Formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies

SGMA meetingThe Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA) outlines a process and procedures for achieving groundwater sustainability. For those agencies that will be responsible for its implementation, the requirements and objectives of SGMA are significant and will take decades to accomplish.

The first step for local agencies is the formation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) or Agencies (GSAs). Formation of a GSA will likely take up to two years and must be accomplished by the SGMA mandated deadline of June 30, 2017. GSAs are given both the mandate and broad array of tools to regulate groundwater in a groundwater basin or subbasin. Those tools include the ability to limit extractions and to impose fees related to groundwater use (see below regarding GSP development). Eligible GSA formation agencies in a basin or subbasin include irrigation districts, cities, counties, flood and water storage districts, and community service and public utility districts.

The second step in SGMA implementation is the development of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) or Plans (GSPs) by the basin’s GSA(s). Developing a GSP will be a significant and costly undertaking that will likely take two to three years. GSPs must include measurable objectives, as well as interim milestones to achieve the sustainability goal for a basin. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) are responsible for developing several regulations and guidance documents that will further advise local agencies on how GSAs may develop and implement GSPs. These include but are not limited to:

While every effort is being made to retain local control of SGMA implementation, the SWRCB may intervene in a basin or subbasin if local agencies do not form GSAs before the deadline of June 30, 2017 and/or fail to adopt and implement an acceptable GSP by January 31, 2020.

Use the map below to gain a better understanding of various ongoing GSA formation activities in sub-areas of the Kings River region. Clicking on a GSA sub-area will link you to related contact information and webpages (if available) for each. At the present time these sub-areas are in various stages of exploring formation options and few have filed GSA formation notification with the Department of Water Resources. For areas that appear without an overlying GSA formation effort, please contact us or your county’s planning department for more information.

Map Last Updated July 17, 2017 | Downloadable PDF Maps Available Here

DISCLAIMER: Some boundary errors may exist within the interactive map above.