Groundwater sustainability plans for critically over-drafted basins were submitted in January 2020. DWR has two years from the date of submission to evaluate them.

The Measure

The appropriate agencies will carry out their responsibilities established by the SGMA. This measure will track administrative actions until Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) begin to be completed in 2020.

  • Expectations

    State or local agencies will carry out their responsibilities under SGMA and will meet implementation deadlines.

  • Performance Metrics

    • Provide a more reliable water supply for California
    • Complete the actions required by SGMA
    • This will be evaluated annually until GSPs are complete.

Completion of SGMA Actions

The 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) addresses chronic groundwater overdraft throughout California. Groundwater overdraft occurs in regions that also rely upon water from the Delta watershed. Actions to ensure long-term sustainability of the groundwater are also essential to local self-reliance and improved reliability in regional water supply.

Local agencies, the Department of Water Resources (DWR), and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) will and have been carrying out their responsibilities established by SGMA.  SGMA mandates that Groundwater Sustainability Plans are adopted by local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in 2020 and 2022. This performance measure tracks the implementation of SGMA and adoption of groundwater sustainability goals in the timeline below.

 

  • 2015
    • Department of Water Resources

      DWR releases initial basin prioritization

      Deadline: 2015-01-31

      Status: Completed

  • 2016
    • Department of Water Resources

      Adjudicated basins submit final judgment to DWR and begin submitting annual reports to DWR.

      Deadline: 2016-04-01

      Status: Completed

    • Department of Water Resources

      DWR adopts regulations for evaluating and implementing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) and coordination agreements and DWR adopts regulations for evaluating alternatives to GSPs

      Deadline: 2016-06-01

      Status: Completed

    • Department of Water Resources

      DWR identifies basins subject to critical conditions of overdraft.

      Deadline: 2016-12-31

      Status: Completed

    • Department of Water Resources

      DWR publishes report on water available for groundwater replenishment.

      Deadline: 2016-12-31

      Status: Completed

  • 2017
    • Department of Water Resources

      DWR publishes best management practices for sustainable management of groundwater.

      Deadline: 2017-01-01

      Status: Completed

    • Department of Water Resources

      Alternative to a GSP due to DWR

      Deadline: 2017-01-01

      Status: Completed

    • State Water Resources Control Board

      Board holds hearings to designate basins as probationary if a GSA or approved alternative is not established.

      Deadline: 2017-06-30

      Status: Completed

    • Department of Water Resources

      Establish GSAs (or equivalent) for all high and medium priority basins.

      Deadline: 2017-06-01

      Status: Completed

    • State Water Resources Control Board

      Board adopts a fee schedule for state backstop related costs.

      Deadline: 2017-07-01

      Status: Completed

  • 2018
    • State Water Resources Control Board

      Board begins to develop interim plans if a local agency has not remedied the deficiency that resulted in the “probationary basin” status. The Board consults with DWR. Water Code § 10735.4(c) Probationary basins may petition for un-designation. The Board consults with DWR to determine if the petition is complete. The Board acts on the petition within 90 days of submittal.

      Deadline: 2018-01-01

      Status: Completed

  • 2020
    • Department of Water Resources

      Groundwater sustainability plans for critically over-drafted basins were submitted in January of 2020. DWR has two years from the date of submission to evaluate them.

      Deadline: 2020-01-01

      Status: Completed

  • 2021
    • State Water Resources Control Board

      Board begins developing interim plans for critically overdrafted probationary basins one year after the probationary designation, if the Board, in consultation with the DWR, determines that a local agency has not remedied the deficiency that resulted in the probationary status.

      Deadline: 2021-01-31

      Status: In Progress - On Schedule

  • 2022
    • State Water Resources Control Board

      Board holds hearings to designate high and medium priority basins as probationary if DWR, in consultation with the Board, determines that the GSP is inadequate or will not achieve sustainability.

      Deadline: 2022-01-31

      Status: In Progress - On Schedule

    • Department of Water Resources

      All other high and medium priority basins must be managed under a GSP. Water Code § 10720.7(a)(2) On April 1 following GSP adoption and annually thereafter, GSAs provide report on progress towards sustainability to DWR.

      Deadline: 2022-01-31

      Status: In Progress - On Schedule

    • Department of Water Resources

      SGMA directs DWR to evaluate and assess all GSPs to determine whether the plans are adequate, based on best available science and information, and whether implementation of the plans is reasonably likely to achieve the basin’s sustainability goal. DWR should complete the evaluation of groundwater sustainability plans for critically over drafted basins by 2022.

      Deadline: 2022-01-31

      Status: In Progress - On Schedule

    • Department of Water Resources

      Following submission of a GSP, GSAs are required to provide Annual Reports on April 1st each year, and provide 5-year updates to the GSP.

      Deadline: 2022-11-21

      Status: In Progress - On Schedule

  • 2025
    • State Water Resources Control Board

      Board designates basins as probationary if DWR, in consultation with the Board, determines that the GSP is inadequate or not being implemented correctly, and the Board determines that the basin is in a condition where groundwater extractions result in significant depletion of interconnected surface waters.

      Deadline: 2025-01-31

      Status: In Progress - On Schedule

Legend

Status completed iconCompleted

Status in progress iconIn Progress

Project Behind ScheduleProject Behind Schedule

 

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA) includes a key principal of solving problems on the local level. SGMA mandates: “to manage groundwater basins through the actions of local governmental agencies to the greatest extent feasible, while minimizing state intervention to only when necessary to ensure that local agencies manage groundwater in a sustainable manner.”

Groundwater Sustainability Agencies are required to adopt sustainability goals for the maximum amount of groundwater withdrawn annually without causing an undesirable result. Undesirable results of chronic groundwater overdraft include: chronic lowering of groundwater levels, reduction in groundwater storage, seawater intrusion, degradation of water quality, land subsidence, impacts on beneficial uses of surface water. For each of the undesirable results, Groundwater Sustainability Plans are required to define sustainable management criteria that:

  1. Minimum thresholds: numeric values to define undesirable results
  2. Measurable objectives: specific, quantitative goals to achieve sustainability for the basin by 2040
  3. Interim milestones: incremental 5-year targets leading to achievement of the measurable objective.

GSAs are also required to establish monitoring programs to evaluate these metrics and implement projects and management actions, as appropriate, to meet their locally define sustainability goals.

Each chapter of the Delta plan includes strategies to achieve the goals of the plan. These strategies are general guidance on achieving the objective laid out in the plan and in the Delta Reform Act of 2009. Associated with these strategies are recommendations. The recommendations describe more specific and implementable actions to support the achievement of Delta Plan strategies. Strategies and recommendations may also have associated performance measures. Delta Plan performance measures track progress in achieving desired outcomes for the Delta Plan. Below are the strategies and recommendations associated with this performance measure.

Delta Plan Strategy
  • Improve groundwater management

Delta Plan Recommendations
  • Update Bulletin 118, California’s Groundwater Plan
  • Implement Groundwater Management Plans in Areas that Receive Water from the Delta Watershed
  • Recover and Manage Critically Overdrafted Groundwater Basins

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