SUSTAINABLE GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM NEWS: Sustainable management criteria public meetings; Basin boundary modifications; Guidance documents for engagement and communication; and more …

From DWR’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Program:

Sustainable Management Criteria Public Meetings & Webcast

The Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Program will host three public meetings next week introducing its newest Best Management Practice (BMP) publication, Sustainable Management Criteria (SMC).  This BMP characterizes the relationship between the different sustainable management criteria – the sustainability goal, undesirable results, minimum thresholds, and measurable objectives – and describes best management practices for developing these criteria as part of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). This BMP does not impose new requirements, but describes best management practices for satisfying the requirements of SGMA and the GSP Regulations.

Local agencies and interested parties are encouraged to attend and provide comments on the SMC BMP. You may fill out a comment card and turn it in at the event, email your comment to: Subject: Comments on Draft SMC BMP, or comment by US Postal Service to P.O. Box 942836 Sacramento, California 94236-0001 Attn: Lauren Hersh, Rm 201. The public comment period ends January 8, 2018. Comments received by DWR on the SMC BMP are posted on DWR’s Public Comments – Best Management Practices webpage.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sacramento Area & Webcast
2:00 P.M.
RWQCB Region 5 Board Room
11020 Sun Center Drive, #200
Rancho Cordova 95670
Register here


The webcast link will become active at approximately 1:45 P.M.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Central Valley
2:00 P.M.
Visalia Convention Center
303 E Acequia Avenue, Visalia, CA 93291
Register here

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Santa Ana
9:30 A.M.
Delhi Community Center
505 E. Central Avenue, Santa Ana 92707
Register here

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 ( 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.

DWR will provide an overview of the new GSP notification system in the upcoming workshops.

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 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
  • 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| | (559) 230-3354

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.

DWR provides facilitation support services to help local agencies identifying and engaging interested parties. A map of the basins with DWR funded facilitation can be found here.

Contact: Hong Lin| | (916) 653-6353

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

The 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.

  • 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

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 | (916) 651-9273 |

Upcoming event: Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge

The Sixteenth Biennial Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge, Recharge to the Rescue!, Managed Aquifer Recharge as a Water Management Tool, will take place at on March 6-7, 2018 in San Diego, CA.  This event continues a long-standing series of symposia originating in Arizona in 1978.

BSMAR 16 will feature oral presentations, poster presentations, an awards luncheon as well as optional pre- and post-conference workshops and an optional field trip to the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.

For more information and to register, click here.

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.


The 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.

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