Past Groundwater Management

Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Program

The current trend in declining groundwater levels were recognized in a study completed in 2006 by the U.S. Geological Survey, which was funded by the Sonoma County Water Agency. Using data and information from this study, the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Program (GMP) and Plan were developed by the Basin Advisory Panel.

The Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Plan (2007) aimed to locally and voluntarily manage, protect, and enhance groundwater resources for all beneficial uses, in a sustainable, environmentally sound, economical, and equitable manner for generations to come. This plan identified a range of water management options including groundwater recharge, groundwater banking, increased conservation, and greater use of recycled water to help balance water demand with water supply. Modeling indicated that all four methods must be implemented in order to achieve a sustainable water supply for Sonoma Valley. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the Basin Advisory Panel, groundwater levels continue to decline. The GMP identified a range of voluntary water management actions to sustain resources for future generations, including enhancing groundwater recharge and increasing water conservation and recycled water use. The GMP area, referred to as the Sonoma Valley, is the Sonoma Creek Watershed.

The new Sonoma Valley GSA will take the place of the Basin Advisory Panel, which held its last meeting in August 2016. The Basin Advisory Panel provided thoughtful insights and recommendations to the new GSA.