Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

In September of 2014, the California Legislature enacted comprehensive legislation aimed at strengthening local control and management of groundwater basins throughout the state. Known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, the legislation provides a framework for sustainable management of groundwater supplies by local authorities, with a limited role for state intervention when necessary to protect the resource. Brochure on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act California Department of Water Resources' Groundwater website The first step in the process laid out by the legislation is that local agencies must form local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) within two years. These GSAs must be formed to address groundwater basins determined by the state to be of high or medium priority. Two of the Ventura River watershed's four groundwater basins are ranked medium priority: Ojai Valley Basin and Upper Ventura River Basin.   Ojai Valley Groundwater Basin The Ojai Valley Basin is a special case in California; it already has a state created agency, the Ojai Basin Groundwater Management Agency (OBGMA), to oversee its management. OBGMA is one of only 13 special act districts with legislative authority to manage groundwater in California. They will need to make some changes in response to the new legislation, but OBGMA is well ahead of others in terms of already having a governing structure in place. To track the progress of the OBGMA in implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act provisions, see their website at ...... Upper Ventura River Groundwater Basin The process to form a GSA for the Upper Ventura River Basin has been initiated by a collaboration of five agencies: Ventura River Water District, Meiners Oaks Water District, City of Ventura, Casitas Municipal Water District, and Ventura County Watershed Protection District. For the time being, information on that process will be posted on this site.