Engage With Your Local Groundwater Sustainability Agency
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, was a landmark legislation whose effects will be felt over the decades that it is phased into implementation. With the long time horizon it may be easy for some to lose sight of what’s happening now.
And, what’s happening is local authorities are creating Groundwater Sustainability Plans. Or as Rosedale Rio Bravo Water Storage District General Manager Eric Averett likes to call them, water budgets.
Averett… “Each entity that kind of accepted responsibility to comply or to submit, you know, the necessary reports and information to the Department of Water Resources prepared a plan called the groundwater sustainability plan. And again, you can liken that to the budget. You may sit down with your family and say, okay, here's our budge. The schedule, if you will, of adjustments to the pumping is incorporated into that plan and DWR will review that. And if it's reasonable, DWR will give you a stamp of approval. If they look at it and say, wait a second, it's not reasonable that you're going to do no cut backs until year 19, then they'll say, you know, we want you to amend this or correct this. So DWR has the role of kind of making sure that the budgets pass the smell test.”
It’s important for farmers to get engaged with these discussions right away as these plans will contribute to the framework for water use for years to come.