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.

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

In follow-up to Board direction, a facilitator conducted a stakeholder assessment and issued a report in September 2015. Currently, a working group comprised of staff from the agencies that are eligible to serve as GSAs in the three basins are working with the facilitator to develop a recommended process for forming GSAs. Public meetings were held in Fall 2015 to inform people about SGMA and to present GSA formation options, and new workshops will be held in Summer 2016.


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.