Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
While the Yuba Water Agency has long been a steward of groundwater resources in Yuba County, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), enacted by legislation in 2014 for the first time in California history, requires the adoption of groundwater sustainability plans that are tailored to the resources and needs of their communities. Proper groundwater management helps provide a buffer against drought and climate change, and contributes to reliable water supplies regardless of weather patterns.
Groundwater Sustainability Agencies
SGMA requires the formation of local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSA) to assess conditions in their local water basins and adopt management plans based on those assessments. It protects existing surface water and groundwater rights and does not impact current drought response measures.
Any local agency or combination of local agencies overlying a groundwater basin with certain powers may be elected as a GSA for that basin. SGMA sets forth the procedures a local agency must follow to become a GSA.
On August 11, 2015, the Yuba Water Agency Board of Directors passed and adopted a resolution electing to become a GSA.
Yuba Water Agency has taken the necessary steps to be a recognized groundwater sustainability agency for Yuba County and is working on the development of a groundwater sustainability plan and potentially basin boundary modifications (PDF). Yuba Water Agency’s long history of cooperating and coordinating with various stakeholders in developing and implementing its groundwater management policies, actions, and programs demonstrates that, as the GSA, it is capable of considering and protecting the numerous and diverse groundwater interests in the North Yuba and South Yuba subbasins.