Department of Water Resources Releases Draft Emergency Regulations for Groundwater Sustainability Plans


DWR Releases Draft Emergency Regulations for
Groundwater Sustainability Plans
Last Thursday, the Department of Water Resources (“DWR” or “Department”) released draft emergency regulations governing the preparation, evaluation, and implementation of groundwater sustainability plans (“GSPs” or “Plans”) as well as coordination agreements among Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (“GSAs”). The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) directs DWR to adopt final regulations by June 1, 2016.
DWR’s timely adoption of these regulations is essential as some of SGMA’s key deadlines approach. Once adopted, DWR’s regulations will provide the framework for GSAs in developing and implementing GSPs, and the standards that DWR will use in evaluating those GSPs. By January 31, 2020, all high- and medium-priority basins subject to critical conditions of overdraft must be managed under an approved GSP, and all other high- and medium-priority basins must have an approved GSP by January 31, 2022. SGMA requires each GSP to provide “measurable objectives” that will allow the basin to achieve a “sustainability goal in the basin within 20 years of the implementation of the Plan.” (Water Code, § 10727.2(b)(1).)

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