Local Agencies Convene a Groundwater Management Public Meeting in the City of Biggs

August 8, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:

Local Agencies Convene a Groundwater Management Public Meeting in the City of Biggs

City of Biggs, California— The public will have an opportunity to learn about the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and the local implementation of this law at a public meeting on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Biggs Community Hall (Veterans Memorial Building) 280 B Street, Biggs, CA 95917.

 

SGMA Background

On September 16, 2014, Governor Brown signed into law a legislative package comprised of three bills (Assembly Bill (AB) 1739, Senate Bill (SB) 1168, and SB 1319). These laws are collectively known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). SGMA (pronounced sigma) defines sustainable groundwater management as the “management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained without causing undesirable results.”  SGMA requires groundwater basins to be managed under a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) and achieve sustainability within 20 years. The State has prioritized 127 basins to comply with SGMA. There are three groundwater subbasins in Butte and adjacent counties that are among the groundwater basins that must comply with SGMA and develop a GSP by January 31, 2022.  Butte County was awarded a $1.5 million grant to develop GSPs countywide.

The public meeting on August 14 will focus on one of those groundwater subbasins called the Butte subbasin which encompasses parts of Butte, Glenn and Colusa counties.  The central purpose of the meeting is to inform the public on how several local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) will work together to manage local groundwater resources.

 

Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Formation

SGMA requires the formation of locally controlled GSAs. A GSA is responsible for developing and implementing a GSP to meet the sustainability goal of the basin and to ensure that it considers all groundwater uses and users in the basin. SGMA refers to six indicators of sustainability and requires GSAs to address undesirable results if they do not achieve locally-developed sustainability goals. These undesirable results include: chronic lowering of groundwater levels, significant and unreasonable reduction of groundwater storage, seawater intrusion, degraded water quality, significant land subsidence and depletions of interconnected surface water.

 

GSA Eligible Agencies in the Butte Subbasin

Under SGMA, local public agencies with water supply, water management or land-use responsibilities are eligible to form GSAs.

Several local agencies formed GSAs to comply with the State-mandated deadline of July 1, 2017. These agencies have been meeting over the past year with the intent to find the most effective way to develop and implement one GSP for the Butte subbasin and how best to engage all groundwater users in the process. The participating agencies include: Biggs West Gridley Water District, Butte Water District, City of Biggs, City of Gridley, Colusa Groundwater Authority, County of Butte, County of Glenn, Reclamation District 1004, Reclamation District 2106, Richvale Irrigation District, and Western Canal Water District. Local agencies are working together to ensure compliance with state law and to make sure the community is informed about local management of groundwater.

 

How to Learn More

Local agency representatives will participate in the public meeting as well as the Department of Water Resources (DWR) which provides regulatory and technical assistance.

The public is invited to attend the meeting on Wednesday, August 14th  at 6 PM at the Biggs Community Hall to receive informative presentations and participate and learn more about SGMA activities in the Butte Subbasin.

To learn more about SGMA visit: https://groundwaterexchange.org

 

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