Hero Image

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

In the midst of a major drought, California Governor Jerry Brown signed what is perhaps the most significant legislative water initiative in California in half a century: the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA) (also online[Ley de Gestión Sustentable del Agua Subterránea]. The act consists of three legislative bills, Senate Bill SB 1168 (Pavley), Assembly Bill AB 1739 (Dickinson), and Senate Bill SB 1319 (Pavley). The legislation provides a framework for long-term sustainable groundwater management across California. Under the roadmap laid out by the legislation, local and regional authorities in medium and high priority groundwater basins have formed Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) that oversee the preparation and implementation of a local Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP).

The California Department of Water Resources has developed regulations governing the content of Groundwater Sustainability Plans. Local stakeholders have until 2022 (in critically overdrafted basins until 2020) to develop, prepare, and begin implementation of Groundwater Sustainability Plans. GSAs will have until 2040 to achieve groundwater sustainability.



Online Databases and Data Resources


Resources on Sustainable Groundwater Management

California State Agency Portals:

Guidelines, White Papers, Resources:

Overview and Early Implementation Guidelines (2014-2016):