What is SGMA?
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), effective January 1, 2015, requires the regulation of groundwater for the first time in California’s history and provides new authority to local agencies to implement these requirements. The intent of SGMA is to strengthen local management of specified groundwater basins that are most critical to the state’s water needs by regulating groundwater use.
What is a groundwater basin?
A groundwater basin is an area underlain by permeable materials that can store a significant supply of groundwater to wells. Groundwater supplies 40 to 60% of California’s freshwater needs.
What does sustainable management mean?
Sustainable groundwater management is the use of groundwater that can be maintained without causing undesirable results. Undesirable results are defined in SGMA as any of the following:
• Chronic Lowering of Groundwater Levels
• Reduction of Groundwater Storage
• Degraded Water Quality
• Land Subsidence
• Depletions of Interconnected Surface Water
• Seawater Intrusion
What does a Groundwater Sustainability Agency do?
The primary purpose of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) is to develop and implement a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) to achieve long-term groundwater sustainability. GSAs are empowered to implement projects including those related to data collection to understand basin characteristics and community needs, register and meter domestic and agricultural wells, mitigate against overdrafts, implement rules and regulations, and assess fees.
What is a Groundwater Sustainability Plan?
A GSP is the state-mandated plan that establishes the framework for sustainably managing and preserving the beneficial uses of groundwater resource today and into the future. Each GSP will contain an assessment of the basin’s conditions and will include action items to implement the necessary monitoring, management, and enforcement to achieve sustainability.
What authority do GSAs have?
Under SGMA, GSAs are empowered to:
Adopt rules, regulations, ordinances, and resolutions
Monitor compliance and enforcement
Require registration of groundwater extraction facilities (wells)
Require appropriate measurement devices and reporting of extractions
Investigate, appropriate, and acquire surface water rights, groundwater, and groundwater rights into the GSA;
Acquire or augment local water supplies to enhance the sustainability of the groundwater basin
Propose and collect fees
Adopt and fund a groundwater sustainability plan according to existing laws
How will the implementation of SGMA affect residents in the Yucaipa Subbasin?
Through the successful implementation of SGMA, residents can be assured that a reliable source of water will be available into the future.
Residents who have domestic wells may be asked to supply information about your well or wells, how much water you produce, and what your water quality is like. This information will help the Yucaipa SGMA understand groundwater conditions in the basin, and to ensure that you and other groundwater users like you continue to benefit from this precious resource for years to come.