Jul 18, 2019

California Approves Alternative Groundwater Sustainability Plans

Water agencies submitted multiple plan alternatives to the California Department of Water Resources

Water agencies submitted multiple plan alternatives to the California Department of Water Resources

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) approved nine alternatives to Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) to meet Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requirements.

The DWR approved seven groundwater management plans and two sustainable yield analyses as alternatives. According to the Sierra Sun-Times, one management plan and five yield analyses were not recommended. 

The act requires agencies sustainably manage groundwater basins. According to the Sierra Sun-Times, the need to develop GSPs or submit an alternative for these basins ranked as a medium or high-priority.

One proposed alternative was a groundwater management plan with an expectation of sustainability within 20 years. According to the Sierra Sun-Times, another alternative discussed was basin adjudication or an analysis of basin conditions with sustainable operations. 

“It is clear that a number of local agencies have been addressing groundwater issues in their basins for many years,” said Karla Nemeth, DWR director, according to the Sierra Sun-Times. “Their continued commitment to sustainably manage their basins will help protect California’s groundwater reserves as the state confronts critical water challenges.”

Agencies with alternatives that were not recommended have 30 days to appeal to DWR. However, new information or data cannot be submitted in that period. DWR will evaluate responses and finalize assessments within 60 days of receiving those appeals.

expand_less