News Worth Noting: New fact sheets on California Water Fix; New Rules for Groundwater Sustainability Agency Formation; Low cost groundwater sustainability training workshops offered
California Water Fix releases new fact sheets that detail progress, purpose & project improvements
From the California Natural Resources Agency:
Over the last year, the California WaterFix made considerable progress in securing California’s water supplies and improving the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta’s (Delta) ecosystem. In response to comments made on the draft environmental documents, and facing various uncertainties regarding future Delta conditions, the project shifted from a habitat conservation plan to a focused upgrade of the Delta’s primary water conveyance system. The project also underwent additional design changes resulting in reduced impacts on Delta communities and increased efficiency. Project changes were described and analyzed in a recirculated/supplemental environmental document released to the public for review and comment. This graphic timeline chronicles the evolution of California WaterFix over the last year and includes a snapshot of major milestones.
In addition to reflecting on the progress California WaterFix has made and continues to make, it is important to remember the purpose and history of the proposed project. The following informational materials detail the relationship of California WaterFix to the State Water Project and Central Valley Project and demonstrate improvements as compared to previous proposals:
New Rules for Groundwater Sustainability Agency Formation
From the Department of Resources:
Now law, the Senate Bill (SB) 13 and Assembly Bill (AB) 617 amendments to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) modify and clarify some of the rules that local agencies will need to address when forming a groundwater sustainability agency (GSA). The SGMA amendments also change the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) role in reviewing, posting, and tracking GSA formation notices. What’s new:
- COMPLETENESS REVIEW: Prior to SB 13, DWR was responsible for posting GSA formation notices, as they were submitted, within 15 Now, DWR is required to only post “complete” notices. DWR will conduct a completeness review for each GSA formation notice received after January 1, 2016. Additional information related to GSAs, what constitutes a completeness review, and GSA Frequently Asked Questions are available on DWR’s GSA website at http://water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/gsa.cfm. Existing GSAs and their current status are shown on DWR’s GSA Formation Table. The area claimed by a local agency in its GSA formation notice is shown on DWR’s GSA Interactive Map.
- OVERLAPPING GSA BOUNDARIES: SGMA initially addressed overlapping GSAs in Water Code §10723.8(b) – a GSA would only be presumed to be an exclusive GSA provided that no other notice was submitted within 90 days within the area proposed to be managed. SB 13 in Water Code §10723.8(c) further addresses the topic of overlapping GSAs. If multiple local agencies form separate GSAs in the same portion of a basin within a 90-day period, and if any of those GSA formations result in an overlap in the service areas proposed to be managed, then none of the GSAs will become exclusive GSAs. A material change to a posted notice could be required to eliminate the service area overlap, which would initiate a new 90-day period for the modified GSA boundary.
- SERVICE AREA BOUNDARIES: SB 13 added Water Code 10723.8(d), which addresses a local agency’s decision to become a GSA in part of a basin that exceeds its service area boundaries. A local agency could make a decision to manage groundwater outside of its service area, but that agency would not be the exclusive GSA for any portion of the basin beyond the boundaries of its service area. Furthermore, a local agency is not authorized to impose fees or regulatory requirements on activities outside the boundaries of the local agency. DWR will rely upon a local agency to define its service area in its GSA formation notice, which is part of Water Code §10723.8(a).
DWR has revised its GSA Formation Guidelines for local agencies to use after they have decided to become or form a GSA. The guidelines outline the information that must be submitted by a local agency in accordance with the Water Code.
DWR will regularly update its GSA Formation Table to reflect the status of local agencies that have formed GSAs. A GSA will be identified by DWR as an exclusive GSA for the area described in its notice if no conflicting GSA was formed within 90 days. No other GSA formation notice will be posted for that area of the basin unless the exclusive GSA withdraws its notice. If two or more local agencies file GSA formation notices for all or part of the same area of a basin (within the 90-day period), the GSA status will state “Overlap.” The GSA Formation Table will reflect the active 90-day period for a GSA.
Enroll today for Local Government Commission’s Groundwater Sustainability Training
From the Local Government Commission:
With recent legislation going into effect in the new year, you need the background and tools to make informed decisions about sustainable groundwater management. The Local Government Commission is offering workshops for local agency staff to gain a better understanding of groundwater management in their region, impacts of recent legislation, and tools for effective stakeholder engagement.
Time: all workshops are full-day trainings; 8:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Cost: $50 (Lunch and refreshments included)
Regional Dates & Locations:
Southern San Joaquin Valley: Thursday, January 21, 2016
Reedley Community Center; 100 N. East Avenue; Reedley, CA 93654
Northern San Joaquin Valley: Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Robert Cabral Agricultural Center; 2101 E. Earhart Ave., Suite 100; Stockton, CA
Sacramento Valley: Thursday, January 28, 2016
Wheatland Community Center; 915 8th Street; Marysville, CA
Here’s how to register:
This workshop is offered at a highly reduced rate, thanks to financial support from the California Employment Training Panel.
ETP requires a 3-step registration process:
- Have your employer complete the “Enrollment Form“*
- Complete Registration Form (via Survey Monkey)
- Sign up for the Training! (via Eventbrite – be sure to select the right date!)
Get $15 OFF by completing these three steps before January 15th!
Once enrolled, you and your coworkers can attend ANY of our Drought Response and Resilience Trainings! Upcoming topics include:
- Community water conservation/ incentive programs
- Reducing onsite water & energy demand
- Water efficient landscape ordinance (WELO)
- Urban forestry & drought
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About News Worth Noting: News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations. News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms. If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.