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SGMA Groundwater Management

On September 16, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a three-bill legislative package, known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). For the first time in its history, California has a framework for sustainable, groundwater management.

SGMA requires governments and water agencies of high and medium priority basins to halt overdraft and bring groundwater basins into balanced levels of pumping and recharge by 2022. For critically over-drafted subbasins including the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Subbasin, this deadline is accelerated to 2020. Under SGMA, subbasins should reach sustainability within 20 years of implementing their sustainability plans. For critically over-drafted basins, that will be 2040. For the remaining high and medium priority basins, 2042 is the deadline.

SGMA empowers local agencies to form Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to manage basins sustainably and requires those GSAs to adopt Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs).

The Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Authority (GWA) provides a forum for the 17 GSAs of the eastern San Joaquin Subbasin to work together to develop and implement a single GSP.

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Water flowing around rocks