DWR approves Yuba Groundwater Sustainability Plan

Coachella Valley water management plan updates receive state approval

On Thursday, June 27, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced that the updates to the two groundwater management plans, initially approved in 2019 as Alternatives to a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), continue to meet the requirements of SGMA.

Adopted by the state in 2014, SGMA requires governments and water agencies of designated high- and medium-priority basins to develop a GSP that defines sustainability goals for the basin. SGMA also allowed local agencies to submit existing water management plans for approval by the DWR if the local agencies believed that the Alternative satisfied the objectives of SGMA for the basin. Coachella Valley has two of nine approved Alternatives in California.

Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD), Coachella Water Authority, Desert Water Agency (DWA), and Indio Water Authority collaborated on the Alternative for the Indio Subbasin. CVWD, DWA, and Mission Springs Water District collaborated on the Alternative for the Mission Creek Subbasin.

DWR performs a review of each Alternative at least every five years, based on local agencies’ evaluation of the Alternative and annual reports, emphasizing maintaining or achieving sustainability. Today marks the first time under SGMA that DWR has completed a periodic review of an Alternative to a GSP.

The state’s approval identifies that the updated water management plans continue to comply with SGMA law, relying upon the best available science and information, and that implementing the plans is likely to achieve or maintain groundwater sustainability. Alternatives based on an existing water management plan must demonstrate that implementation is expected to maintain or achieve sustainability within 20 years.

Annual reports for the Indio and Mission Creek Subbasin show that implementation of the water management plans have led to increased groundwater levels and sustainable basin management.

DWR’s SGMA Portal contains a copy of the water management plans and findings from the periodic review for the Indio Subbasin and the Mission Creek Subbasin.

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