Statewide Groundwater Management

Gray Lodge Wildlife Area in Gridley has groundwater wells that are pumping water to flood fields and supply water for waterfowl.

Groundwater is a vital resource that is pumped via underground wells and provides water source for flooding agricultural fields and creates habitat for migratory waterfowl.

If you’re like 30 million of your California neighbors, there is groundwater under your feet. Groundwater basins act as a drought buffer  – or savings account – by providing available water when surface water supplies are low such as in dry or drought years.  In California, groundwater is used for drinking water in homes, used to support businesses, as well as farms and ranches where it is used to irrigate crops and provide water for livestock.

Groundwater refers to water stored below the Earth's surface in aquifers, which include porous layers of sand, soils and clay that holds water. Stacked layers of aquifers make up a groundwater basin. For decades, groundwater in some parts of the State has been pumped out faster than can be recharged, causing record low groundwater levels in those areas. The State and locals are taking great strides to protect our groundwater resources for long-term use, so that groundwater basins can withstand varying changes in climate and continue to serve as a drought buffer in future years.

Our Work 

We’re responsible for:

We have a long-standing history of:

  • Collecting and analyzing groundwater data
  • Investigating and reporting groundwater conditions
  • Encouraging comprehensive surface and groundwater management
  • Providing the technical expertise needed to improve statewide groundwater management practices
  • Offering assistance to support local community engagement and education
  • Providing local groundwater funding assistance

SGMA Portal

SGMA Portal The SGMA Portal allows local agencies, GSAs, and watermasters to submit, modify, and view the information required by SGMA. It also enables you to view submitted information and provide comments, where applicable. You don't need a login for public access.

Data & Tools

Data & Tools We have a long history of data collection, monitoring, and reporting. With the passage of SGMA, there is an increased need for local and state agencies and the public to easily access water data in order to make informed management decisions. Here you will find a curated set of data, interactive mapping tools, and reports which are important resources to inform sustainable groundwater management decision-making.

SGMA Facilitation & Technical Support Services

Facilitation and Technical Support Services Our Facilitation Support Services (FSS) aim to help local agencies work through challenging water management situations. Professional facilitators are sometimes needed to help foster discussions among diverse water management interests and local agencies as they strive to implement SGMA. Our Technical Support Services (TSS) supports GSAs as they develop their GSPs. TSS’s goal is to provide education, data, and tools to GSAs to build the capacity needed to achieve sustainability.

Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program

View The Sustainable Groundwater Planning (SGWP) Grant Program provides funds for projects that develop and implement sustainable groundwater planning and projects consistent with groundwater planning requirements outlined in Division 6 of the California Water Code, commencing at §10000.

Prop 1 IRWM Grant Program

Prop 1 The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 IRWM Grant Program, which includes funding for Disadvantaged Community (DAC) projects, provides funding for projects that help meet the long-term water needs of the state. The 2016 Guidelines provides information on the general process, procedures, and criteria. The draft Implementation Proposal Solicitation Package is expected to be released early in 2018.


CASGEM The CASGEM Program is a collaboration between local monitoring parties and DWR to collect groundwater elevations statewide and make that information publicly available.

Groundwater Exchange

Logo for the Groundwater Exchange The 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 design and implementation of effective Groundwater Sustainability Plans under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. ​The Groundwater Exchange is a program of the California Water Library and is a project of the Multiplier, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that helps protect and foster a healthy, sustainable, resilient, and equitable world.