The Department of Water Resources (DWR) regulations that will guide local groundwater sustainability agency management and regulation of California’s groundwater basins as outlined in the historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act(SGMA) enacted by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2014 were approved by the California Water Commission today. The approved emergency regulations now will be filed with the Office of Administrative Law and go into effect June 2016.
“Today we reach a major milestone in California’s quest to sustainably manage groundwater,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “These regulations will help communities bring aquifers into balance and prepare for a changing climate and future droughts.”
Groundwater is vital to California and supplies over a third of the water Californians use, and as much as 60 percent or more in some areas during times of drought. SGMA requires local agencies to draft plans to bring groundwater aquifers into balanced levels of pumping and recharge. Managing groundwater sustainably is a key element of the California Water Action Plan, the Brown administration’s five-year roadmap for building resilient, reliable water supplies and restoring important ecosystems.