In 2014, the State of California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), requiring that all medium and high priority groundwater basins form a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) by June 2017 and develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) by 2022, in order to achieve sustainability by 2042. Should local authorities fail to meet these deadlines, the State Water Resource Control Board will step in and intervene in local groundwater management. Learn more about state intervention.
Three Sonoma County groundwater basins are currently designated medium-priority: the Sonoma Valley groundwater basin, the Santa Rosa Plain groundwater basin, and the Petaluma Valley groundwater basin.
SGMA Implementation Timeline
2015: An impartial facilitator conducts the Stakeholder Assessment Report, recommending the formation of three GSAs, one for each medium-priority basin. Public meetings held to develop recommendations for forming the GSAs.
2016: Public meetings held to inform people about SGMA, present GSA formation options and make recommendations.
2017: The Petaluma Valley GSA is formed as a joint powers authority, governed by a Board of Directors, advised by an Advisory Committee, and staffed by a team of agency and consulting experts.
2018: Initiation of the GSP, beginning with the basin conditions assessment. Rate and fee study in progress to develop financing strategy for the GSA. Public meetings held to discuss fee options.