SGMA in Sonoma County

What’s Happening in Sonoma County?

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

Santa Rosa Groundwater Meeting

To implement SGMA locally, an impartial facilitator conducted a stakeholder assessment and issued a report in September 2015. Working groups comprised of staff from the agencies that were eligible to serve as Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in the three basins began meeting in 2015 to develop recommendations for forming GSAs. Public meetings were held in Fall 2015, Summer 2016, and Spring 2017 to inform people about SGMA, present GSA formation options, and make recommendations. The boards and councils of the GSA-eligible agencies heard presentations and received public comment on staff recommendations.

Based on comments and recommendations, in spring and summer of 2017, the boards and councils of the GSA-eligible agencies approved the creation of joint powers authorities (JPAs) in each basin. The JPAs met in June 2017 and created the Petaluma Valley, Santa Rosa Plain and Sonoma Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agencies. The creation of the GSAs met the first deadline imposed by SGMA. During the next four years, the GSAs will focus on meeting SGMA’s second deadline: The development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans by January 31, 2022.

SGMA Implementation Timeline

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

SGMA timeline

SGMA states that if the local GSAs fail to follow the established timeline, then the State Water Resources Control Board will step in and intervene in local groundwater management. Learn more about state intervention

General Information About SGMA