Reaching its first major milestone under the landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), the Department of Water Resources (DWR) today implemented new basin boundary regulations, a key provision of the groundwater law. Today’s action comes well in advance of the January 1, 2016 SGMA deadline, effectively giving local agencies an additional six weeks to prepare their requests for any basin boundary changes. DWR will accept requests from local agencies for basin boundary modifications from January 1, 2016 through March 31, 2016.
“This is a noteworthy accomplishment for DWR and for the future of groundwater management in California,” said DWR Director, Mark Cowin. “SGMA established a roadmap of goals and milestones for the next several years that will eventually lead to sustainable management of groundwater. Today DWR successfully reached the first milestone, and local agencies have the benefit of more time.”
The basin boundary regulations specify the information required to comply with Water Code 10722.2, which outlines the process that local agencies need to follow to request that DWR modify the boundaries of a groundwater basin or subbasin, or the creation of new subbasins. They also identify the methodology and criteria that DWR uses when reviewing and approving the boundary modification requests. Continuing its outreach to local agencies, DWR will hold an instructional webinar on December 17, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. to assist local agencies as they navigate the new regulations. Additional details will be forthcoming at http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/basin_boundaries.cfm
Along with the implementation of the new rules, DWR today also unveiled a new web-based reporting system that allows local agencies to submit basin boundary modification requests and provides public access to view basin boundary modification information. Also new, the Groundwater Basin Boundary Assessment Tool is an interactive map application that allows users to overlay Geographic Information Systems (GIS) layers onto a map of California. Each data layer includes a brief description and a location or source where the user can find additional information. For more information on the California’s Groundwater Programs please visit: http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/index.cfm
This is the fourth year of California’s drought. To learn about the actions the state has taken to manage our water systems and cope with the drought’s impacts, visit Drought.CA.Gov. Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at SaveOurWater.com.
SGMA Funding opportunity for stressed basins …
The Department of Water Resources has $10 million in Proposition 1 funds immediately available to update or develop local ordinances and groundwater plans to facilitate basin-wide sustainable groundwater management. Eligibility is restricted to California counties in a stressed, unadjudicated basin. Click here for more from the Groundwater Act Blog.
Coming up on Wednesday on Maven’s Notebook …
DWR and the State Water Boarddiscuss their roles in implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act at public meeting in Sacramento: The presentations include a first look at what a State Water Board intervention would look like.
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