California’s new Groundwater Legislation was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 16, 2014.
The new law will regulate groundwater in California and is known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The legislation is intended to increase local control and protection of groundwater basins.
The Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board are responsible for developing regulations and reporting necessary to SGMA. DWR develops regulations for groundwater sustainability. The Water Board is responsible for fee schedule, data reporting, and interim sustainability plans.
The DWR has developed a Strategic Plan for its Sustainable Groundwater Management SGM Program. DWR’s SGM Program will implement the new and expanded responsibilities identified in the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
Some of these expanded responsibilities include:
- Developing regulations to revise groundwater basin boundaries;
- Adopting regulations for evaluating and implementing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) and coordination agreements;
- Identifying basins subject to critical conditions of overdraft;
- Identifying water available for groundwater replenishment; and
- Publishing best management practices for the sustainable management of groundwater.
Furthermore, to assist in comprehension of the legislation, interested parties can utilize a Toolbox that allows access to various systems and information.
The Toolbox contains key links for fulfillment of SGMA requirements based on DWR and the Water Board input. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Toolbox also contains educational materials.
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