Assistance and Engagement
The foundation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is that groundwater is best managed at the local level, and the State's primary role is to provide guidance and support. DWR is committed to providing this guidance and support as groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) and interested parties work together to implement SGMA and work toward achieving groundwater sustainability goals.
Regional Coordinators along with staff from DWR’s four regional offices serve as primary Points of Contact (POCs) for the high- and medium- priority groundwater basins. Regional Coordinators and staff in these four regions can provide information and help GSAs and interested parties connect with DWR and locate resources, including guidance on communication and engagement and assistance services such as technical support, facilitation support, written translation, and financial assistance.
Regional Office Points of Contact
Successful implementation of SGMA is built on a foundation of mutual understanding and proactive communication and engagement activities. DWR’s proactive efforts to support local agencies and communities include periodic informational events, guidance and resource documents, and templates that assist GSAs and interested parties as they work towards managing groundwater to reach sustainability.
Resources for SGMA Implementation October 2021 webinar
The California Department of Water Resources provides assistance to locals for implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The following video highlights resources and available assistance.
Joint DWR-State Water Board General SGMA Webinar on Groundwater Sustainability Planning
On February 18, 2021, DWR and the State Water Resources Control Board hosted a General SGMA Webinar on groundwater sustainability planning. This webinar included an update on how the State is moving forward with Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) evaluations, the timeline and approach to releasing assessments for GSPs submitted to DWR by January 31, 2020, and an overview of state assistance to support locals moving forward with SGMA implementation.
In January 2020, DWR and the State Water Resources Control Board hosted workshops in Paso Robles and Clovis for Groundwater Sustainability Agencies submitting Groundwater Sustainability Plans for DWR evaluation. The purpose of these workshops was to discuss:
- GSP evaluation and assessment process.
- DWR and SWRCB interaction during GSP evaluation.
- Annual reporting requirements and process.
- DWR and SWRCB assistance programs that will support GSP implementation and future GSP updates.
Groundwater Sustainability Agency Forum
The Department of Water Resources hosted a free Groundwater Sustainability Agency 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. For a link to a video of the event, please email email@example.com.
This set of guides and resources are provided to assist local SGMA implementation efforts. The resources here can be tailored to specific needs and audiences. While these resources may not be applicable to all GSAs, they are examples of effective ways to engage audiences and communicate complex information. Resources provided here will be periodically updated and added to over time.
Guides and Resources
- Guidance Document for Groundwater Sustainability Plan - Stakeholder Communication and Engagement
- Documento Guia para el GSP - Comunicacion y Participacion de los Interesados (Español)
- Communication & Engagement Plan Outline
- Stakeholder Engagement Chart for Identifying GSP Audiences
- "Lay of the Land" Exercise Template
- Inclusive Public Engagement by Institute for Local Government
- Open & Public V – A Guide to the Ralph M. Brown Act by League of California Cities
- Collaborating for Success: Stakeholder Engagement for SGMA Implementation by Community Water Center
- Guidance on Engaging and Communicating with Underrepresented Groundwater Users
- Guidance Document for the Sustainable Management of Groundwater - Engagement with Tribal Governments
- Tips and Tactics for Online Meetings
- SGMA Communications: Media Relations and Social Media
- Basin Profile Template
Public Awareness Library
- SGMA Overview Brochure (available in English in an online version or an 11-inch by 17-inch printable version, and Spanish in an online version or an 11-inch by 17-inch printable version)
- Groundwater: California’s Vital Resource - Video available in English, Spanish, Punjabi, Hmong
- Groundwater: Understanding and Managing this Vital Resource – Interactive Story Map to help expand public awareness
- Domestic Well Users brochure in English and Spanish. For a copy the brochures, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact email@example.com to receive these following documents via email.
Envie un correo electronico a firstname.lastname@example.org para una copia de estos documentos.
DWR's Office of the Tribal Policy Advisor, in conjunction with DWR’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Program, formed the SGMA Tribal Advisory Group (SGMA TAG) in 2015. This advisory group was established to bring DWR and California Native American Tribal governments and Tribal communities together to collaborate on outreach and engagement efforts associated with the implementation of SGMA. Members of the SGMA TAG have assisted DWR in developing guidance documents, planning outreach events, and providing local updates on SGMA implementation across the state.
SGMA TAG Meetings
SGMA TAG meetings have been hosted by DWR specifically for Tribal Government Leaders, Tribal Representatives, and other Tribal Environmental and Cultural Resources Staff. If you have questions about participating in DWR's Tribal Advisory Group or other Tribal engagement efforts with DWR, please contact DWR’s Tribal Policy Advisor, Anecita Agustinez, at: TribalPolicyAdvisor@water.ca.gov or Anecita.Agustinez@water.ca.gov.
