DWR’s SGMO NEWS: DWR operations continue; Update on annual report submittals; Statewide groundwater level change report and dot maps available; and more …

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

DWR Operations Continue

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is focused on ensuring continued operations while modifying the way we work in the face of the coronavirus to maintain critical functions and protect our staff. DWR staff supporting the Sustainable Groundwater Management Program continue to work and are available to answer questions and provide assistance via email, phone, and web-based meetings.

GSP Public Comment Period Extended

Due to ongoing health and safety concerns, DWR is extending its original Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) public comment periods by 30 days. The new deadlines are May 15, 2020, and June 3, 2020.

DWR encourages public comment on recently submitted plans that show how local water agencies plan to manage groundwater basins for long-term sustainability. Comments can be posted online on the DWR SGMA Portal and a SGMA Portal account is not necessary.

Information about how to comment on a plan can be found in fact sheets in English and Spanish.

For questions, email sgmps@water.ca.gov.

Update on Annual Report Submittals

Due to ongoing health and safety concerns, DWR will accept annual reports for the prior water year after the April 1, 2020 deadline from basins with adopted GSPs, approved and pending alternatives to GSPs, and adjudicated areas. The reports can be viewed by the public once they are submitted on the SGMA Portal. The reports provide information on groundwater conditions and management activities for the prior water year.

GSP Annual Reports

Downloadable templates for basin-wide data are available on the GSP Reporting System webpage and must be submitted with the annual report. For questions or more information, email GSPSubmittal@water.ca.gov.

Additional resources are also available:

Alternative to GSP Annual Reports

Alternative Annual Reports will be submitted the same as previous years using the Alternative Reporting System. For questions or more information, email GSPSubmittal@water.ca.gov.

Adjudicated Area Annual Reports

Adjudicated area annual reports will be submitted the same as previous years using the Adjudicated Basins Annual Reporting System. For questions or more information, email Timothy.Ross@water.ca.gov.

Governor Issues Public Meeting Executive Order

Governor Newsom recently issued Executive Order N-25-20 encouraging elected officials to conduct public meetings by teleconference or other electronic venue. The order also temporarily waives requirements in the Bagley-Keene Act and Brown Act as long as specific requirements are met. This order would apply to GSAs and others involved in the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Statewide Groundwater Level Change Report and Dot Maps Available

The Groundwater Level Change Report and accompanying Dot Maps for spring 2019 are available on the DWR website and present a summary of groundwater level data. The report and Dot Maps include a discussion of groundwater level trends with multi-year comparisons which can assist with the development of GSPs.

SGM Grant Final Awardees Announced

In a recent news release, DWR announced funding awards to 53 applicants for approximately $46.25 million in Proposition 68 and $1.2 million in Proposition 1 grant funding. The grants will help recipients develop GSPs or update approved Alternatives to GSPs.

For more information, visit the SGM Grant Program webpage.

Public Comment Extended on Draft Handbook for Water Budget Development

The public comment period for the draft single-volume Handbook for Water Budget Development: With or Without Models has been extended by 30 days. The handbook presents existing information on various methods and data sources for developing water budgets and can help in the development of water budgets for any geographic area and time period.

The comment period closes on May 7, 2020. Email comments to cwpcom@water.ca.gov, attention Abdul Khan.

For more information, view Frequently Asked Questions on the Water Budget Handbook or visit the Reports tab on the Data and Tools webpage.

REMINDER Written Translation Service Now Available

DWR’s written translation service is available to help with communication to non-English speaking constituents. Translation services for materials are available in Chinese, Hmong, Korean, Laotian, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

Visit the Written Translation tab on the Assistance and Engagement webpage for details.

REMINDER Submit Your GSP Initial Notification

Before beginning development of a GSP, GSAs are required to notify DWR in writing. GSAs must submit all GSP initial notification information using the SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System. The SGMA Portal also allows edits to be made to a previously submitted Initial Notification, including the ability to withdraw a submittal.

For more information, contact the Regional Coordinators in DWR’s four Regional Offices. For assistance with the system, email monica.reis@water.ca.gov.

Connect with Your Basin Point of Contact

DWR has designated Basin Points of Contact to assist local agencies and GSAs as they develop and implement their plans and to assist with applications for Technical Support Services and Facilitation Support Services.

For regional inquiries, contact sgmp_rc@water.ca.gov.

For general inquiries, contact sgmps@water.ca.gov.

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