About the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

In September 2014, Governor Brown signed historic legislation requiring that California’s critical groundwater resources be sustainably managed by local agencies. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) gives local agencies (cities, counties and water districts) powers to sustainably manage groundwater over the long-term, and requires Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) be developed for medium- and high-priority groundwater basins.

New! Community Meetings Scheduled on March 23, March 27 and April 3

Are You In An Affected Groundwater Basin?

There is a tool on the California Department of Water Resources website that can help you determine the basin where your property is located.

Go to https://gis.water.ca.gov/app/gicima/.

Some basic instructions:

  1. On the left, click on the “Boundaries” tab.
  2. Click on “Bulletin 118 Groundwater Basins (2016)”
  3. Type the property address into the search bar on the map.
  4. A dot will appear that identifies the property location.
  5. The name of the basin will also be in the map.

Groundwater Basin Maps

The three basins immediately affected by SGMA are below. Clicking each link will provide a detailed map of the goundwater basin:

Sonoma County Groundwater Basins

What’s Happening in Sonoma County?

In Sonoma County, the State has designated three of the county’s 14 basins and sub-basins as medium-priority: Santa Rosa Plain, Sonoma Valley, and Petaluma. These three basins are required to comply with the Act.

The first step in implementing the new law is to develop Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs). In March 2015, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors asked staff to reach out collaboratively to GSA-eligible agencies and to solicit input from farmers, well-owners, economically disadvantaged communities, businesses, environmental groups and other interested stakeholders.

Santa Rosa Groundwater Meeting

As a follow-up to Board direction, a facilitator conducted a stakeholder assessment and issued a report in September 2015. Working groups comprised of staff from the agencies that are eligible to serve as GSAs in the three basins have been meeting since 2015 to develop recommendations for forming GSAs. Public meetings were held in Fall 2015 and Summer 2016 to inform people about SGMA and to present GSA formation options. The boards and councils of the GSA-eligible agencies have heard presentations and received public comment on staff recommendations.

With the deadline rapidly approaching for GSA formation (June 30, 2017), a final round of community meetings will be held on March 21 (Petaluma Valley), March 27 (Sonoma Valley) and April 3 (Santa Rosa Plain).

The boards and councils of GSA-eligible agencies will be considering the legal agreements for forming GSAs in April and May. A public hearing will be held in each basin in May or June.


SGMA Implementation Timeline

The SGMA provides local governments and stakeholders the time needed to implement the complex law. The chart below includes key milestones:

SGMA timeline

General Information About SGMA

For More Information

If you have additional questions about the SGMA locally, please contact Ann DuBay at ann.dubay@scwa.ca.gov or 707.524.8378.