CSAC, RCRC Comment on Groundwater Regulations
March 31, 2016
California Counties have a chance to influence how the state will review the Groundwater Sustainability Plans many local jurisdictions will be drafting. CSAC and RCRC filed a joint letter yesterday, hoping to maintain flexibility and clarity in the final regulations from the Department of Water Resources.
In accordance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is in the process of adopting emergency regulations for evaluating and implementing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) and alternatives to GSPs. The deadline is June 1, 2016.
The regulations describe the required plan elements and the criteria that DWR will use to evaluate the plans. Comments on the draft regulations are due on Friday, April 1. CSAC and RCRC submitted a joint comment letter yesterday. The comments offered were based upon the feedback provided by the CSAC and RCRC County SGMA Working Group.
The general tenor of the comments indicate a sentiment that the draft regulations are overly prescriptive and would add unnecessary complexity and increased costs on local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in the development of GSPs. RCRC and CSAC urged DWR to reevaluate the draft regulation and ensure that requirements beyond that which are required in statute are imposed only where there is sufficient justification to do so.
We also recommended that the regulations be revised to reflect DWR’s deference to the judgement and expertise of the local GSA’s absent a reason to do otherwise. The CSAC and RCRC comment letter may be viewed at this link. Details regarding the Draft GSP Emergency Regulations are available on the DWR website.