DWR Announces Draft Decisions for Groundwater Basin Boundary Modifications

By on December 2, 2018

Draft decisions for groundwater basin boundary modification requests have just been announced by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) based on the modification requests submitted by local agencies as part of the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Forty-three requests for basin modifications that affect 59 basins and subbasins were received by DWR.

Basins boundaries were last updated in 2016. Basin boundaries characterize the extent of groundwater basins in California. SGMA requires these basins to be prioritized to determine which will be required to develop groundwater sustainability plans.

Modifications can be requested for either scientific or jurisdictional reasons. Scientific modifications are based on geologic or hydrologic conditions, whereas jurisdictional modifications change boundaries to promote sustainable groundwater management. At the present time, California has 517 groundwater basins and subbasins.

DWR staff reviewed all 43 requests and approved 33, denied seven and partially approved three modification requests. The approved modifications met the requirements of the 23-page Basin Boundary Regulations found in the California Code of Regulations, Title 23 (see: https://water.ca.gov/-/media/DWR-Website/Web-Pages/Programs/Groundwater-Management/Basin-Boundary-Modifications/Files/SGMA_Basin_Boundary_Regulations.pdf?la=en&hash=B51D51DA1CD9DC4A6F76F284EE5230800C74DCC8.)

DWR’s denials were based on criteria identified in the above regulations and were specific to the unique information presented for each type of modification request. Some requests were partially approved because some portions of the modification requests were adequately supported by the information provided, while other portions were not.

DWR’s draft decisions are subject to further input by the public and local agencies during a 30-day public comment period. Two Basin Boundary Modifications Public Meeting are scheduled in the 30-day period to solicit comments, as follows:

  • Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 1 p.m.

California Natural Resources Agency Auditorium
1416 9th Street, Sacramento

(This meeting will also be webcast live at: https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fuser%2Fcalwater%2Flive&data=02%7C01%7C%7C1ae5dc7b3cc54c9557f508d6570699e9%7Cb71d56524b834257afcd7fd177884564%7C0%7C1%7C636792083217495430&sdata=VHL6WqkDt5pWMF0KeFxM%2F6u6E5LoJ7Q7MttADviPjeM%3D&reserved=0.

  • The second meeting will be part of the California Water Commission meeting on January 16, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.

State of California, Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium
1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento

Comments can be submitted online at any time during the public comment period, which ends January 4, 2019 at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C2HKS6Q. All public comments received throughout the process will be reviewed and evaluated before final Basin Boundary Modifications results are announced in February 2019.

Additional information on the Draft Basin Boundary Modifications and SGMA can be found online, as follows:

Draft Basin Boundary Modifications — https://water.ca.gov/-/media/DWR-Website/Web-Pages/Programs/Groundwater-Management/Basin-Boundary-Modifications/Files/2018_Draft_Decision_Summary_Table.pdf

SGMA — https://water.ca.gov/Programs/Groundwater-Management