DWR’S SGMO NEWSLETTER: AEM surveys, Draft Drinking Water Well Principles and Strategies Document, A week of webinars on SGMA efforts, and more …

From the Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Office:

NEW First Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) Surveys Complete and Additional Surveys Scheduled

AEM data were successfully collected in the Salinas Valley, Paso Robles, and Cuyama Valley in early August. Data are expected to become publicly available in early 2022.    

Additional AEM surveys have been scheduled to begin this fall in three areas of the state. The three areas include:

  •  Northern Area: Scott River Valley, Shasta Valley, Butte Valley, Tulelake, Big Valley (Lassen and Modoc counties), and a portion of Fall River Valley. 
  • North-Central Area: Ukiah Valley, Big Valley (Lake County), Santa Rosa Plain, Petaluma Valley, and Sonoma Valley 
  • Southern San Joaquin Valley Area: White Wolf, Kern County, Tulare Lake, Tule, and Kaweah.

Visit the AEM Survey Schedule webpage for schedule updates.  For more information, visit the Statewide AEM Survey Project webpage or email AEM@water.ca.gov.

NEW State Seeks Public Comment on Draft Drinking Water Well Principles and Strategies Document

Governor Gavin Newsom signed the April 21, 2021 State of Emergency Proclamation after two dry years to prioritize the protection of public health, safety and the environment, and to prepare for and mitigate the effects of drought conditions. Executive Action Item 11 specifically identifies:

“To ensure the potential impacts of drought on communities are anticipated and proactively addressed, the Department of Water Resources, in coordination with the Water Board, shall develop groundwater management principles and strategies to monitor, analyze, and minimize impacts to drinking water wells.

As was announced on September 9, 2021, the Draft Groundwater Management and Drinking Water Well Principles and Strategies are available for public review during the 30-day public comment period. The Draft Principles and Strategies are also available in Spanish. Public comments are due no later than Thursday, October 7, 2021 by 5:00 PM PDT. You can submit a public comment by the deadline or ask us questions anytime by sending an email to sgmps@water.ca.gov. We look forward to hearing from you.

The state also held a public webinar to review the draft principles and strategies and accept formal public comments on September 23, 2021. Materials from previous public workshops and sessions, a schedule on the next steps, and more information for this effort are available on our Drinking Water Wells Principle website. If you have comments or questions, please email us at sgmps@water.ca.gov.

NEW A Week of Webinars on Statewide Groundwater Management Efforts

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is hosting a week of webinars on statewide groundwater management efforts. More information about each webinar is included in the flyer to the right.   

 For questions about these webinar events, please contact us at: sgmps@water.ca.gov.

REMINDER Submit or Update Your Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) Initial Notification

The 2022 deadline for GSPs is nearing; if your GSP development has undergone some changes since your Initial Notification submission, please make sure visit the SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System and ensure that initial notification is up-to-date . When logged in, the portal allows edits to be made to previously submitted Initial Notifications, including the ability to withdraw a submittal.  

If you have not submitted an Initial Notification, remember that before starting a GSP, agencies are required to notify DWR in writing using the SGMA Portal – GSP Initial Notification System.

For more information, contact the regional coordinators in DWR’s four Region Offices. For assistance with the system, email Monica.Reis@water.ca.gov.

REMINDER June 2021 GSP Assessments Release and Live Q&A Webinar Materials

DWR evaluates GSPs to determine if they comply with the SGMA, substantially comply with the GSP Regulations, and whether implementation of the GSP is likely to achieve the sustainability goal for the basin. DWR evaluates GSPs within two years of their submittal and issues a written assessment. See the GSP Evaluation fact sheet for more information on GSP assessment outcomes.

DWR released its first assessments of GSPs developed by local agencies to meet the requirements of SGMA on June 3, 2021. DWR has completed its assessment and approved plans for the Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin in Santa Cruz County and 180/400 Foot Aquifer Subbasin in Monterey County. The groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) for these critically over-drafted basins will continue implementing their plans to achieve SGMA’s goal of groundwater sustainability within 20 years.

