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Alternative Submittals

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) established a process for local agencies to develop an Alternative in lieu of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) (see Water Code §10733.6) 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. Additional requirements and evaluation criteria are provided in the GSP Regulations (CCR §358 et seq.). In general, Alternatives must be consistent with one of the following (Water Code §10733.6(b)):

  1. A plan developed pursuant to Part 2.75 (commencing with Section 10750) or other law authorizing groundwater management.
  2. Management pursuant to an adjudication action.
  3. An analysis of basin conditions that demonstrates that the basin has operated within its sustainable yield over a period of at least 10 years. The submission of an alternative described by this paragraph shall include a report prepared by a registered professional engineer or geologist who is licensed by the state and submitted under that engineer’s or geologist’s seal.
Submission and Public Comments on Alternatives

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. The public comment period will remain open until April 1, 2017.

Please note – There is a file size limit of 700 Megabytes for individual documents uploaded to the Alternative reporting system.

Alternative Submittal Resources



Alternative Plan Submission Schedule
Events Schedule*
Public Webinar - Demonstration of the Alternative Reporting System December 2, 2016
Alternative Reporting System Publicly Available December 5, 2016
Alternative Submission Deadline January 1, 2017
Public Comment Period April 1, 2017
DWR Status Update on Alternative Evaluations Anticipated late 2017/early 2018
First Annual report submittal deadline April 1, 2018

*All dates are subject to change.

More Information

Click here to sign up to receive email updates on DWR SGMA activities.

For additional information regarding adjudicated basin reporting, please contact Trevor Joseph at or (916) 651-9218.