From the Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Program:

2017 Draft Proposal Solicitation for Groundwater Sustainability Plans and Projects

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is pleased at the turnout for its public meetings this week  to review  its 2017 Draft Proposal Solicitation Package for Groundwater Sustainability Plans and Projects and to receive public comments.  Today’s meeting in Irvine will be the last prior to the close of the public comment period June 19, 2017.

Meeting location Meeting time
Irvine Ranch Water District
15600 Sand Canyon Avenue, Sand Canyon Room
Irvine, CA 92618
June 14, 2017, 1:00 PM

The Sustainable Groundwater Planning (SGWP) grant program is funded by Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond overwhelmingly approved by California voters in 2014.  Proposition 1 authorized the Legislature to appropriate $100 million for competitive grants for development of sustainable groundwater plans and projects, of which $86.3 million is available in fiscal year 2017-18.  The grants are intended to support groundwater management that furthers the goals of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, a historic 2014 law that requires local agencies to bring stressed groundwater basins into sustainable patterns of pumping and recharge.  Groundwater supplies a third or more of California’s water supply.

DWR will solicit proposals to award funding on a competitive basis in two funding categories:  projects that serve severely disadvantaged communities and Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). GSPs have two tiers: Tier 1 is for critically overdrafted basins and Tier 2 is for all other high- and medium- priority basins. The draft materials are available on the SGWP Grant Program webpage.

The public comment period will close June 19, 2017.

Heather Shannon or (916) 651-9212


Facilitation Support Services

DWR’s Facilitation Support Services (FSS) aim to help local agencies work through challenging water management situations. Professional facilitators are sometimes needed to help foster discussions among diverse water management interests and local agencies as they strive to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). From April 2015 to June 2017, DWR’s FSS resources were primarily allocated to assist with Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) formation. After July 1, 2017, DWR will be focusing its available FSS resources on supporting the development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). Under the requirements of SGMA, all beneficial uses and users of groundwater must be considered in the development of GSPs.

The goal of the FSS is to assist local agencies in reaching consensus on potentially contentious topics arising from the diverse beneficial uses and users of groundwater and assisting governance under the newly formed governance structures in an effort to develop GSPs. Priorities of this funding are given to the critically overdrafted basins.

Services Offered through DWR funded Professional Facilitators

  • Stakeholder identification and engagement
  • Meeting facilitation
  • Interest-based negotiation/consensus building
  • Public outreach facilitation

Who is Eligible?

GSAs developing GSPs, or other groups coordinating with the GSAs in developing GSPs, are eligible to apply if they meet all the following obligations,

  • Agree to work in an open, inclusive, and collaborative manner toward the development of a GSP.
  • Support an inclusive process that seeks, promotes, encourages, and welcomes the involvement of all stakeholders and interested parties.
  • Commit to meet regularly and work diligently toward a clear and defined goal.
  • Commit to providing a meeting space that is suitably located and sized.

Applications for FSS will be evaluated on a continuous basis as funding allows.

For more information, or to start a FSS application, contact

Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Formation
As of June 13, 2017:

  • 224 local agencies (including coordinated efforts by a combination of local agencies) have submitted GSA formation notifications.

o   Many local agencies have submitted multiple notifications in multiple basins.

  • The 224 local agencies account for 344 separate areas in 127 basins.
  • Of the 344 separate areas:

o   156 are exclusive GSA areas;

o   88 have a non-overlapped notification within a 90-day period; and

o   100 have overlap to resolve.

  • Of the 127 basins that are partially or completely covered by GSA notifications:

o   32 basins are low or very-low priority.

o   95 basins are medium or high priority and are subject to SGMA requirements.

  • Most of the overlapping GSA notifications are expected to resolve the overlap prior to June 30, 2017.
  • Most counties have messaged to DWR that they will become the GSA in the unmanaged areas of a high- or medium-priority basin if needed, per Water Code Section 10724.

o   Counties that have opted-out of being the presumed GSA for the unmanaged area of a basin are listed here:

o   The State Intervention Compliance Map for areas that are currently considered unmanaged is available on the State Water Board’s website:


Mark Nordberg or (916) 651-9673


State Water Resources Control Board Notice

The State Water Resources Control Board has published the Notice of Proposed Emergency Rulemaking for Implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 that was considered by the State Water Resources Control Board at its May 16, 2017 meeting.  The notice is provided as an attachment to this newsletter.  Additional information is available at

A Newsletter about Funding and Technical Assistance
In line with DWR’s commitment to support Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and stakeholders throughout SGMA implementation, DWR will be providing periodic SGMA Implementation Assistance UpdatesThe Spring 2017 issue of Implementation Assistance Update is available on the DWR website.

Hong Lin  or (916) 653-6353


California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW)Prop 1 Restoration Grant Program
CDFW’s Proposal Solicitation Notice is now open for Fiscal Year 2017-18. GSAs may find  groundwater recharge projects that restore floodplain connectivity and improve fish habitat eligible for funding. For more information visit their Restoration Grant Programs.

Technical Assistance
Providing technical assistance to GSAs will be crucial to enabling their success in sustainably managing their groundwater basins. The goal of the technical assistance program is to comply with requirements in SGMA (10729 and 10733.2) and the GSP regulations (353.2, 354.8, 354.16, and 354.18) for DWR to provide education, data, and tools at both regional and statewide scales to aid GSAs with development and implementation of GSPs and inform water resource planning decisions. DWR’s update on technical assistance can be found on the California Water Commission website .


Steven Springhorn  or (916) 651-9273


Basin Boundary Modification

Pursuant to SGMA, DWR developed regulations for a process to modify Bulletin 118 groundwater basin boundaries. In November 2016, DWR reviewed the requests and finalized the boundary modifications, which are posted on the Basin Modification Boundary web page at


Tentative Schedule

  • July 1, 2017 – Initial Notification period opens – Basin Boundary Modification Request System (BBMRS)

o   This period allows GSAs or local agencies to begin the required meetings and coordination to support modifications.

o   Please reach out to DWR during this period for any assistance with the process, we want to help.

  • January 1, 2018 – Submission Period opens

o   During this 3 month window, GSAs and local agencies can submit the required information to support a Basin Boundary Modification in the BBMRS on the SGMA Portal

  • March 31, 2018 – Submission Period Closes and 30-day Public Comment Period opens

o   All information to support a boundary modification should be submitted to the BBMRS

  • April 30, 2018 – Public Comment Period Closes

o   DWR begins boundary modification requests and public comments

  • Approximately July 2018 – Draft Basin Boundary Modifications released
  • Approximately August 2018 – Final Basin Boundary Modifications released

Tim Godwin or (916) 651-9223

Land Subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley

This free briefing will highlight the array of technologies available for subsidence measurement and monitoring, including information and technical support being provided by DWR.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017, Alice Peters Auditorium (PB 191) in the University Business Center at Fresno State. For more information and registration, visit

SGMA Definitions and Groundwater Glossary
SGMA provided California with a roadmap for sustainably managing our groundwater, and it also came with its own lexicon. Looking for the definition of “Undesirable result” or “De minimis extractor”? It’s right here. Additional important groundwater terms and definitions are included in the Groundwater Information Center’s Groundwater Glossary.

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