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Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Overview December 13, 2016 

Overview of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA):

After many years of unsustainable groundwater pumping practices throughout much of California, the state Legislature passed SGMA in 2015, which tasked local agencies authorities with managing their groundwater resources in a sustainable manner. Because the western portion of Calaveras County overlies about 70 square miles of the Eastern San Joaquin Subbasin, which has been critically over drafted since 1980, CCWD is moving forward with the formation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency to contribute to recharging the basin and to maintain local control of our groundwater basin. The District is well-positioned for this task since it has been monitoring groundwater for the past decade and has a recognized groundwater management plan in place. In the even that a local agency does not take on the formal role of a recognized Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) by June 30, 2017, the state would intervene in the management of our local groundwater resources.

Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Formation: The District is partnering with Stanislaus County to form a cooperative GSA that will cover the areas of the Eastern San Joaquin Subbasin within Calaveras and Stanislaus Counties, not within another GSA boundary. In time, the District also hopes to partner with other counties and agencies. This GSA will benefit all partners because it will allow for cost sharing, grant opportunities, regional groundwater sustainability, opportunities to leverage technical expertise and includes close cooperation between upstream and downstream agencies.

CCWD’s Election to Form a GSA

On December 14, 2016, CCWD held a public hearing and the CCWD Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution to elect to become a groundwater sustainability agency and to allow the District to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with other GSA partners in the basin.

Next Steps:

  • Other GSA partners will also need to hold public hearings.
  • A MOU will need to be signed by all GSA partners and a governance structure created before.
  • GSA formation must be finalized by June 30, 2017.
  • The GSA must write a groundwater sustainability plan (GSP) by 2020
A cartoon of a hand holding a blank sheet of paper.
Click here for CCWD’s handout on the formation of a SGMA GSA



Logo of the California Department of Water Resources, featuring state outline, river, mountains, and agriculture.
Click here for a list of frequently asked questions prepared by the Department of Water Resources.


Logo of the California Water Boards, featuring stylized blue waves above the agency's name.
 Click here for a list of frequently asked questions prepared by the State Water Resources Control Board


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