In 2014, Governor Brown signed into law the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, also known as SGMA. The Act took effect in 2015. It requires for the first time in state history that groundwater resources be sustainably managed by local agencies through the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in basin that are deemed high-priority or medium-priority by the Department of Water Resources. In such basins, GSAs are required to develop and implement Groundwater Sustainability Plans. These plans must quantify basin characteristics and supplies, and must establish management actions and projects to achieve basin sustainability within 20 years of implementation. SGMA imposes many new monitoring and reporting requirements, and other procedural and substantive mandates related to groundwater management.
Riverside-Arlington Subbasin On April 19, 2017 Western's Board of Directors held a public hearing and voted to become the GSA over the portion of the Riverside-Arlington Subbasin that is not adjudicated and has been designated as high-priority by the Department of Water Resources (DWR). Western submitted this request to DWR and on August 18, 2017 and, after the required 90 day period, Western was deemed the GSA over this area. Over the next four years, Western staff will work with members of the public and other stakeholders in the area to develop the Groundwater Sustainability Plan.