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

Sustainable Management Criteria Webcast Now Available Online

The Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Program’s newest Best Management Practice (BMP) publication and webcast, Sustainable Management Criteria (SMC), are now available on DWR’s website. If you missed the public meetings or the live webcast last week, here’s your opportunity to learn how this BMP can help water managers and interested parties.

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 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.

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, estimated to be in January 2018, GSAs will be required to use the system when submitting future notifications.  DWR plans to hold a public webinar with instructions on how to use the new GSP initial notification system in January 2018.

DWR Region Office Point of Contact

To assist GSAs and stakeholders in GSP development, DWR has assigned a Point of Contact (POC) for each high and medium priority basin that are subject to SGMA. The Points of Contact are available on the Communications and Outreach page of DWR’s website. The POC serves as the basin liaison to connect GSAs with DWR staff. The POC can assist GSAs in locating DWR’s program information (BMPs, guidance documents, data and tools), and identify and obtain available assistance.

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 GSAs 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

Proposition 1 Sustainable Groundwater Planning (SGWP) Grant Program Update

On December 1, 2017, the SGWP Grant Application open-filling period closed.  Grant applications were received in response to the Final 2017 Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for projects in support of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).  DWR is making $86.3 million in funding available. Applicants submitted funding requests for two categories of projects: (1) Projects that directly serve Severely Disadvantaged Communities and support groundwater sustainability planning and management; and (2) Planning and development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs).  A total of 78 applications were submitted requesting $86.4M in total grant funds between Category 1 ($16.8M) and Category 2 ($69.6M).  DWR is currently reviewing the applications and anticipates announcing the funding awards in Spring 2018.

Guidance Documents for Engagement and Communication

Under the requirements of SGMA, GSAs must consider interests of all beneficial uses and users of groundwater.

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 and anticipated to be released in January 2018. 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 

**New**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.

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.

  • 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.
  • Reports – Best 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 |
Well Completion Report Viewer, Ben Brezing | Assistance, Steven Springhorn | (916) 651-9273 |

Upcoming events

California Irrigation Institute: Drought to deluge: Scaling solutions

Monday, January 29, 2018 to Tuesday, January 30, 2018 – all day

The California Irrigation Institute announces its 56th annual conference January 29-30, 2018 at the Hilton Arden West in Sacramento, California. The theme of the 2018 conference is Drought to Deluge: Scaling Solutions. The past decade was filled with extreme weather conditions in California. Join us for panels and discussions from top water leaders on how they prepared for this reality and took advantage of wet conditions after years of historic drought. There were many innovative efforts to quickly mobilize projects and reap the benefits of 2017’s extraordinary precipitation. The keynote will be provided by the newly appointed Department of Water Resources Director, Grant Davis. Featured luncheon speaker is acclaimed author, Sandra Postel, also known as founder and director of the Global Water Policy Project.

The conference is attended by a diverse group of water professionals that include agricultural and urban water managers, policy makers, manufacturers and farmers. For more information and to register visit

Recharge to the rescue! Managed Aquifer Recharge as a Water Management Tool

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. Click here for more information and to register.

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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