DWR SGMO NEWS: First GSP public comment period ending soon; Draft report on drought and water shortage vulnerability released; View video on draft water budget development handbook webinar; and more …

From the Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Office:

NEW First GSP Public Comment Period Ending Soon

Public comments on the first set of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) are due May 15, 2020. The next comment period closes June 3, 2020.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) extended public comment periods for submitted GSPs by 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Comment periods vary based on when a plan was posted to the DWR website. 

DWR encourages public review and comment on submitted plans which show how local water agencies plan to manage groundwater basins for long-term sustainability. Comments can be posted and viewed 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.  

NEW Draft Report on Drought and Water Shortage Vulnerability Released

DWR recently released the draft Small Water Suppliers and Rural Communities at Risk of Drought and Water Shortage Vulnerability and Recommendations and Guidance to Address the Planning Needs of these Communities report. The report provides information for GSAs to consider and incorporate into future updates to GSPs and will help inform management decisions as these plans are implemented.

DWR created a new online Water Shortage Risk tool that can be used to explore the relative risk assessment of small water suppliers and rural communities in groundwater basins.

The public comment period ends June 19, 2020. Two webinars will be scheduled to discuss the report recommendations and the Water Shortage Risk tool.

Comments can be submitted online or emailed to DroughtRisk@water.ca.gov

More information is available on the Countywide Drought and Water Shortage Contingency Plans webpage

NEW SVSim Beta Model Released

DWR has released the beta version of the Sacramento Valley Groundwater-Surface Water Simulation Model (SVSim) that can be used during GSP development. Instructions for use are included in the Roadmap to Running SVSim document. A calibrated version of SVSim is expected in fall 2020.

For questions or more information, please email Linda Bond at Linda.Bond@water.ca.gov or Chris Bonds at Chris.Bonds@water.ca.gov.

NEW View Video on Draft Water Budget Development Handbook Webinar

The April 21 webinar for the Handbook for Water Budget Development: With or Without Models is now available online. The webinar focuses on challenging water budget topics. 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 public comment period for the handbook was extended by 30 days because of the pandemic and closes 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 Public Meetings Can Be Held Remotely During Pandemic

Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20 encourages elected officials to conduct public meetings by teleconference or other electronic venue during the pandemic. The order temporarily waives requirements in the Bagley-Keene Act and Brown Act as long as specific requirements are met. The order applies to groundwater sustainability agencies and others involved in the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

REMINDER Written Translation Service 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 starting a GSP, agencies are required to notify DWR in writing using the SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System. The portal allows edits to be made to previously submitted Initial Notifications, 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 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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