This week, the State Water Board adopted the Emergency Regulation for State Intervention Fees regarding the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which includes a schedule of fees for groundwater extraction reports, and electronic reporting requirements for groundwater extraction reports.
In 2014, landmark water legislation – Senate Bill 1168 and Assembly Bill 1739 – was chaptered establishing SGMA, thus providing a framework for local agencies to develop plans and implement strategies to sustainably manage groundwater resources within a defined period.
By June 30, 2017 a local agency/agencies in each high or medium priority groundwater basin must have officially formed one or more Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA) for the entire basin. By January 31, 2020 each high or medium priority groundwater basin that is subject to critical conditions of overdraft must be managed under a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), and by January 31, 2022 all remaining high or medium priority groundwater basins must be managed under a GSP with a final review by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) by January 31, 2024.
If a local agency has not formed and submitted their GSA to the Department of Water Resources by the June 30, 2017 deadline the State Water Board can step in to protect groundwater using a process called state intervention.
State intervention is triggered by any one of the following events:
- July 1, 2017: Entire basin is not covered by GSA(s);
- February 1, 2020: Basin is in critical overdraft and there is either 1) no plan or 2) the Department of Water Resources (DWR) fails the plan;
- Feb. 1, 2022: There is either 1) no plan or 2) long-term overdraft and DWR fails the plan; and/or
- Feb. 1, 2025: DWR fails plan and basin has significant surface water depletions.
Detailed information regarding the emergency regulation can be accessed here.