Groundwater Management

A photo of a groundwater pump next to an agriculture field.

Yuba County’s groundwater history

Since Yuba Water Agency’s establishment in 1959, protecting and enhancing Yuba County’s groundwater aquifer has been one of the agency’s foremost priorities.

Yuba Water manages two groundwater subbasins in the region together as a unit. The North Yuba Subbasin is north of the Yuba River, while the South Yuba Subbasin is south of the Yuba River. Between 1948 and 1981, groundwater elevations in the South Yuba Subbasin declined an estimated 130 feet due to excessive groundwater pumping. 

In 1984, Yuba Water began delivering surface water from New Bullards Bar Reservoir to southern Yuba County to offset groundwater extraction, resulting in a groundwater elevation rise to near-historical levels. Through careful stewardship of local water resources, the groundwater basin recovered to historic levels, ensuring that the 80 percent of Yuba County residents who rely on groundwater as their sole source of supply continue to have reliable access.

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

The 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) further reinforced the importance of long-term groundwater management throughout the state. SGMA established a statewide framework for the sustainable management of groundwater for the first time in California’s history and required the formation of groundwater sustainability agencies to prepare and submit plans that include measurable objectives and milestones to achieve sustainability.

In 2015, Yuba Water’s board voted to adopt a resolution electing to become the Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) for the North and South Yuba Subbasins. Cordua Irrigation District and the City of Marysville joined Yuba Water to become part of the GSA later that year.

Yuba Groundwater Sustainability Plan

The California Department of Water Resources, which oversees SGMA, formally approved the Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the North and South Yuba groundwater subbasins in Yuba County in 2021. The plan was developed by Yuba Water in coordination with Cordua Irrigation District, the City of Marysville and dozens of stakeholders.

A Groundwater Sustainability Committee (GSC) created by Yuba Water supports implementation of the region’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan. The committee reviews recent and historical surface and groundwater data, models and progress to guide the successful implementation of the plan. Two additional groundwater sustainability agencies within the North Yuba Subbasin are also committee members to ensure continued coordination and management.

The committee members, other stakeholders, and the general public are invited to committee meetings to review and support implementation of the Yuba Groundwater Sustainability Plan.

Related Documents

Future committee meetings will be held on June 15, 2022 and September 21, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Marysville/Wheatland meetings rooms at the Yuba County Government Center or via web meeting.