Governor Brown noted upon signing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) that groundwater is best managed at the local level, and that the State's primary role is to provide guidance and support. The California Water Action Plan, SGMA, and provisions of Proposition 1 (Water Bond) direct the State to provide assistance to local agencies. Successful implementation is directly tied to effective communication and outreach, in addition to coordination at all levels of government. The SGMA requires DWR to develop regulations and tools, provide data and information, and provide support to local and regional agencies as they take on central roles in managing their groundwater basins and advancing the California Water Action Plan. California water management needs are diverse and implementation of the SGMA necessitates timely, forthright, and consistent communication among all partners and stakeholders.
In addition to communication, proactive outreach to and engagement of partners and stakeholders is essential to achieving sustainable groundwater management at the local and regional level. Local and regional agencies in turn must reach out to keep local citizens, groundwater users, and stakeholders informed. Adaptive, practical, and two-way communication is essential to establishing and maintaining the partnerships needed. The Strategic Plan provides an overview of DWR's initial plan for communication, outreach, and coordination with partners. The key audiences for the outreach effort include:
- State, Federal and Tribal Governments: Governor's Administration, Legislature and key State and federal agencies, tribes
- Regional and local governments and agencies: Water and groundwater management agencies and districts; land use entities such as counties and cities
- Other stakeholders: Non-governmental organizations representing water, groundwater, environmental, environmental justice, and agriculture interests as well as universities
- The public
Outreach will be critical to successful implementation of the SGMA. DWR's Strategic Plan outlines an outreach program that will be proactive and interactive with information, ideas, and the opportunity for a two-way exchange.
DWR is reaching out to various organizations and groups to discuss all aspects of SGMA implementation. DWR's team regularly attends workshops and conferences to communicate and educate citizens across the state about the SGMA implementation and DWR's role.
As a part of its commitment to information exchange and discussing technical issues that will inform the Department in its implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, focus groups or advisory groups are being formed to address questions and concerns about specific topics and milestones of the legislation. These groups serve as smaller forums to allow for detailed discussion and are just one component of DWR's outreach and communication efforts. In addition to advisory groups, on-going meetings, conferences, public meetings, are among the variety of methods DWR is utilizing to gather input and information.
A timeline for near term engagement can be found here. This timeline will be updated regularly as the implementation continues. Information about the regulation process for the basin boundary and Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP)/Alternative Regulations can be found here.
The advisory groups will help DWR come to a common understanding of the various issues as DWR develops the regulations and guidelines as part of the implementation. A list of the advisory groups and information about the advisory group meetings and communication efforts can be found on the Advisory Group Meetings page.
DWR will occasionally meet with water agency and county officials to ensure specific regional issues are discussed and well understood, and to ensure communication throughout the process.
The California Groundwater website offers links to partners involved in the SGMA implementation, an implementation toolbox, multi-agency news and information, a groundwater blog, event calendar and the text of the SGMA legislation. The DWR and State Water Board websites offer technical links and more detailed information specific to each agency’s role in implementation of SGMA.
DWR provides a variety of Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) related resources to assist water management groups and the public. Sustainable Groundwater Management Program will continue utilizing the established regional resources for communication and outreach within your region. Regional Coordinators serve as primary points of contact for communication and outreach with local stakeholders.
Information Officer II
Public Affairs Office
1416 Ninth Street
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236