Groundwater Sustainability Agencies

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) established a new structure for managing California’s groundwater resources at the local level by local agencies. SGMA required Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to form in the State’s high and medium priority basins and subbasins by July 1, 2017. 

The legislative intent of SGMA is to recognize and preserve the authority of cities and counties to manage groundwater according to their existing powers. As a result, local governments play an important land use and water management role in California and should be involved in GSA formation and Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) implementation. These locally controlled GSAs have the authority and responsibility to sustainably manage their respective groundwater basins.

Agency Roles

SGMA assigns different roles to DWR, the State Water Resources Control Board, local agencies and counties related to GSA formation.