The California Department of Water Resources today formally approved the groundwater sustainability plan for the North and South Yuba groundwater subbasins in Yuba County. The plan was developed by Yuba Water Agency in coordination with Cordua Irrigation District, the City of Marysville and dozens of stakeholders to meet the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA.
“The sustainable groundwater conditions in Yuba County and today’s announcement are testaments to the success of locally-driven water management,” said Scott Matyac, Yuba Water’s director of water resources. “We’re grateful to our local partners for their work on this plan and their continued commitment to protecting this critical resource for our region.”
Although Yuba County’s groundwater has been sustainably managed for decades, the Yuba subbasins were two of 127 regions identified in 2014 by DWR as being medium- or high-priority basins subject to SGMA based on elements such as population and groundwater use. Approximately 80 percent of Yuba County residents rely on groundwater as their sole source of supply.
“In light of the historic and variable climate conditions we are experiencing, these decisions reinforce that managing our water resources in an adaptive and inclusive way is how groundwater sustainability will be achieved,” said Karla Nemeth, DWR director. “We appreciate and support the role of local leaders in shaping how their communities manage the change that comes from creating sustainable groundwater supplies. DWR is committed to providing additional drinking water guidance for the local groundwater agencies to make public health and safety a top priority.”
The approval of the Yuba plan included three recommendations for improvement, which Yuba Water anticipated and is already addressing.
The 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act established a statewide framework for the sustainable management of groundwater for the first time in California’s history and required the formation of groundwater sustainability agencies to prepare and submit plans that include measurable objectives and milestones to achieve sustainability.
DWR also approved groundwater sustainability plans for the Oxnard subbasin and Pleasant Valley basin in Ventura County.