DWR’S SUSTAINABLE GROUNDWATER PGM NEWS: Draft BMP on sustainable groundwater management criteria available for comment; Schedule for basin boundary modification requests

From the Department of Water Resources, Sustainable Groundwater Management Program:

DWR Seeks Public Comment on New Draft Best Management Practice

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.

This BMP does not impose new requirements, but describes best management practices for satisfying the requirements of SGMA and the GSP Regulations.

Please send comments via:

  • Email: sgmps@water.ca.gov with Subject: Comments on Draft SMC BMP
  • or by U.S. Postal Service to: Department of Water Resources; 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.  Comments received are posted online here.

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 website once they are finalized.

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

The Sustainable Groundwater Planning (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: http://www.water.ca.gov/irwm/grants/sgwp/

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 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
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001


(916) 651-9613

Basin Boundary Modifications Requests – 2018 Schedule

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) established a process for local agencies to request DWR to review and revise boundaries of existing groundwater basins or subbasins, including establishing new subbasins.  The initial round of basin boundary modifications was conducted in 2016 with results published in California’s Groundwater – Bulletin 118, Interim Update 2016.  More information on basin boundary modifications, including the Basin Boundary Assessment Tool and the Basin Boundary Modification Request System can be found online at http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/basin_boundaries.cfmGSAs and local agencies are encouraged to reach out to DWR for assistance with this process. All information to support a boundary modification should be submitted to the Basin Boundary Modification Request System.


  • January 1, 2018: Submission Period opens for 6 months. During this window, GSAs and local agencies can submit the required information to support a Basin Boundary Modification on the SGMA Portal http://sgma.water.ca.gov/portal/#intro.
  • June 30, 2018: Submission Period Closes and 30-day Public Comment Period Opens
  • July 30, 2018: Public Comment Period Closes
  • Fall 2018: Draft Basin Boundary Modifications Released
  • Fall/Winter 2018 – Final Basin Boundary Modifications Released

Contact: Dane Mathis| Dane.Mathis@water.ca.gov | (559) 230-3354

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| Hong.Lin@water.ca.gov | (916) 651-9273

Data, Tools, and Reports

From datasets to groundwater – surface water 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, available on DWR’s SGMA Program – Data, Tools, and Reports webpage including:

  • Statewide Data Platforms
  • Interactive Maps
    • NewThe California DWR Land Use Viewer, 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.
    • NewThe Well Completion Report Map Application provides access to statewide Well Completion Reports. Well Completion Reports contain information collected by drillers during the drilling and construction of water wells, including the location, dates of construction, planned use, depth of the well, subsurface geologic units encountered, well construction, and well yield.
  • Modeling: DWR provides a number of existing integrated hydrologic modeling codes and applications available for use. A summary of these resources is available in the Modeling Tools Fact Sheet, along with FAQs on DWR’s Integrated Hydrologic Models and Water Budget Pilot Projects and Integrated Hydrologic Modeling and Water Budgets pertaining to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and Groundwater Sustainability Plan Regulations
  • Climate Change: DWR is providing data, tools, and guidance to assist GSAs with incorporating climate change into their GSPs. This effort leverages previous work done by DWR for the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP). Please refer to the Climate Change Fact Sheet for more information about what will be provided.
  • ReportsBest Management Practices, Guidance Documents, Bulletin 118, and Bulletin 160
  • NEW GSP Initial Notification System (in development) – DWR is currently in the process of developing a new GSP initial notification system for GSAs to use when submitting their intent to develop a GSP in accordance with the GSP regulations (California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Section 353.6).   Existing notification that have been provided to DWR and posted on our website (http://water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/gsp_in.cfm) will be transferred to this new system. DWR will be contacting and assisting GSAs with this transfer process. As soon as the system is operational, GSAs will be required to use the system when submitting future notifications.  DWR will provide a user’s demonstration of the system during public meetings tentatively scheduled for December (exact dates and locations will be announced soon).  It is anticipated this system will operational in January 2018.

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

Land Use Viewer, Wyatt Arnold | Wyatt.Arnold@water.ca.gov
Land Use Program, Simon Eching | Simon.Eching@water.ca.gov
Technical Assistance, Steven Springhorn | (916) 651-9273 | Steven.Springhorn@water.ca.gov

Upcoming Events

California Water and Environment Modeling Forum
Technical Workshop
“MODFLOW – One Water Hydrologic Flow Model” Workshop
(in cooperation with the United States Geological Survey – California Water Science Center)
Tuesday, December 5 through Friday, December 8, 2017 (4-days) 9:00 to 4:30pm
Wildlife Fire Training & Conference Center
3237 Peacekeeper Way, Room N117
McClellan, CA 95652

Workshop Fee: $300 for CWEMF members, $400 for non-members, and $100 for students.

Pre-registration is requested. Please email cwemf@cwemf.org to reserve your spot.

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.

Click here to view all posted announcements.

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