Formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) 2015-2017

2015: Stakeholder Issue Assessment Conducted

Local agencies and stakeholders worked with the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) to facilitate groundwater sustainability formation in the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin. To kick this off, CBI conducted a Salinas Valley Groundwater Stakeholder Issue Assessment, which included interviews and surveys with key stakeholders.

The CBI Stakeholder Assessment Report outlined the following keys to success for the GSA formation planning process:

  1. Create a transparent, inclusive process that engages interested stakeholders,
  2. Design a governance structure that balances interests, supports a vibrant economy, manages groundwater sustainability, and meets state SGMA requirements.

2016-2017: Collaborative Work Group

The Collaborative Work Group was formed of stakeholders representing a broad range of interests, and met from March 2016 through April 2017 to develop recommendations on GSA formation in the Salinas Valley, including governance structure, voting, and legal structure. These recommendations resulted in the formation of the Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency in April 2017.

Groundwater Stakeholder Forum

The Stakeholder Forum met three times in 2016 and served as a critical element for interested stakeholders and the public to learn about and provide input on GSA formation in the Salinas Valley. The Collaborative Work Group integrated input received at the Stakeholder Forum into its recommendations on GSA formation. 

Joint Powers Authority and Board of Directors

The Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency Joint Powers Agreement went into effect on December 26, 2016.  The inaugural meeting of the Initial Board of Directors was March 9, 2017.  The Permanent Board of Directors was sworn in on October 12, 2017.

Agency Management

On August 10, 2017, the Agency Board approved the contract with Regional Government Services (RGS) for management services.  On October 12, 2017, the Board unanimously concurred in RGS’ selection of retiring Public Works Director and Interim General Manager Gary Petersen as the contractual SVBGSA General Manager.