GSA Activities

Outreach to Rural Well Owners

Approximately 5,400 rural well owners in Sonoma County received a survey designed to elicit their concerns and ideas about local groundwater conditions in December 2020. Thank you to the more than 1,000 people – 22% — who returned surveys!

The purpose of the survey was to raise awareness about local groundwater management and to solicit feedback from well owners regarding any concerns they may have about groundwater in the basin. The survey results are now being analyzed and will be used as the basis for focus groups that will provide an opportunity for more in-depth discussions of issues and ideas for improving groundwater conditions.

This joint project of the county’s three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) is the first step in an engagement project designed to educate and receive feedback from well owners in the Petaluma Valley, Santa Rosa Plain and Sonoma Valley groundwater basins. Survey results were shared with the GSA Board at its February  2021 meeting.

Read the full press release here.

Practitioners Work Groups

The three Sonoma County GSAs received funding from California Department of Water Resources through the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68) to facilitate four work groups comprised of technical subject experts. The work groups were formed to help with the development of the Groundwater Sustainability Plans in four areas:

  • Rural residential population projections;
  • Agricultural water demand projections;
  • Groundwater-dependent ecosystems; and
  • Interconnected surface water depletion.

The work groups began meeting in summer 2020 and the GSAs anticipate that all work will be complete in February 2021. The meetings are facilitated by a neutral facilitator from the Consensus and Collaboration Program with CSU Sacramento. The work group products were shared with the Board  and Advisory Committees of the GSAs, and will be used to develop the water budgets and Sustainable Management Criteria for Interconnected Surface Water.

Meeting materials are below:


Agricultural Water Demands:
Rural Residential Changes:
Interconnected Surface Water:
Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems:

Community Meetings

May 26, 2021 Meeting: Defining Groundwater Sustainability in the Petaluma Valley Basin

Meeting topics included:

    • Overview of the basin and concerns
    • The groundwater budget: How much water is coming into the basin and how much water is going out — now and into the future
    • Defining sustainability locally
    • Measuring sustainability


Comments and Questions

Community Meeting:  Groundwater Sustainability in Our Basin

This public workshop held on July 29 was an opportunity for well owners, farmers and others in the Santa Rosa Plain to learn about groundwater in the basin and to help define local, sustainable groundwater management.

Presentations include:

Opening Remarks: Sam Magill, Facilitator, CSU Sacramento Consensus and Collaboration Program

Welcome: Chair Lynda Hopkins

The Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Basin: Marcus Trotta, Hydrogeologist, Sonoma Water

Click here for basin presentation

Questions about the basin?: Meeting Participants

Defining Groundwater Sustainability: Andy Rogers, GSA Administrator

Click here for sustainability presentation

Questions about sustainability?: Meeting Participants?

View the community workshop here.

Recharging Groundwater Basins:  Facts, Myths, Projects and Possibilities Workshop

This public workshop held on December 11, focused on how groundwater can be recharged to help better manage and sustain local aquifers.

Presentations include:

Recharge: What is it? How does it work? What are the different types of recharge?

Marcus Trotta, Sonoma Water

 California’s Flood-MAR (Managed Aquifer Recharge) project: What is it? Where is it happening? How does it work?

Kamyar Guivetchi, California Department of Water Resources

Local recharge efforts: What farmers are doing in Sonoma County to enhance recharge.

Dr. Phil Bachand, Bachand & Associates

Recharge Workshop Flyer

FloodMAR fact sheet

UCCE Groundwater Recharge

Implementation Factors FloodMAR

FloodMAR Research and Data Development

Increased Shallow Groundwater Levels from RAU

ALL Workshop Presentation

Recharge Workshop Notes



GSA Activities

Climate Change Workshop

On May 22, the three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies held a public workshop “How a changing climate could affect our groundwater basins – and what we’re doing about it.” The focus of this public workshop was on how climate change must be addressed in the Groundwater Sustainability Plans.

Workshop Notes

How Models Can be Used to Determine the Impact of Climate Change on Groundwater Presentation

Sonoma Water Regional Water Resource Climate Adaptation Programs Presentation

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and Climate Change Presentation


For more detailed information on GSA activity, visit the Meeting Calendar to review recent meeting agendas and minutes, read about recent news, or read recent press releases.