DWR hosted a live question and answer webinar on June 24, 2021. Materials from this public workshop and more information about GSPs and GSP Evaluation are available on our Groundwater Sustainability Plans website. If you have comments or questions, please email us at sgmps@water.ca.gov.

REMINDER Household Water Supply Shortage Reporting System Website Updates

 Individuals served by domestic wells who are experiencing a water supply shortage are encouraged to report it to DWR’s online Household Water Supply Shortage Reporting System. This information will help inform state and local agencies on water shortage impacts to households served by wells, and will help identify the need for local, state, or federal assistance.

To report a water supply shortage, go to the MyDryWell webpage, and click the “Submit Report” button. The form is also available in Spanish by clicking “Enviar Reporte.” The site has been updated with additional Helpful Resources for Homeowners, which can be found at the conclusion of submitting a report or by clicking the “Resources” button on the homepage.

For more information, email sgmps@water.ca.gov.

REMINDER Draft California’s Groundwater – Update 2020: Webinar Video and Presentation Slides Now Online

DWR held a public webinar meeting to present an overview of the recently released draft California’s Groundwater – Update 2020 (Bulletin-118) on March 30, 2021, and the video of the meeting is now available online in English and with Spanish subtitles.

 Presentation slides are also available in English and Spanish.

The final version of California’s Groundwater is expected to be released in fall 2021.

For more information, visit the updated California’s Groundwater webpage or email CalGW@water.ca.gov.

REMINDER DWR Releases Update to Fine-Grid California Central Valley Groundwater-Surface Water Simulation Model

DWR has released an update to the Fine-Grid California Central Valley Groundwater-Surface Water Simulation (C2VSimFG) Model, which can be used by GSAs developing water budgets for their GSPs. 

C2VSimFG Version 1.01 utilizes the latest version of the Integrated Water Flow Model software and corrects minor errors in the model files. These updates do not significantly affect the overall model calibration; however, resulting changes to simulated groundwater levels may vary by basin.

For questions or more information, email sgmps@water.ca.gov.

REMINDER Multi-Language Groundwater Educational Videos Now Available

New SGMA groundwater educational videos in various languages are now available. All materials are available for public use and may be shared and added to websites.

“Groundwater: California’s Vital Resource” video: English, Spanish, Punjabi, and Hmong

“DWR’s Assistance Role in Groundwater Management” video: English and Spanish

REMINDER CASGEM to Monitoring Network Module Transition Frequently Asked Questions Available

 The CASGEM to Monitoring Network Module Transition Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document covers questions related to the Groundwater Monitoring Law, the California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) Program, a GSP’s required monitoring, the SGMA Portal’s Monitoring Network Module (MNM), and a basin’s or subbasin’s transition from the CASGEM Online System to the SGMA Portal’s Monitoring Network Module .

For additional information or questions concerning any topics covered in the FAQ, please contact:

REMINDER Monitoring Network Module Updated to Accept Sustainable Management Criteria Data

The SGMA Portal’s Monitoring Network Module, the online reporting system for monitoring site data, has been updated to accept sustainable management criteria data for the chronic lowering of groundwater levels sustainability indicator. This data includes minimum thresholds, measurable objectives, and interim milestones. Following the update, GSAs must load the sustainable management criteria data before importing any new groundwater level readings to representative monitoring wells in the Monitoring Network Module.

For more information, view the Sustainable Management Criteria Data Submittal User Guide.

For questions or assistance, email GSPSubmittal@water.ca.gov.

REMINDER Written Translation Services 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. Applicants can submit up to 5,000 words per basin/subbasin.

For details, visit the Written Translation tab on the Assistance and Engagement 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 GSAs and others involved in the implementation of SGMA. 

In response to the sustainable groundwater management community’s interest in guidance, resources, and examples on how to conduct public meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic, DWR developed Tips and Tactics for Online Meetings.

REMINDER Groundwater Exchange Shares Information and Resources

 Maven’s Notebook’s Groundwater Exchange is a central, collaborative, and publicly accessible online resource center connecting water managers, water users, and community members with tools and resources to support the development and implementation of GSPs. ​While not a DWR website, DWR representatives have been on the Exchange’s Advisory Board since its inception as it supports the sharing of information and resources for SGMA implementation.

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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