Groundwater Management Program

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Development

In 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed a three-bill legislative package, composed of AB 1739 (Dickinson), SB 1168 (Pavley), and SB 1319 (Pavley), collectively known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). SGMA is the first legislative act that California passed in order to obtain sustainable, groundwater management. See the SGMA Legislation (with updates, effective January 1, 2019) for details on the act.

SGMA requires existing local agencies to form groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) in high and medium priority basins and to adopt groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs). GSAs must achieve sustainable groundwater management within 20 years of implementing their GSPs. For critically over-drafted basins, that will be 2040. For the remaining high and medium priority basins, 2042 is the deadline. See the Groundwater Legislature Timeline for more details.

In his signing statement, the governor emphasized that “groundwater management in California is best accomplished locally.”

Emergency Regulation for Implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

On May 16, 2016, the State Water Board adopted resolution 2017-33 to adopt an Emergency Regulation for Implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA). On June 19, 2017, the regulation was submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for review. OAL approved the regulation on June 29, 2017.

Core Materials

Additional Materials