Welcome to the Department of Water and Natural Resources for Madera County.
Our department develops and implements county policy and activities regarding surface water, groundwater and watershed management. We work with a variety of committees, organizations and stakeholders regarding water and natural resource issues.
Currently much of our time involves preparing for compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014. This piece of legislation fundamentally changes management of California’s groundwater basins. SGMA mandates the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and requires the adoption of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) for basins or subbasins designated as medium or high-priority by the CA Department of Water Resources. GSPs are mandatory to eliminate overdraft conditions in aquifers and to return them to conditions that assure long-term sustainability within 20 years of implementation.
SGMA Educational Videos
- Rural Communities and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
- SGMA and Groundwater Users Working Together
- General Facts (English & Español) (Self Help Enterprises)
- State & Regional Water Boards Basics (State Water Board)
- Stakeholder Inclusion (State Water Board)
- Purpose of Use for Underground Storage (State Water Board)
- Probationary Designation & Groundwater Regulations by the State Water Board (State Water Board)
- Funding Opportunities for GSAs (State Water Board)
- Resources for GSAs to Consider When Complying with SGMA (State Water Board)
Subbasins Madera County is comprised of three subbasins, designated by the CA Department of Water Resources as critically overdrafted, and “high priority”:
1. the Chowchilla Subbasin;
2. the Madera Subbasin; and
3. a portion of the Delta-Mendota Subbasin.
GSPs Each of the subbasins above must submit a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) by January 2020. These subbasins are required to achieve “sustainability” by the year 2040. The method by which sustainability will be achieved will be illustrated in the GSP, which will be drafted in partnership by the irrigation district, water districts, cities and Madera County. The process is meant to be a public and participatory process. Madera County will consider input from stakeholders and seeks achieve public support toward a common goal of long-term sustainability.
Groundwater Sustainability Plan
Chapters will be available as they are released
Chapter 2 – Available April 2019
Chapter 3 – Available in July 2019
Chapter 4 – Available in July 2019
Chapter 5 – Available in July 2019
Open Bids (RFQ/RFP)