Past Meetings and Materials
Past meeting materials are included below:
November 1, 2023 Meeting Materials:
Tribal Water Summit: April 11-13 (no separate SGMA TAG meeting for Quarter 2)
July 26, 2023 Meeting Materials:
March 17, 2023 Meeting Materials:
November 10, 2022 Meeting Materials:
- November 2022 SGMA TAG Agenda and Background Attachments
- November 2022 SGMA TAG Save the Date Flyer
- November 2022 SGMA TAG Presentations
August 4, 2022 Meeting Materials:
- August 2022 SGMA TAG Save the Date Flyer
- August 2022 SGMA TAG Agenda and Background Attachments
- August 2022 SGMA TAG Presentations
May 5, 2022 Meeting Materials:
- May 2022 SGMA TAG Save the Date Flyer
- May 2022 SGMA TAG Agenda and Attachments
- May 2022 SGMA TAG Presentations
February 3, 2022 Meeting Materials:
- Feb 2022 SGMA TAG Save the Date Flyer
- Feb 2022 SGMA TAG Agenda and Attachments
- Feb 2022 SGMA TAG Presentations
July 27, 2021 Meeting Materials:
How to Find Your Groundwater Basin and Point of Contact
Regional Coordinators along with staff from DWR's four regional offices serve as primary Points of Contact (POCs) for the high- and medium- priority groundwater basins and can connect Tribes with DWR and locate resources. DWR's POCs can be found, by region, at the top of this page. Additionally, the SGMA Data Viewer provides access to groundwater-related datasets and can assist Tribes in finding the groundwater basin they reside within.
Documents and Resources
The documents and resources linked below are provided for SGMA TAG members and interested parties who are implementing SGMA:
- Guidance Document for the Sustainable Management of Groundwater: Engagement with Tribal Governments
- Definition of Tribal Law
- Tribal Lands Primer
- Tribal Engagement with Groundwater Sustainability Agency Discussion Questions
- Sample Interested Party Letter
- DWR Tribal Engagement
- DWR Tribal Engagement Policy
- Governor's Office of the Tribal Advisor
- Natural Resources Agency Tribal Consultation Policy
Our Technical Support Services (TSS) supports Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) as they develop and implement their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). TSS’s goal is to provide education, data, and tools to GSAs at both regional and statewide scales to build the capacity needed to achieve sustainability. TSS is available to GSAs through our Region 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 and implementing 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 and implementation of a GSP, including appointing a coordinator for the basin to represent all GSAs within the basin or subbasin, resolve disputes, and speak as one voice to DWR (not required to be the “Point-of-Contact” for Coordination Agreements as used in 23 CCR §357.4 (b) (1) of the GSP Emergency Regulations, or the “Plan manager” as used in 23 CCR §351 (z), 353.4 (b), and §354.6 (c)).
- Agree to complete GSA’s volunteered responsibilities related to requested technical support service(s) within the defined timeframe.
- Support DWR staff or contractors that are providing technical support service(s)
How to Apply:
Applications for TSS will be evaluated on a continuous basis as funding allows. The application process is two-part - a General Application and Individual Service Requests - and must be submitted through an online application system made available to the applicant following consultation with their local DWR Region Office. PDF and Microsoft Word copies of the General Application and Service Requests are provided as a resource to help applicants prepare for applying.
For more information or help starting a TSS application, contact DWR’s Region Coordinators at email@example.com
Facilitation Support Services (FSS) help local agencies work through challenging water management situations. Under SGMA, groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) shall encourage the active involvement of diverse social, cultural, and economic interests and consider all beneficial uses and users of groundwater when developing and implementing groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs). Sometimes GSAs need the help of professional facilitators to foster discussions among diverse water management interests and local agencies.
Services Offered through DWR-funded Professional Facilitators:
- Stakeholder assessments
- Governance development
- Stakeholder communication and engagement planning and support
- Public outreach
- Targeted outreach to underrepresented groundwater users
- Tribal government outreach and engagement
- Identification and engagement of interested parties
- Meeting facilitation
- Intra-basin and inter-basin coordination support
- Interest-based negotiation/consensus building
Who is Eligible?
GSAs developing or implementing GSPs, other groups coordinating with the GSAs in developing and implementing GSPs, and agencies implementing approved Alternatives to GSPs are eligible to apply for this service. Entities that previously received FSS may reapply for additional support. Entities that request these services must meet all of the following obligations:
- Agree to work in an open, inclusive, and collaborative manner to implement SGMA.
- 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 an application, contact DWR’s Regional Coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under SGMA, groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) shall encourage the active involvement of diverse social, cultural, and economic interests and consider all beneficial uses and users of groundwater when developing groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs). DWR’s Written Translation Service is available to help GSAs, or other groups assisting in local SGMA implementation efforts, to communicate the groundwater planning and implementation activities with their non-English speaking constituents.
GSAs, or other groups, may submit written notices, letters, forms, presentations, fact sheets, pamphlets, leaflets, and brochures to DWR for translation into one or more of the following languages:
- Currently, requests are limited to 5,000 words per groundwater basin/subbasin. DWR may change the word count limitation as needed, based on remaining contract capacity.
- Eligible groundwater basins/subbasins are those required to prepare a GSP per CWC §10720.7.
- The written translation will be provided to the applicant electronically. Graphic design and formatting are not provided by DWR's Written Translation Services. Content spacing and formatting may be affected through the translation process and should be checked prior to finalization by the applicant.
- Requests will take a few weeks to fulfill; additional time will be needed if the service provider requires additional information.
- DWR does not review, take responsibility for, or endorse the content submitted for written translation.
- Although DWR’s service provider will take care to provide appropriate and meaningful translation; accuracy is not guaranteed.
How to Apply:
- DWR receives requests for written translation using an online application form.
- Documents for translation must be uploaded as either Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint files.
- A PDF of the final document should be uploaded to serve as a master copy.
Requests will be evaluated and fulfilled as received, on a continuous basis, as contract capacity allows.
For more information or help starting an application, contact DWR’s Region Office Coordinators at email@example.com.
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.
Sign up to receive monthly Sustainable Groundwater Management program updates