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 do not handle issues related to water accounts, such as setting up an account or paying a bill (call Public Works). We work with a variety of committees, organizations and stakeholders regarding water and natural resource issues.
Currently much of our time involves implementing 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. GSPs for the Madera and Chowchilla Subbasins are available on their subbasin pages.