Demand management is one method for addressing groundwater overdraft and supporting sustainability of the groundwater supply. The Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (SVBGSA) will determine if and when demand management might be implemented at any of the six subbasins it manages and co-manages. This determination will be done through methods such as stakeholder engagement, deliberate discussion of demand management as a tool, and assessment of its benefits as well as impacts.
In 2022, the SVBGSA retained the services of California State University Sacramento (CSUS), Consensus and Collaboration Program (CCP) to conduct a stakeholder assessment regarding potential future actions regarding demand management approaches. The purpose of the assessment was to provide a neutral analysis of conditions regarding if and how the agency should address demand management.
The Demand Management Assessment Final Report was presented to the SVBGSA and Board and it approved the recommendations contained in March 2023. SVBGSA staff and CSUS Project Manager Dave Ceppos developed a comprehensive work plan for carrying out the recommendations. Recognizing the geographic scale and governance complexity of the Salinas Valley Basin, the process is designed to implement the scope in phases. Between the phases periodic assessments will be conducted and “go/no-go” milestones set up for the Board to determine whether the process will continue and if any modifications are necessary.
Stakeholder assessment and outreach will occur over the next two years and will include:
- Collaborate with SVBGSA Advisory Committee to gather input for process outreach strategy
- Prepare demand management process outreach strategy and plan
- Conduct basin-wide demand management information sessions
- Convene demand management workshops in 180/400 subbasin
- Conduct final series of basin-wide demand management information sessions.