More Information and Resources

This webpage contains additional information and resources related to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which is a landmark law that empowers local agencies, known as Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs), to manage groundwater resources. SGMA, which took effect January 1, 2015, is based on the premise that groundwater is best managed locally. However, SGMA is different than other prior groundwater laws in that it requires, in areas where local agencies are unable or unwilling to sustainably manage their groundwater, that the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) determine whether it should temporarily intervene through a process known as state intervention to manage groundwater resources until local agencies are able to do so adequately. State intervention is additional to local management and is intended to be temporary. The State Water Board has developed resources and provides information below to help interested parties better understand SGMA.

  More SGMA Information for Well Owners

The California Department of Water Resources' Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Website

Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), high- and medium-priority basins in the state, as designated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), formed Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and developed Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) to locally manage groundwater. The GSAs submitted their plans to DWR via their online SGMA Portal for evaluation and assessment. After DWR decides that a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) is inadequate, or part of a basin is not managed under a GSA (known as an unmanaged area), the State Water Board may intervene.

The Department of Water Resources' Dry Well Reporting System

Well owners can use this online portal to submit a report that their private well is dry and learn about resources for homeowners. Additionally, the portal provides statistics and maps showing reported dry wells in California.

  SGMA Information for State Agencies, Local Agencies, and Others Involved with SGMA Implementation

SGMA's Groundwater Quality Visualization Tool

Developed in collaboration with the Board's Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) program, the SGMA Groundwater Quality Visualization Tool helps GSAs and other interested parties identify which groundwater quality constituents (pollutants) should be addressed in their GSPs. The State Water Board encourages GSAs and other interested parties to explore the Groundwater Quality Visualization Tool. This tool provides a review of water quality constituents specific to all high- and medium-priority groundwater basins. The constituents listed in this tool are known to be influenced by basin-wide groundwater management and exceed regulatory thresholds (i.e., water quality criteria or objectives) within the selected high- or medium-priority groundwater basins. This tool does not interpret the cause of those exceedances.

SGMA's   Groundwater Quality Visualization Tool

Frequently Asked Questions

Fact Sheets

Staff of the State Water Board provided the following comment letters to the Department of Water Resources. These letters are also posted to DWR's online SGMA portal. State Water Board staff reviewed GSPs in preparation for any potential consultation with DWR on plan adequacy as required by SGMA. The State Water Board prepared the letters below to support DWR’s review of GSPs since the Board has long-standing regulatory authority and expertise in areas such as drinking water, water quality, and water rights.

The Water Boards’ programmatic areas below may assist and inform interested parties and Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) on water quality, drinking water, funding, and water rights.

  • Water Rights: Capturing surface water to recharge groundwater can help achieve groundwater sustainability and compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Capturing and storing surface water generally requires an appropriative water right. Parties can apply to obtain new water rights or change existing water rights to authorize groundwater recharge projects.
  • Water Quality: SGMA hosts a water quality visualization tool (see above for more information) specific to selected groundwater basins and constituents (pollutants) known to be influenced by groundwater management processes. The Water Board's Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program hosts on-line maps and databases that show the concentration of many groundwater constituents over time. The State Water Board also maintains a searchable Water Quality Goals database, containing a compilation of numeric water quality thresholds from state and federal regulations, and from literature for hundreds of chemical constituents and water quality parameters.
  • Drinking Water: The State Water Board regulates public drinking water systems in the state for the protection of drinking water supplies Field operation branches throughout the state are responsible for the enforcement of the federal and California Safe Drinking Water Acts and the regulatory oversight of approximately 7,500 public water systems to assure the delivery of safe drinking water to all Californians.
  • Financial Assistance: The State Water Board’s financial assistance programs include loan and grant funding for projects including the construction of drinking water treatment and distribution systems, municipal sewage conveyance and treatment systems, water recycling facilities, remediation for underground storage tank releases and groundwater contamination, and technical assistance for small communities.
  • Regional Water Quality Control Boards: There are nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Water Boards) located in California. Each Regional Water Board makes critical water quality decisions for its region including setting water quality standards, issuing waste discharge requirements, determining compliance with those requirements, and taking enforcement actions. These nine Regional Water Boards exercise rulemaking and regulatory activities by basins.

Contact Us

If you have questions, please contact us at 916-322-6508 or email at

Language Access Services

The State Water Board provides interpretation and translation services in any language at no cost to you.

  • Language interpretation for public meetings, workshops, and meetings with Water Board staff.
  • Written translation of documents including comment letters, fact sheets, and more.

To request these services, please complete the Language Access Form by clicking on the "Request Language Services" button below.

The form is available in English, Español (Spanish), Tagalog, 中文 (Simplified Chinese), 한국인 (Korean), Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese), ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi).