PANEL DISCUSSION: Implementing SGMA – How Are We Getting There?
Panel presentations highlight how the Sacramento Valley, Madera County, Monterey County, and Ventura County are working to establish Groundwater Sustainability Agencies The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), passed in the fall of 2014, established a new structure for managing California’s groundwater resources at a local level.
We can’t make that necessarily happen by June 30 so we’re trying to work with them to let them know that in the interim the county will be party to this agreement that we’re working out, and this uber GSA that we’re calling it, and that down the road we hope that they can become customers of existing districts, which kind of helps so that they don’t have to go and form their own agencies.” In Glenn and Colusa counties, they have taken a much more formal approach with respect to private pumper participation, but in Yolo County, they have struggled with the issue.
The agencies that may have worked really hard to bring surface water into the area are concerned that maybe those groundwater extraction limitations will be placed on them and they don’t believe that’s just.” Some agencies are considering going it alone and they’ll have to work through a coordinated effort with the other agencies that are hoping to join together, Ms. Sicke said.
I think that you have to all try to work together to get to this common goal of groundwater sustainability over time.” Groundwater Sustainability Agency formation is really setting the stage to successfully develop and implement a Groundwater Sustainability Plan, said Ms. Sicke.
New subsidence has been discovered in the area just to the east of their boundaries.
“In the middle there next to Road 4, we saw up to five feet of subsidence over those five years.” He then presented the map of subsidence with the location of the water districts in the area.
“This happens to be in two counties we’re looking at.
There is the Chowchilla Water District; they’re in the process of forming GSA.” The county is in the process of forming a GSA to cover the areas between the exchange contractor’s districts and the other districts.
They have been working with landowners in the area and their vision is to form their own water district to manage the water supplies they need to manage as part of this program, and to have their own GSA coverage, he said.
“The Collaborative Working Group members, the county, our agency, and the city of Salinas are focused on working through these challenges with these folks.