Groundwater Sustainability Plan Original
The following DRAFT sections and figures of the Santa Rosa Plain GSA Groundwater Sustainability Plan have been reviewed by the Advisory Committee. The public will have an opportunity to comment on updated draft sections and figures in Winter 2020. For questions about the sections and figures, contact the GSA.
In 2020, the GSA will focus on developing draft Sustainable Management Criteria (SMC). GSA staff has prepared a “cheat sheet” on useful terms regarding SMC.
California Department of Water Resources has prepared several useful guidance documents on preparation of GSPs, including the following:
- GSP Emergency Regulations
- GSP Sustainable Management Criteria Best Management Practices
- Additional materials and guidance can be found on DWR’s website.
Table of Contents
Share Your Thoughts and Concerns about the GSP
DWR developed detailed requirements and regulations for successful GSPs. The GSP must describe and identify
- Who is involved in the GSA
- The basin’s geology and hydrogeology
- How the GSA will define and measure sustainability
- Programs and projects that get the basin to sustainability
- How the GSP will be implemented.
Describe the Groundwater Basin
The GSP will include background organizational information about the basin, including maps of town and cities, land use data, well density information and descriptions of existing groundwater management activities and general plans. Here are some examples of information to be included:
- Geologic data
- Historical and current groundwater conditions and budgets
- Future groundwater budget
- Information about existing monitoring programs
Define and Measure Sustainability
One of the primary tasks of the GSP is to define sustainable groundwater management for the Santa Rosa Plain basin. This definition will be based on six sustainability indicators described by SGMA. Each sustainability indicator is based on avoiding one of the major outcomes of unsustainable groundwater use.
The GSP will set measureable thresholds and measurable objectives for each sustainability indicator. The GSA will consider scientific data and input from stakeholders and the community to create a GSP that demonstrably avoids these undesirable results.
Fundamental to developing Sustainable Management Criteria (SMC) is understanding the language, and understanding how the concepts relate to each other. This cheat sheet provides a plain language discussion of key terms, and illustrates how the concepts are interrelated.
A “Cheat Sheet” for developing Sustainable Management Criteria
Lowering Groundwater Levels
Reduction of Storage
Degraded Groundwater Quality
Surface Water Depletion
Projects and Management Actions
- Increased use of recycled water to decrease reliance on groundwater and slow pumping
- Stormwater recharge projects to increase groundwater levels
- Groundwater banking projects to store excess water in depleted aquifers
- Managing water demand through conservation or other methods
- Other innovative strategies to avoid the undesirable results listed above
The GSP must demonstrate that these projects and actions will ensure sustainability in the basin for 30 more years (until 2072). The GSP also must include plans to fund these projects, and include backup or supplemental plans in case it is determined that the preferred projects and programs are not adequate.
Submission and Evaluation
Once completed, the GSPs will be submitted to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) for review and evaluation. There will be a 60-day public comment period during this time. DWR will determine whether the GSP meets the requirements of SGMA and whether it will achieve the basin’s sustainability goal. DWR will respond with one of three outcomes:
- Determined incomplete. If the GSP passes basic initial criteria, but is determined by DWR to be incomplete, the GSA may be able to correct and resubmit the GSP.
- If DWR determines that a GSP is inadequate, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) may intervene in that basin’s groundwater management.