Ten More Groundwater Sustainability Plans Approved by DWR

Brian German Agri-Business, Water

Groundwater sustainability plans for high and medium-priority groundwater basins have received determinations from the Department of Water Resources (DWR). The final round of reviews required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was announced for 17 submitted plans. Deputy Director of DWR’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Office, Paul Gosselin noted that the agency has met the required deadline for review of initial plans.

Groundwater Sustainability Plans

“It is remarkable,” said Gosselin. “For the first time under SGMA, groundwater basins that make up 98 percent of the state’s groundwater use are being actively managed by local agencies with locally developed groundwater sustainability plans that have undergone initial review.”

DWR has approved ten of the 17 plans that were pending review. Plans were approved for the Anderson, Enterprise, San Antonio Creek Valley, Santa Clara River Valley East, Santa Ynez River Valley, Solano, Temescal, Tracy, Upper San Luis Rey Valley, and Yucaipa basins. Groundwater sustainability agencies that had plans deemed incomplete by DWR will have 180 to make revisions and resubmit. DWR deemed basin plans for Butte Valley, Fillmore, Modesto, Pleasant Valley (Basin No. 5-022.10), Piru, Tulelake, and Turlock as incomplete.

Groundwater sustainability plans address a number of pressing issues including overdraft which can contribute to problems with land subsidence and groundwater depletion. DWR will be reviewing the resubmitted plans of seven basins that were deemed incomplete. Possible state intervention could be necessary if the resubmitted plans are not approved by DWR. A consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board would take place to determine the next steps.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West