents that provide clarification, guidance, and examples to help GSAs develop the essential communication and engagement elements of a GSP. These useful publications can be found on the Assistance and Engagement Webpage.

Guidance documents include: Stakeholder Communication and Engagement, Engagement with Tribal Governments, Stakeholder Engagement Requirements by Phase, and Communication and Engagement Plan Outline.


REMINDER Submit Your GSP Initial Notification

Before initiating development of a GSP, GSAs are required to notify DWR in writing. GSAs must submit all applicable GSP initial notification information to DWR using the SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System. The SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System also allows edits to be made to a previously submitted Initial Notification, including the ability to withdraw a submittal.

For more information, please see Frequently Asked Questions on GSP Initial Notification Requirements or contact the Regional Coordinators in DWR’s four Regional Offices.

For assistance with the system, please email monica.reis@water.ca.gov.


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.


California groundwater management, science-policy interfaces, and the legacies of artificial legal distinctions

May 1, 2019

Dave Owen and Michael Kiparsky write,

“One of the many noteworthy features of California’s  Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is that it requires local government agencies to consider and address the effects of groundwater management upon interconnected surface water. That requirement is an important step towards rationalizing California water management, which has long treated groundwater and surface water as separate resources.

The requirement also is part of a larger story about evolving science and policy in a changing world. … ”

Read more from the Legal Planet here: California groundwater management, science-policy interfaces, and the legacies of artificial legal distinctions

Category: Legal Planet
Keywords: Governance

Experts tell how water availability affects land values

May 1, 2019

“One of the most frequently recurring themes of last week’s business conference of California agricultural appraisers was the impact the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, known as SGMA, is having on land values.

A packed audience of rural appraisers and other related professionals attended the three-day conference of the California Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in Sacramento, where they heard a detailed presentation on agricultural land values by appraisers Janie Gatzman and Tiffany Holmes.

“Everything is all about SGMA these days,” said Gatzman, who runs an appraisal business in Oakdale. … ”

Read more from Ag Alert here:  Experts tell how water availability affects land values

Category: News Article

Coachella Valley groundwater levels show`significant increases’

May 1, 2019

“Groundwater levels throughout most of the Coachella Valley have increased significantly over the past decade, according to an annual analysis released today by the local water district.

The Coachella Valley Water District submitted two annual reports for the 2017-18 water year to the California Department of Water Resources, one on the Indio Subbasin and the other on the Mission Creek Subbasin, which make up most of the valley’s aquifer. … ”

Read more from Channel 3 here:  Coachella Valley groundwater levels show`significant increases’

Category: News Article

Seawater Intrusion: Understanding a Growing Threat to Freshwater

April 24, 2019

A crucial source of water for arid regions around the world faces a threat that has remained very difficult to predict or manage, until now. A Stanford-led team of researchers used remote sensing to identify areas of saltwater intrusion, a common cause of drinking water contamination in coastal areas – home to approximately 40 percent of the global population. Their novel solution, published in the Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, could provide valuable insight into aquifer systems, and increase the likelihood of freshwater security worldwide.

“Saltwater intrusion can have huge ecological and economic impacts. Accurately mapping and monitoring where saltwater is in the subsurface is critical for managing freshwater resources in coastal systems. With this new research, we aim to provide water managers with another tool to understand and manage these systems,” said Meredith Goebel, lead author and Environmental Geophysics Ph.D. candidate in Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.

Continue reading at Stanford News here:  Understanding a Growing Threat to Freshwater


California groundwater management, science-policy interfaces, and the legacies of artificial legal distinctions

April 24, 2019

“One of the many noteworthy features of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is that it requires local government agencies to consider and address the effects of groundwater management upon interconnected surface water.

That requirement is an important step towards rationalizing California water management, which has long treated groundwater and surface water as separate resources.  The requirement also is part of a larger story about evolving science and policy in a changing world. … “

Continue reading at the Legal Planet Blog here:  California groundwater management, science-policy interfaces, and the legacies of artificial legal distinctions

Category: Legal Planet