Community Water Center

Community-driven water solutions through organizing, education, and advocacy

Community Water Center Comments on Groundwater Sustainability Plans

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, known as SGMA, was passed by the California Legislature and signed by Governor Brown in 2014. The law identifies 127 high and medium priority groundwater basins and requires that these basins be managed sustainably to ensure the long-term reliability of our groundwater resources. To achieve this goal, the act requires every high and medium-priority groundwater basin to do three things:

1) Form Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) responsible for managing and regulating groundwater extraction by June 30, 2017. There can be one GSA per groundwater basin, or various.

2) Develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) that outline local groundwater conditions and establish a clear and achievable path, including projects and management actions, for achieving sustainability. Because the groundwater basins of Kern, Kings, Tulare and Fresno Counties are severely over-pumped, plans for this area must be completed by 2020. Each GSA can write its own GSP, or multiple GSAs can work together on one.

3) Implement GSPs in order to achieve sustainable groundwater levels within twenty years (2040 for the Central Valley). GSAs must show that they are making satisfactory progress towards sustainability throughout this time through annual reports and five-year assessments.

Community Water Center submitted substantive comments in June 2020 regarding several Groundwater Sustainability Plans. The comments and recommendations contained in this letter are provided to the Department of Water Resources in an effort to protect the drinking water sources of the vulnerable, and often underrepresented, groundwater users that CWC works with.

Read the comment letters here:

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