SUSTAINABLE GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM NEWS: GSP initial notification system, Guidance docs for stakeholder engagement and communication; Basin boundary requests; more …

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

GSAs Now Required to Use New GSP Initial Notification System – Tutorial Now Available

Effective immediately, Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) are required to submit all applicable GSP notification information to DWR using the SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System. The SGMA Portal can be accessed using the following URL:

A Frequently Asked Questions reference is available to inform GSAs about the GSP initial notification requirements, as described in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and GSP Regulations.

On January 19, 2018 DWR held a webinar featuring the new GSP Initial Notification System. The recording of the webinar as well as presentation materials are now available online. Those previously- submitted Initial Notifications are being migrated to  the new system.

If GSAs have questions about initial notifications, please contact the Regional Coordinators in DWR’s four Regional Offices or DWR Headquarters in Sacramento:

Northern Region: Bill Ehorn
North Central Region: Paul Wells
South Central Region: Amanda Peisch-Derby
Southern Region: Brian Moniz
Headquarters (Sacramento): Monica Reis

Find more information at

Reminder: Alternative Submittals – First Annual Reports Deadline – April 1, 2018

The SGMA established a process for local agencies to develop an Alternative in lieu of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) for evaluation by DWR. An Alternative is required to be submitted to DWR for review no later than January 1, 2017 and every 5 years thereafter. The first annual report submittal deadline is April 1, 2018.

DWR has developed an online Alternative Reporting System that allows local agencies to submit Alternatives and the public to review and comment on the Alternatives. For more information on requirements and evaluation criteria please visit and reference the Groundwater Sustainability Plan Regulations.

Guidance Documents for Stakeholder Engagement and Communication

DWR released the final Guidance Document for Groundwater Sustainability Plan Stakeholder Communication and Engagement (January 2018) Under the requirements of SGMA, GSAs must consider the interests of all beneficial uses and users of groundwater. Proactive outreach to and engagement of local partners and stakeholders, including disadvantaged communities, is essential to achieving sustainable groundwater management at the local and regional level. Local and regional agencies must reach out and keep local citizens, groundwater users, and stakeholders informed.

Statutory stakeholder requirements have been identified over the four phases of sustainable groundwater management planning and implementation horizon:

  • Phase 1: GSA Formation and Coordination
  • Phase 2: GSP Preparation and Submission
  • Phase 3: GSP Review and Evaluation
  • Phase 4: Implementation and Reporting

An information-graphic about the four phases and engagement requirements can be accessed online at

DWR provides facilitation support service to GSAs for stakeholder engagement and public outreach.

Contact: Hong Lin | | (916) 653-6353

Basin Boundary Modifications Requests Now Open for Submission

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. 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.

The 2018 Basin Boundary Modification Schedule:

    • 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 all information to support a boundary modification should be submitted to the BBMRS
    • July 30, 2018: BBMRS Public Comment Period Closes – DWR begins review of boundary modification requests and public comments
    • Fall 2018: Draft Basin Boundary Modifications Released
    • Fall/Winter 2018 – Final Basin Boundary Modifications Released

For more information on basin boundary modifications, including the Basin Boundary Assessment Tool and the Basin Boundary Modification Request System, please visit: 

Contact: Dane Mathis| | (559) 230-3354

Upcoming Events 

American Groundwater Trust & Association of Groundwater Agencies Annual Conference: “Everything Aquifers and Groundwater Management”

February 12, 2018 – February 13, 2018, Ontario, CA

This annual event provides a stimulating information exchange and networking opportunity for California’s water agencies, utilities and water districts, and for all water professionals (scientific, engineering, managerial, legal, environmental, regulatory), end-users of water, and local and state elected officials involved with water policy issues.

For more information, Contact American Groundwater Trust at (603) 228-5444

GRACAST: David Keith Todd Distinguished Lecture Series-Northern California: “The Use of Geophysical Methods for Groundwater Evaluation and Management”

February 14, 2018, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act provides a new framework for the evaluation and management of groundwater in California. Unfortunately, the only data typically available for use in the required modeling and monitoring of groundwater systems are limited well data. This has led to a search for new ways to acquire data with the needed levels of spatial and temporal sampling. Over the past ten years, the Center for Groundwater Evaluation and Management at Stanford University has worked in a number of locations in the western U.S., to explore and demonstrate novel ways of acquiring, processing, and analyzing geophysical data to obtain information about subsurface properties and processes.

For more information, contact the Groundwater Resources Association of California at (916) 446-3626 or see the event webpage here.

GRACAST: Lessons Learned from 20 Years of 3D Hydrogeological Conceptual Model Building in Denmark as Part of Danish SGMA

February 28, 2018, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Danish government adopted a new Water Supply Act in 1998, according to which about 40% of the country was designated as particularly valuable for groundwater withdrawal. The Act, in many ways reminiscent of the Californian SGMA, mandated comprehensive hydrogeological mapping of those areas.

For more information, contact the Groundwater Resources Association of California at (916) 446-3626 or see the event webpage 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.

Click here to view all posted announcements.

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