Residents and other water users are invited to a special workshop covering local implementation of California’s new groundwater law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) on this Thursday, Oct. 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Galt City Council Chambers, 380 Civic Drive.

The workshop will address several topics and include time for participants to ask questions and provide input. Topics to be discussed will be: Managing groundwater, why care and what’s required by state law; developing a groundwater sustainability plan for the Cosumnes Subbasin; and public outreach and engagement strategies.

SGMA is a package of bills signed into law in 2017. SGMA requires the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies and development of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) by 2022.

The GSP must define groundwater conditions within the Cosumnes Subbasin underlying southern Sacramento County, identify the sustainable water yield for the basin and establish an implementation plan to achieve long-term basin sustainability by 2042. This has the potential to affect all groundwater users within the basin; including urban water systems and rural and agricultural properties.

Thursday’s workshop will be to introduce interested parties to the requirements and steps being taken within the Cosumnes Subbasin to meet the SGMA requirements.

About SGMA locally

Effective Jan. 1, 2015, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) established a framework for the sustainable management of groundwater resources for the first time in California’s history. SGMA’s intent is to achieve sustainable groundwater conditions statewide and to locally manage groundwater basins while minimizing state intervention to only when necessary. Over the next four years, the subbasin’s seven groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) will work together as the Cosumnes Subbasin SGMA Working Group (“Working Group”) to develop one or more groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) by Jan 31, 2022.

The preservation of local management of the region’s groundwater is a fundamental principle for implementing SGMA in the Cosumnes Subbasin.

Sustainable conditions will support the Cosumnes Subbasin’s vital agricultural economy, industry, and domestic and public water uses. It also supports important environmental resources like the Cosumnes River corridor. SGMA mandates that all high and medium priority groundwater basins in California must be managed sustainable over a 20-year implementation period.

Given the subbasin’s heavy reliance on groundwater, it is important for residents, businesses and interested members of the public to help shape the region’s approach to managing this precious resource and ensure there is balance between long-time supply and use.

Cooperation and coordination among agencies, landowners, stakeholders and others concerned with groundwater usage in the subbasin is crucial to successful SGMA implementation and to maintaining local control over the subbasin’s groundwater resources. In order for SGMA implementation to be responsive to local interest, public involvement and input is key to ensuring a thoughtful, locally driven plan for the Cosumnes Subbasin.

Opportunities for public engagement

• Visit cosumnes.waterforum.org/get-involved to sign up for the interested parties email list.

• Attend a monthly SGMA Working Group or Technical Advisory Committee meeting. Meetings are open to the public and have periods for public comment.

• Request an organizational briefing from the Water Forum or a GSA.

• Attend an October public workshop.

A website, cosumnes.waterforum.org, includes up-to-date information on groundwater planning in the Cosumnes and the opportunity to sign up to receive more information.