On Thursday, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) released a new round of assessments of groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) developed by local agencies to meet the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). This week’s release included eight basins, while the first round of assessments, which were released in June, included four basins. 

The new release includes the approval of GSPs for the North and South Yuba Subbasins in Yuba County and the Oxnard Subbasin and Pleasant Valley Basin in Ventura County. In addition, DWR also notified groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) in the Eastern San Joaquin Subbasin, Merced Subbasin, Chowchilla Subbasin, and Westside Subbasin that their GSPs lack specific details and are not yet approved. DWR is notifying these agencies of the deficiencies in their plans, and final determinations will be made in January 2022. The assessments and notification letters can be viewed here on the DWR SGMA Portal. 

To provide additional information and context on these GSP assessments and notification letters, DWR has prepared a press release providing an overview of these assessments and has a GSP Evaluation fact sheet summarizing SGMA’s determination pathways for GSPs. SGMA lays out a process for continuous improvement, gathering information to fill data gaps, updating plans, and promoting science-based adaption to ensure GSAs are on track to meet their basins sustainability goals in 20 years. 

DWR encourages all SGMA interested parties to review the assessments and notification letters, and related materials. For any SGMA-related questions, please email DWR at: sgmps@water.ca.gov. For additional information, contact Sidd Nag, RCRC Legislative Advocate.