SGMA Timelines Necessary for Ag

Taylor Hillman Drought, Water

SGMA timelines
Environmental groups are wanting to speed up SGMA timelines. Agriculture leaders say that time is needed for producers to plan.

SGMA Timelines Necessary for Ag

Agriculture Needs Time

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) has timelines in place that span two decades for implementation. California Farm Water Coalition Executive Director Mike Wade says that time is needed for agriculture to implement something of this nature. “We hear time and time again from environmental activists and organizations that they want to see the SGMA rules sped up and not have a 20-year implementation plan,” Wade says. “It takes a long time in agriculture to plan for crops, to invest in permanent plantings and long-term irrigation projects. Shorter than a 20-year time period doesn’t give farmers the opportunity to make the right business decisions to stay profitable.”

Engaging with BMP’s

Wade also says growers should pay attention to the best management practices (BMPs) that are tied to SGMA in their areas. He says those will likely be the formal rules in the end. “Best management practices, as part of SGMA, will be adopted at the local level,” Wade says. “They will probably end up being the regulations we have to live by. If you’re not being heard and voicing your opinion on what BMPs work and what don’t, then you’ll have to live what you live with.”