SUSTAINABLE GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM News for February 14: Grants for GSPs and projects, New GSP notification system; more …

From DWR’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Program:

DWR Announces $85.8 Million in Grants for Groundwater Sustainability Projects and Plans

On February 6, DWR announced its recommended awards for grants for groundwater sustainability projects that directly benefit severely disadvantaged communities and for local agency development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). These funds support the goals of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). DWR received 78 grant applications and is recommending that all receive awards, pending public comments and review of those comments.

The grants are funded by Proposition 1 and awarded on a competitive basis in two funding categories: 1) Projects that serve severely disadvantaged communities; and 2) Development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans. Of the $85.8 million awarded:

  • $16.2 million is for severely disadvantaged communities to support groundwater sustainability planning and development.
  • $69.6 million is for local agency GSP development.
  • $3.4 million is tentatively awarded to three basins. These awards will be held pending a further review of their eligibility.

The full list of grant applications that were submitted is available on the Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program webpage.

The public comment period will close on February 21, 2018 at 5:00 P.M. Please specify applicant name and proposal title for which you are addressing comments. Comments on the draft funding recommendations will be posted on a Public Comments page.

Comments can be submitted in the following methods:

Electronic Mail:

U.S. Mail: California Department of Water Resources, Division of Integrated Regional Water Management, Financial Assistance Branch, P.O. Box 942836, Sacramento, CA 94236 Attention: Jason Brabec

Hardy Copy Delivery: 901 P Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, Attention: Jason Brabec

Jason Brabec, Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program
(916) 657-4893,

Zaffar Eusuff, Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program
(916) 651-9266,

DWR Has Launched a New Website – New Year, New Look, Same Commitment

On February 12, DWR debuted a new digital look, launching its website redesign. With this digital redesign, we renew our commitment to open and transparent communication. The site is still located at, but with a new look and feel as we aim to tell the big-picture story of our work. A key aspect of that work includes information about our Sustainable Groundwater Management Program and assistance resources. On our new pages, you will find items reorganized but more accessible. From the Groundwater Management page you can access the:

We welcome your comments and questions, please feel free to contact us via our Contact Form online or by emailing Please be sure to update your bookmarks or saved pages accordingly as most links have changed.

GSAs 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:

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.

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.

Instructions on how to comment on submitted GSP Initial Notifications can be found here. And check out the GSP Initial Notification Map Viewer here.

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.

Upcoming Events

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.

16th Biennial Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge – Recharge to the Rescue! Managed Aquifer Recharge as a Water Management Tool

March 5, 2018 – March 7, 2018

San Diego, California

This event continues a long-standing series of symposia originating in Arizona in 1978.  The Fifteenth Biennial Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge was combined with the Ninth International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR 9) held in Mexico City in 2016.  The Groundwater Resources Association of California and the Arizona Hydrological Society have teamed up to hold the BSMAR event with the location alternating between California and Arizona.

Please visit the GRA website at for updates.

National Groundwater Awareness Week – Test. Tend. Treat.

March 11 – March 17

The National Groundwater Association (NGWA) has announced this year’s National Groundwater Awareness Week will take place March 11 – 17. An annual observance established to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of groundwater, the event is also a platform to encourage yearly water well testing and well maintenance to prevent waterborne illnesses. Established in 1999, National Groundwater Awareness Week provides an opportunity for people to learn about the importance of the resource and how it impacts lives.

NGWA has made available, in downloadable format, information such as a social media toolkit, facts about groundwater, Event FAQs, videos and more. For more information, please visit the National Groundwater Awareness Week website.

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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