Water Planners Share SGMA Strategies

Published:

Image

Panelists at the GSA Forum share strategies for implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Water planners and stakeholders from across the state convened in West Sacramento recently for the Department of Water Resources’ Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Forum to share experiences and ideas as they implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

DWR’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Office hosted the event on March 21, 2019, to assist GSAs as they plan for sustainability and to encourage stakeholder engagement and GSA coordination and collaboration within basins and between adjacent basins.

Taryn Ravazzini, DWR Deputy Director of Special Initiatives, opened the meeting and emphasized the shared responsibility – between the department, local water agencies, and the public – to reach groundwater sustainability. “We’re all doing this together,” she said.

During the event, ten GSA representatives addressed more than 100 attendees. Speakers shared information on their SGMA-related efforts, GSA governance structures, coordination efforts with neighboring basins, and stakeholder outreach. They also shared challenges they face and successes they’ve achieved.

Attendees heard from representatives from critically overdrafted basins and high- and medium-priority basins. Critically overdrafted basin officials said they are counting down the days until their groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) are due on January 31, 2020, while medium- and high-priority basins have until January 2022.

Jessica Bean, Senior Environmental Scientist with the State Water Resources Control Board, wrapped up the day’s discussions by explaining the role of the Water Board as the enforcement arm of SGMA and echoing DWR’s message that local coordination across GSAs and stakeholder outreach are necessary.

Attendees of the GSA Forum said it was a great opportunity to learn from each other and that the event showcased local people planning their water future.

The Forum is just one example of DWR’s assistance role as SGMA is implemented. DWR also provides planning and financial support, data and tools, and other technical services to GSAs.

A video of the Forum and PowerPoint presentations are available online on DWR’s website.