Groundwater Basin Boundary Modifications finalized by Department of Water Resources

By on February 17, 2019
Department of Water Resources

As part of the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced earlier this week the final decisions for groundwater basin boundary modifications requested by local agencies. Under SGMA, basin boundaries define the geographical area included in each groundwater basin. Once basin boundaries are finalized, the basins are then prioritized to determine which will be required to develop groundwater sustainability plans.

“SGMA is a central feature of the sustainable water future of California and the department is working with locals to successfully implement this landmark legislation,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “These final decisions on basin boundaries move local water agencies forward as they work to bring their basins into balance.”

Draft results were released in November 2018 and finalization comes after a public comment period, a public meeting, and a public presentation to the California Water Commission. The final basin boundaries incorporate comments received during this period and resulted in the revision of three of the original draft decisions. The final basin boundaries incorporate comments received during the three-month comment period.

DWR staff reviewed all information provided with the requests and approved modifications that met the requirements of the Basin Boundary Regulations. In its draft decision, DWR partially approved three modification requests meaning that some portions of the modification requests were adequately supported by the information provided and were approved, while other portions were not and were denied approved 33, denied seven, and partially approved three modification requests. Draft decisions by DWR also approved 33 and denied seven requests.

Of California’s 517 groundwater basins and subbasins, local agencies submitted 43 requests for basin modifications for either scientific or jurisdictional reasons. Scientific modifications are based on geologic or hydrologic conditions, while jurisdictional modifications change boundaries to promote sustainable groundwater management.