California enacted landmark legislation in 2014 known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The legislation provides a framework for sustainable management of groundwater supplies by local authorities, with a limited role for state intervention only if necessary to protect the resource.

The act requires the formation of local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) that must assess conditions in their local water basins and adopt locally-based management plans. The act provides substantial time – 20 years – for GSAs to implement plans and achieve long-term groundwater sustainability. It protects existing surface water and groundwater rights and does not impact current drought response measures.

ACWA supported the legislation, which was substantially consistent with recommendations developed by the association’s Groundwater Sustainability Task Force and adopted by the ACWA Board of Directors on March 28.

ACWA's Recommendations for Achieving Groundwater Sustainability build on the association's landmark 2011 document, "Sustainability from the Ground Up: A Framework for Groundwater Management in California," which provided an in-depth look at groundwater issues and recommended proactive steps to advance groundwater sustainability.

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is considered one part of a statewide, comprehensive water plan for California that includes investments in water conservation, water recycling, expanded water storage, safe drinking water, wetlands and watershed restoration. The plan is intended to ensure a reliable water supply for California for years to come.

Latest News about Groundwater

The California Department of Water Resources today implemented new groundwater basin boundary regulations, a key provision of the state... read»
The California Department of Water Resources is hosting a webinar on Nov. 12 to discuss implementation of SB 13 (Pavley), which added new... read»
The California Department of Water Resources today released the guidelines it has developed for local agencies to follow when forming a... read»
A two-day course on the fundamental principles of groundwater and watershed hydrology will be offered Nov. 9 – 10 on the UC Davis... read»
The California Water Commission Wednesday approved the California Department of Water Resources' emergency regulations for modifying... read»

Latest State Legislation Updates

California enacted landmark legislation in 2014 known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The legislation provides a... read more»

Policy Principles

Groundwater is an invaluable resource for California and a critical asset in the state’s comprehensive water management portfolio.... read more»

Latest Regulatory Updates

Attached below are PDFs of presentations and materials from recent workshops held on local implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater... read more»
  We have one specific comment related to the draft regulations for groundwater replenishment with recycled water and a general... read more»
ACWA, DWR Survey Under Way to Compile Data on Local Groundwater Management Plans and Needs for Assistance The Association of California... read more»
ACWA released a major policy document on groundwater management in April 2011. The document, “Sustainability from the Ground Up: A... read more»

Other articles

The following ACWA 2015 Regulatory Summit PowerPoint presentations are available: read more»
The agenda and other materials for the Sept. 3 meeting are available here. read more»