On Friday, May 18, 2018, the California Department of Water Resources released its recommendations for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) reprioritization. Sonoma County figured prominently in DWR’s recommendations with Santa Rosa Plain, Petaluma Valley, and Sonoma Valley Basins increasing from medium to high priority basins. As far as we know, this should have no immediate impact on Groundwater Sustainability Plan development or other GSA activities, as medium and high priority basins are subject to identical requirements and timelines under SGMA. However, we will be meeting with DWR and reviewing their analysis and will keep you apprised as we move forward from here.
In addition, Alexander Valley, Wilson Grove Highlands and Dry Creek were upgraded to medium priority and now must comply with SGMA.
Public comment is open for two months (until July 18th) with final prioritization in mid-October. We will provide additional information as it becomes available and will provide an update at the next Board and Advisory Committee meetings.
Curious whether the new reprioritization affects your property? The California Department of Water Resources developed a tool to help you determine what basin your property is in, and whether that basin has a GSA. To use this tool, click here and type your address into the search bar at the top left of the page.
About the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in Sonoma County
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.
The first step implementing the new law was the creation of local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs). By the state deadline (June 30, 2017), three GSAs were formed in Sonoma County: Santa Rosa Plain, Sonoma Valley, and Petaluma Valley.
Is your organization interested in groundwater activities in Sonoma County? Send an email to email@example.com to set up a presentation at your next meeting to learn more!