ANNOUNCEMENT: Sustainable Groundwater Management Program Updates: New draft BMPs, guidance documents for engagement and communication released

From the Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Program:

New Draft Best Management Practice Released

DWR has released the Draft Sustainable Management Criteria Best Management Practice (BMP). This BMP offers guidance on developing the four sustainable management criteria identified in the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Regulations: minimum thresholds, undesirable results, measurable objectives, and the sustainability goal.

DWR seeks public comments on the Draft Sustainable Management Criteria BMP.  Please send comments via Email:  Subject: Comments on Draft SMC BMP
or by U.S. Postal Service to:
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, California 94236-0001
Attn: Lauren Hersh, Rm 201

The deadline for submitting public comments is by 5 pm Monday, January 8, 2018.

DWR will hold three public meetings to discuss the Draft Sustainable Management Criteria BMP. Dates and times for those meetings will be posted to DWR’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Program web site once they are finalized.

Deadline to apply for Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Funding
closes November 13, 2017; Deadline extended until December 1, 2017 in counties with emergency proclamations

The SGWP Grant Program provides funds for projects that develop and implement sustainable groundwater planning and projects consistent with groundwater planning requirements outlined in Division 6 of the California Water Code, commencing at §10000.

The final 2017 Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) and Projects Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for the Sustainable Groundwater Planning (SGWP) Grant Program, funded by the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1) makes available a total of $86.3 million, with at least $10 million made available to projects that serve Severely Disadvantaged Communities and the remaining amount for planning, development, or preparation of Groundwater Sustainability Plans. Eligible projects must address high and medium priority basins as identified in DWR Bulletin 118 or a non-adjudicated portion of one of these basins. Please note that Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) are required to notify DWR and the public prior to initiating development of a GSP (in compliance with California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Section 350 et seq. and Water Code section 10727.8).

For more information regarding the final PSP, public comments received on the draft document, as well as other information about the SGWP Grant Program, visit:

The release of the final PSP initiates the open filing period for Phase 1 of this solicitation. The application is available online through the Grants Review and Tracking System (GRanTS).
The deadline to file for grant funding is November 13, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

The deadline for submitting applications in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Solano, Sonoma, and Yuba counties was extended due to emergency proclamations until December 1, 2017 at 5:00 PM.  

A list of Frequently Asked Questions is also posted on the DWR website.

Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program
901 P Street
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001  916.651.9613 (office)

Draft Guidance Documents for Engagement and Communication

DWR’s draft guidance documentsGuidance Document for Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Stakeholder Communication and Engagement (C&E) and Engagement with Tribal Governments are being finalized. The C&E document offers guidance on communication with stakeholders for GSP development through a transparent and inclusive process.  The Engagement with Tribal Governments document is intended to help local agencies engage with Tribal Governments in the planning, financing and management of a GSA, or with the development and implementation of a GSP. Public comments received during the public comment period are taken into consideration as DWR prepares the final versions of these guidance documents. The public comment period closed August 28th, 2017.

Contact: Hong Lin| | (916) 651-9273

Cool Tools

From datasets to planning models, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is providing technical assistance to help Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs), and implement the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The SGMA Technical Assistance Factsheet enables users to find links to technical resources, all in one place.

If you haven’t yet looked into the California DWR Land Use Viewer, this well-received tool allows GSAs and the public to easily access both statewide (as recent as 2014 crop data) and existing county land use datasets that have been collected over the last 30 years. The Viewer also includes a variety of tools that will allow users to download and analyze land use data. You may want to access the webinar on YouTube for a demonstration of how to use the Viewer.

For many years, DWR has collected land use data throughout the State and uses this information to develop water use estimates for statewide and regional planning efforts, including water use projections, water use efficiency evaluation, groundwater model development, and water transfers. With the passage of SGMA, DWR will use the existing county and newly developed statewide land use information to review GSPs and enhance DWR’s groundwater models that will be made available for GSAs to use, if they choose, for GSP development.

Visit our Data, Tools, and Reports webpage  for additional information on DWR’s SGMA related Data, Tools, and Reports.

Land Use Viewer, Wyatt Arnold |
Land Use Program, Simon Eching |
Technical assistance, Steven Springhorn |

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.


OSWCR (say “Oscar”) is our new Online System for Well Completion Reports. The new system allows drillers to submit their well completion reports online, replacing the former method of mailing in paper forms.

Click here to view all posted announcements.

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