Assistance and Engagement
Then-Governor Jerry 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. We are committed to providing this guidance and support as you implement SGMA and work toward managing your groundwater basins sustainably.
We provide a variety of services including Facilitation Support, Technical Services and Field Activities, Communication and Engagement, and Financial Assistance.
Implementation of the SGMA necessitates timely, forthright, and consistent communication among all partners and stakeholders. 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. The SGM Program Strategic Plan provides an overview of DWR's initial plan for communication and outreach with partners.
During the process of regulations development, DWR established 11 advisory groups. Throughout the regulations process, these advisory groups have provided valuable input for the Department. DWR continues to engage with these groups and promote collaboration of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) on a regional scale.
Practitioners Advisory Panel
The Practitioners Advisory Panel consists of a group of practitioners representing various local stakeholder groups that will implement SGMA in their respective basins. These panel members are representatives of potential decision makers and GSAs.
Tribal Advisory Group
The Tribal Advisory Group (TAG) includes tribal leadership, subject matter experts, and technical and non-technical members of local, academic, and tribal governments that are actively engaged in local groundwater management and will be key in local implementation of SGMA. TAG members will be responsible for distribution of information and resources to their respective tribes and organizations.
Contact: Anecita Agustinez, DWR Tribal Policy Advisor
The NGO organizations represented in this group include the following types:
- Conservation organizations
- Environmental and social justice organizations
- Water and environmental policy organizations
- Technical assistance organizations
- Legal assistance organizations
Contact: Jennifer Clary
Association of California Water Agencies
The Association of California Water Agencies is the largest statewide coalition of public water agencies in the country. Its 430 public agency members collectively are responsible for 90% of the water delivered to cities, farms and businesses in California.
Contact: Dave Bolland
Northern California Water Association
The Northern California Water Association represents the water districts, water companies, small towns, rural communities, and landowners that beneficially use both surface and groundwater water resources in the Sacramento Valley.
Contact: Todd Manley
San Joaquin Tributaries Authority
The San Joaquin Tributaries Authority is a coalition of water agencies whose members include the Modesto Irrigation District, Turlock Irrigation District, Oakdale Irrigation District, Merced Irrigation District, South San Joaquin Irrigation District, and the City and County of San Francisco.
Contact: Valerie Kincaid
San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority
The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority was established in January of 1992 and consists of 29 Member Agencies representing approximately 1.1 million acres of federal and exchange water service contractors within the western San Joaquin Valley, from the City of Tracy in the north to Kettleman City in the south, as well as portions of San Benito and Santa Clara counties.
Contact: Andrew Garcia
Central Coast area (Monterey County and Santa Cruz area)
This group of stakeholders is from areas of the West Santa Cruz Terrace groundwater basin, Santa Cruz Purisima Formation Highlands groundwater basin, Pajaro Valley basin and Salinas Valley groundwater basins. The agencies include Soquel Creek Water District, Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, Scott Valley Water District, San Lorenzo Valley Water District, and Monterey County Water Resources Agency.
Rural County Representatives of California
The Rural County Representatives of California is a thirty-four member county service organization that champions policies on behalf of California's rural counties.
Contact: Nick Konovaloff
California State Association of Counties
The primary purpose of California State Association of Counties is to represent county government before the California Legislature, administrative agencies and the federal government.
Contact: Cara Martinson
The Agricultural Advisory Group includes representatives from the statewide agricultural community. Organizations (including but not limited to) represented by this group are:
- The California Department of Food and Agriculture
- Agricultural Council of California
- California Dairies, Inc.
- California Citrus Mutual
- California Cotton Ginners Association
- California Cotton Growers Association
- California Tomato Growers Association
- California Fresh Fruit Association
- Nisei Farmers League
- Western Agricultural Processors Association
- Western Growers Association
- California Farm Bureau Federation
- California League of Food Processors
- California Cattlemen’s Association
- Family Winemakers of California
Contact: Lauren Hersh
Tulare Lake Hydrologic Region Group
This group includes groundwater managers in the Tulare Lake Hydrologic Region which includes the Kings, Kaweah, Tule, Westside, Tulare Lake, and Kern subbasins. This group includes representatives from the following agencies: Fresno County, Tulare County, Kings County; City of Bakersfield, Fresno, and Clovis; King River Conservation District, Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District; Kern Groundwater Authority; Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District; Lower Tule River Irrigation District, Tulare Irrigation District, James Irrigation District, Fresno Irrigation District, Kings County Water District, Westlands Water District, and Dudley Ridge Water District.
Contact: Eric Osterling
DWR provides a variety of Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) related resources to assist water management groups and the public. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Program (SGMP) 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.
All high and medium priority basins are assigned a Point of Contact (POC) from DWR Region Offices. POCs assist GSAs and stakeholders in the basin to connect with the SGMP and locate resources for assistance. View POCs for groundwater basins in DWR's:
This set of tools and templates is provided for the purposes of SGMA outreach as discussed in the Stakeholder Communication and Engagement (C&E) Guidance document. The templates may be downloaded, modified, and tailored to specific needs and audiences. While not all tools and templates are applicable to all GSAs, they are available as examples of effective ways to engage.
- Stakeholder Engagement Chart for Identifying GSP Audiences - A table of potential interests that should be considered and included in a GSA's engagement activities.
- Stakeholder Survey Template - A survey template with questions geared towards learning about the stakeholder's interests, issues, and challenges.
- "Lay of the Land" Exercise Template - An exercise template to help you develop strategies for engagement after the stakeholder surveys are completed.
