Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

SGMA provides a statewide framework for local groundwater management in California. Passed in 2014, the landmark legislation requires newly formed groundwater agencies to write and adopt Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) to improve groundwater conditions. Below are some resources to aid in understanding the implications of SGMA. I provide information here regarding: (1) the content of a groundwater sustainability plan, (2) the costs associated with different management strategies for achieving groundwater sustainability, and (3) the implications for agriculture.

Groundwater Sustainability Plans

An annotated outline provided by the CA Department of Water Resources is available here to guide groundwater sustainability agencies (GSA).

Groundwater Exchange is a collaborative online platform to share information related to the implementation of SGMA.

Stakeholders have an opportunity to influence this process. Here’s a sample public comment submitted to the North Kings GSA considering the potential impacts to small farms.

Demand and Supply Management

To download a handout that compares demand management strategies for reducing basin-wide groundwater extraction, click here.

This Global Water Forum article discusses the potential for supply-side (recharge) strategies statewide.

Land Fallowing and Impacts to Agriculture

How will climate change and SGMA shape the agricultural landscape of 2050? Read more here.


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