DWR approves Yuba Groundwater Sustainability Plan

Westlands receives approval for groundwater plan

Westlands Water District (District) has announced they received a recommendation of approval for the Westside Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (Westside GSP) from the Department of Water Resources. According to the District, the plan provides a detailed blueprint for achieving long-term groundwater sustainability in the San Joaquin Valley while avoiding undesirable impacts to the Westside Subbasin and to infrastructure critical to California.

“We are grateful that DWR staff believe the District has taken sufficient actions to address the deficiencies DWR previously identified, and are now preparing to recommend approval,” said Jeff Fortune, president of Westlands’ Board of Directors. “This result reflects a great deal of time and dedication from Westlands’ staff and Board of Directors who worked diligently and collaboratively with DWR to build a groundwater sustainability plan that will achieve the Westside Subbasin’s sustainability goals.”

Jose Gutierrez, the District’s interim general manager, stated “The value of DWR’s support – both technical and financial – cannot be understated. We look forward to a continued partnership with DWR as we roll up our sleeves and implement the plan, with the goal of ensuring a sustainable water future for the District’s nearly 700 family-owned farms that feed the world and support the hard-working people who live in the San Joaquin Valley.”

Enacted in 2014, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) establishes a framework to help protect California’s groundwater resources by requiring local groundwater sustainability agencies to develop and implement groundwater sustainability plans. DWR supports SGMA implementation by providing regulatory oversight through evaluation and assessment of groundwater sustainability plans and providing ongoing planning, technical and financial assistance to local water districts.

“Farmers in the District rank among the most productive and water efficient in the world, and the District has long been recognized as a leader in agricultural water conservation,” added Gutierrez. “The District is pleased to reach the next phase in the process as we work to combat the impacts of climate change on our most precious resource.”

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