The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) recently passed by the Legislature fundamentally changes management of California’s groundwater basins. The Act mandates the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and requires the adoption of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) for basins designated as medium or high-priority by the Department of Water Resources (DWR). 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.

Madera County is comprised of three basins, designated by Department of Water Resources (DWR) as critically overdrafted, and “high priority:” (1) the Chowchilla Subbasin, (2) the Madera Subbasin and (3) a portion of the Delta-Mendota subbasin. Each of these basins must complete and submit a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) by January 2020, and these basins 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 Districts, Water Districts, cities and Madera County. The SGMA process is meant to be a public and participatory process. Madera County intends to engage the public and solicit input from stakeholders in order to craft a GSP that is effective in achieving public support toward a common goal of long-term sustainability.

In reaction to SGMA, Madera County has created the Department of Water and Natural Resources. This department is dedicated to fully servicing your needs as it relates to the SGMA. This website is intended to assist in public understanding of the SGMA and to provide a vehicle for tracking the process as local agencies address requirements under the SGMA.

CA Department of Water Resources SGMA Website