CSAC Bulletin Article

Modifications to Groundwater Basin Boundaries Set Stage for SGMA Implementation

October 20, 2016

This week, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the final 2016 modifications to California’s groundwater basin boundaries. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) initially established the basin boundaries as defined in Bulletin 118, a comprehensive report on California groundwater resources that DWR periodically updates. SGMA also established a process for local agencies to request that DWR modify basin boundaries to assist local agencies in forming the required Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs).

The new basin boundaries will be included in the interim update of Bulletin 118, due out by January 1, 2017. According to the DWR announcement, another basin boundary modification request period may be held in 2018 based on demand from local agencies and/or GSAs. Details regarding the basin boundaries are available here.

Counties should take note in these other important near-term dates on the SGMA timeline:

  • December 31, 2016 –DWR will post a report on Water Available for Replenishment on its website.
  • November 14-17, 2016 – DWR will conduct public meetings for input on its draft topic of Best Management Practices (BMPs).
  • January 1, 2017 – DWR will post BMPs on its website.
  • June 30, 2017 – Date by which local agencies in high- and medium-priority basins must form GSAs that cover the entire basin in order to avoid potential intervention by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Lastly, the CSAC Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee will be receiving a SGMA implementation progress report at their upcoming meeting scheduled during CSAC’s Annual Meeting.


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