In an effort to ensure the sustainable use of California’s groundwater and a water-secure future for the State, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was signed into law in 2014. The SGMA went into effect in 2015.
For the first time in California’s history, the SGMA requires groundwater resources to be sustainably managed by local agencies through the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in basins that are deemed high- or medium-priority by the State of California, Department of Water Resources (DWR).
In such basins, GSAs are required to develop and implement Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). These plans must quantify basin characteristics and supplies and must establish management actions and projects to achieve basin sustainability within 20 years of implementation. The SGMA imposes many new monitoring and reporting requirements, and other procedural and substantive mandates related to groundwater management.