Examples from Local SGMA Workgroups
- Agendas - Eastern San Joaquin County Groundwater Basin Authority
- Basin Factsheet - Upper Ventura River GSA
- Newsletters - Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency
- Advisory Group - Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency
- Spanish SGMA materials - Salinas Valley Groundwater work group
- Bilingual GSA Factsheet - North Fork GSA
Local GSA Websites
Visit the websites below for examples of how some local agencies are keeping the public informed about their SGMA implementation efforts.
- East Bay Municipal Utility District GSA
- Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency
- Solano County Water Agency SGMA work group
- Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Basin Authority
- Upper Ventura River GSA
- West Placer GSA
- McMullin Area GSA
- North Fork GSA
- Salinas Valley GSA
For additional examples of local agency websites, please visit the SGMA Portal where all GSAs are listed with website and contact information.
Additional Published Resources
Inclusive Public Engagement
Prepared by the Institute fro Local Government (ILG), this report offers tip sheets and resources to effectively and successfully plan and implement successful engagement strategies.
Open and Public V - A Guide to The Ralph M Brown Act
Developed and originally published in 1989 by the League’s City Attorneys’ Department Brown Act Committee, this recently updated fifth edition of Open & Public explains the current provisions of California statutes and case law as of April 2016 and includes an annotated copy of the Brown Act.
Outreach and Engagement - A Resource Management Strategy for the California Water Plan
Prepared by DWR for the California Water Plan, this resource directly addresses water management in California and discusses tools and practices by water agencies to facilitate contributions by public individuals and groups toward good water management outcomes.
Collaborating for Success - Stakeholder Engagement for SGMA Implementation
Prepared by the Community Water Center in 2015, this resource outlines the statutory requirements for stakeholder engagement in SGMA, gives examples of best practices and examples of collaborative management from around the state, and provides a recommended roadmap for effective stakeholder engagement.
The Department of Water Resources hosted a free Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Forum for GSA members and stakeholders on March 21, 2019, in West Sacramento, to facilitate the exchange of ideas, establish professional networks and foster successful stakeholder engagement. Two panel discussions focused on communication, coordination, engagement and outreach. Panelists showcased various governance structures, stakeholder outreach and engagement strategies and provided presentations, followed by a question and answer period. The agenda, presentations, and recorded video are provided below.
GSA Forum Agenda
SGMA Guidance Resources
Our Technical Support Services (TSS) supports Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) as they develop their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). TSS’s goal is to provide education, data, and tools to GSAs to build the capacity needed to achieve sustainability. TSS is available to GSAs through our regional offices or contractors pending funding availability. Critically overdrafted basins have initial priority for this funding.
Technical Support Services offered:
- Monitoring Well Installation
- Geophysical Logging
- Geologic Logging
- Groundwater Level Monitoring Training
- Borehole Video Logging
- Other Field Activities
Modeling and Mapping
- Modeling Training and Support (pending DWR updated model release)
Who is Eligible?
GSAs developing GSPs are eligible to apply for this service if they meet all of the following obligations:
- Agree to share any data generated from the technical support service(s) with DWR and the public.
- Comply with all applicable laws related to the technical support service(s).
- Agree to work in an open, inclusive, and collaborative manner toward the development of a GSP.
- Agree to complete GSA’s responsibilities related to requested technical support service(s) within the defined timeframe.
- Support DWR staff or contractors that are providing technical support service(s)
Applications for TSS will be evaluated on a continuous basis as funding allows. Applications must be submitted through an online application system made available to the applicant following consultation with DWR Regional Office and Headquarters. In the meantime, you can view an example of the type of information requested on the basin/subbasin-wide General Application form or Well Service Request form. Application forms for other TSS Services are under development.
For more information or help starting a TSS application, contact DWR’s regional office coordinators at email@example.com.
Our Facilitation Support Service (FSS) helps local agencies work through challenging water management situations. Under SGMA, Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) must encourage the active involvement of diverse social, cultural, and economic interests. All beneficial uses and users of groundwater have to be considered, as GSAs develop SGMA mandated Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). Sometimes GSAs need the help of professional facilitators to foster discussions among diverse water management interests and local agencies. The FSS will help with development of GSPs. Critically overdrafted basins are given funding priority.
Services Offered through DWR-funded Professional Facilitators
- Identification and engagement of interested parties
- Meeting facilitation
- Interest-based negotiation/consensus building
- Public outreach facilitation
Who is Eligible?
GSAs developing GSPs, or other groups coordinating with the GSAs in developing GSPs, are eligible to apply for this service if they meet all of the following obligations:
- Agree to work in an open, inclusive, and collaborative manner toward the development of a GSP.
- Support an inclusive process that seeks, promotes, encourages, and welcomes the involvement of all interested parties.
- Commit to meet regularly and work diligently toward a clear and defined goal.
- Commit to providing a meeting space that is suitably located and sized.
Applications for FSS will be evaluated on a continuous basis as funding allows.
For more information or help starting a FSS application, contact DWR’s regional office coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposition 1 IRWM
Proposition 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. Draft Proposal Solicitation Package is expected to be released early in 2018.
Sustainable Groundwater Planning
The Sustainable Groundwater Planning (SGWP) Grant Program which provides funding for projects that develop and implement sustainable groundwater planning and projects consistent with groundwater planning requirements.
- DWR Requests Comments on Flood-MAR Research and Data Development Framework
- Visit DWR’s Water-wise Landscaping Exhibit at the California State Fair
- Flood-MAR: Harnessing Flood Waters to Advance Sustainable Water Management
- Researchers Test New Approach to Improve Fish Habitat in Suisun Marsh
- Final Flood-MAR White Paper Recognizes State’s Role in Emerging Water Management Strategy
Sign up to receive monthly Sustainable Groundwater Management program updates.