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 Water Commission today unanimously adopted regulations by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) establishing... read»
The California Department of Water Resources today released proposed regulations intended to guide the development of Groundwater... read»
The California Department of Water Resources today announced it is awarding 21 counties a total of $6.7 million in Proposition 1... read»
The California State Water Resources Control Board is now providing information and guidelines for local agencies to use when deciding to... read»
The California Department of Water Resources on Thursday announced the deadline for public comment on its Draft Groundwater Sustainability... 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

Here are the agenda and handouts for the Groundwater Committee meeting on May 3, 2016 in Monterey: read more»
The California Department of Water Resources is set to host several public meetings next week to receive public comments on its Draft... read more»
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»

Upcoming Groundwater Events

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 10:00am - 3:00pm
Water year 2016 is an improvement over the previous four severely dry years, but drought conditions persist in the San Joaquin Valley. As...