• How do I know if SGMA applies to me?
    • o SGMA applies to the 127 high and medium priority groundwater basins, which account for approximately 96 percent of groundwater use in California. To determine if you are in a high or medium priority groundwater basin, visit DWR's Groundwater Basin Prioritization webpage at: Initial Basin Prioritization.

  • How does SGMA affect existing water rights?
    • SGMA does not change existing groundwater rights. Groundwater rights will continue to be subject to regulation under the California Constitution(per Water Code Section 10720.5). Additional information on water rights may be found at: Division of Water Rights.

  • What is a subterranean stream?
    • A subterranean stream is a body of groundwater flowing through known and definite channels. When a body of groundwater has been designated a subterranean stream, access to that groundwater is subject to the same permitting requirements as diversions from surface streams. The State Water Board has adopted a number of decisions and orders identifying specific subterranean stream locations.

      Subterranean streams are regulated by California's surface water rights system; SGMA does not apply to groundwater that has been designated a subterranean stream.