Groundwater Sustainability Plans
We are approaching the January 31st deadline in which some water managers have to submit groundwater sustainability plans. This is to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act or SGMA.
Josiah Terrell-Perica is the Director of Investing for FarmTogether and has been analyzing California farmland investments for several years, including the impact of SGMA on farming in California.
Terrell-Perica…”Due to California's climate type and variability, irrigation is highly dependent on groundwater in dry years. In normal years, groundwater supplies around 40% of the state water supply, but can exceed 60% during periods of drought...
...So SGMA became law in 2015 during the peak of the worst drought in the history of the state.The drought from 2012 to 2015 was the most intense and 1200 years. And accelerated changes in the state's water management that were a long time coming. So the first thing the law did was give local agencies the authority to manage groundwater in a sustainable manner. That also allows for state intervention when needed to protect groundwater resources. To achieve this, SGMA creates what are called groundwater sustainability agencies that are in charge of drafting and implementing local plans to achieve sustainability over a 20 year period.”
Those agencies that are in high priority or critically-overdrafted basins are scheduled to submit their plans by the end of the month.