View the Salinas Valley GSA Overview Fact Sheet created February 2017.
What is the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)?
In September 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown enacted legislation that sets forth a path to create local agencies to sustainably manage the state's groundwater resources. This initiative, known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, shifts planning and management of groundwater resources to newly formed Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, made up of local agencies (cities, counties, water districts) and requires development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans by 2020 for priority basins. The state designated Salinas Valley as a priority basin.
What Is a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP)?
The GSP and Alternative development and implementation process can be divided into four general phases as illustrated above.
- Phase I - GSA Formation and Coordination involves realignment of basins (according to basin boundary modifications where applicable), and establishment of basin governance through formation of GSAs.
Phase 2 - GSP Preparation and Submission involves the development and adoption of GSPs by GSAs. Phases 1 and 2 are locally-driven activities to be completed in adherence to the statutory milestones required by SGMA.
Phase 3 - GSP Review and Evaluation is a DWR-driven activity whereby DWR staff will review and evaluate GSPs to determine adequacy.
Phase 4 - Implementation and Reporting is locally-driven and includes development of annual reports and GSP assessments completed every five years during implementation of the GSPs.
How does a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) form?
- What is a GSA and Who Decides [English | Spanish]
- Process for Forming a GSA in Salinas Valley [English | Spanish]
The first step in SGMA implementation was to form a Groundwater Sustainability Agency by June 30, 2017. Under SGMA, an agency or combination of local agencies may form a GSA by using any of the following methods: a joint powers authority (JPA) agreement, or a memorandum of agreement (MOU) or other legal agreement.
From 2015 to 2017, stakeholders in the Salinas Valley worked collaboratively to develop recommendations on formation of the Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (SVBGSA) as a joint powers authority.
What entities are eligible to serve as a GSA?
SGMA provides that a local agency, a combination of local agencies, or a county may establish a GSA. Specifically, a local agency is defined as any local public entity that has water supply, water management, or land use responsibilities within a groundwater basin. In short, any local agency or combination of local agencies overlying a groundwater basin can elect to be a GSA. A water corporation regulated by the Public Utilities Commission or a mutual water company may participate in a GSA through a memorandum of agreement or other legal agreement. Non-agency parties can be incorporated into the decision-making process for the GSA through advisory bodies or by creating special provisions in the legal formation.