DWR Publishes SGMA Best Management Practices

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Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), DWR is required to publish Best Management Practices (BMPs) on its website by January 1, 2017. On December 27, DWR published the Best Management Practices (BMPs), a series of five documents that provide regulatory clarification, technical guidance, and general examples to assist groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) and inform local agencies and stakeholders.

The Groundwater Sustainability Plan Emergency Regulations define BMPs as the following: “Best management practice” refers to a practice, or combination of practices, that are designed to achieve sustainable groundwater management and have been determined to be technologically and economically effective, practicable, and based on best available science. –GSP Regulations §351(h)

The BMP topics include the following:

BMP 1: Monitoring Protocols, Standards, and Sites

BMP 2: Monitoring Networks and Identification of Data Gaps

BMP 3: Hydrogeological Conceptual Model

BMP 4: Water Budget

BMP 5: Modeling

In addition to the topics addressed in the BMPs, DWR also drafted Guidance Documents for topic areas unique to SGMA, including a preparation checklist for submitting a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) to DWR and a GSP annotated outline.

All available information can be downloaded here: http://water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/bmps.cfm

DWR Releases DRAFT SGMA BMP & Guidance Documents

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DWR has elected to publish two categories of information that can assist Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) with developing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). DWR has developed draft Best Management Practices (BMPs) and draft Guidance Documents addressing the sustainable management of groundwater – all available information can be downloaded here: http://water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/bmps.cfm.

BMPs are intended to provide clarification, guidance, and examples to help GSAs develop the essential elements of a GSP. Draft BMP topics include the following:

Guidance Documents provide suggestions, with supporting graphics, for developing certain GSP components where no establish practice in the water management industry exists. Draft Guidance Documents include the following:

The comment period for BMPs will take place between October 28, 2016, and November 28, 2016. There are several options to provide comments to DWR including:

    • At a Public Meeting – Via Comment Card
    • Via Email – to sgmps@water.ca.gov
    • Mail to – California Department of Water Resources, Attn: Lauren Bisnett, Public Affairs, P.O. Box 942836, Sacramento, CA 94236

It should be noted that BMPs and Guidance Documents do not serve as a substitute for the GSP Regulations or the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.