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GSP Resources

GSP Documents

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

CA DWR Groundwater Sustainability Plan Outline

State Intervention Fact Sheet

Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Emergency Regulations Guide

Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices, or BMPs, are defined by DWR as “the practice, or combination of practices, that are designed to achieve sustainable groundwater management and have been determined to be technologically and economically effective, practicable, and based on best available science.” The documents are a source of guidance for GSAs to develop GSPs that in their implementation, succeed in reaching sustainability.

BMP Framework

BMP 1 Monitoring Protocol, Standards, and Sites 

BMP 2 Monitoring Networks and Identification of Data Gaps 

BMP 3 Hydrogeologic Conceptual Model

BMP 4 Water Budget 

BMP 5 Modeling

BMP 6 Sustainable Management Criteria DRAFT

SGMA Made Simple

GSP Video Series

Water Budget

Water Budget (Spanish Subtitles)

Sustainability Indicators

Hydrogeologic Conceptual Model

Hydrogeologic Conceptual Model (Spanish Subtitles)

Sustainability Indicator Infographics

Achieving sustainability under SGMA is measured using six “sustainability indicators”. When groundwater conditions cause an undesirable result on any or all of the sustainability indicators, you are not sustainable. Achieving sustainability under SGMA requires avoiding undesirable results.

View the infographics below to learn how sustainability indicators guide SGMA implementation. Click images to view full size.



Basin Setting

information about the physical setting, characteristics, and current conditions of the basin as described by the Agency in the hydrogeological conceptual model, the groundwater conditions, and the water budget

Best Management Practice (BMP)

practice, or combination of practices, that are designed to achieve sustainable groundwater management and have been determined to be technologically and economically effective, practicable, and based on best available science

Coordination Agreement

a legal agreement adopted between two or more groundwater sustainability agencies that provides the basis for coordinating multiple agencies or GSPs within a basin

De minimis user

a well owner who extracts two acre-feet or less per year from a parcel for domestic purposes

Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP)

A roadmap that specifies how the GSA will reach subbasin-wide sustainability. The Plan requires, among additional elements, a description of the Plan area, a hydrogeologic conceptual model, sustainability goals and objectives, a monitoring network, and projects and management actions to achieve the sustainability goal. In high- to medium-priority with critical overdraft conditions, GSPs must be submitted to the CA DWR by January 2020.

Hydrogeologic Conceptual Model

a model that utilizes current and historical data to forecast future groundwater conditions

Watch a short explainer video here: HCM video

Interim Plan

If deemed “probationary” due to failure to develop an adequate GSP, or failure to implement the GSP successfully, the State Board will allow the local GSAs time to fix the issue that led to probation. If the GSAs are unable to fix the issues, an interim plan will be implemented by the State. The interim plan will contain corrective actions, a timeline to reach sustainability, and a monitoring plan to ensure corrective actions are working. This kind of plan would include a fee structure and blunt corrective actions such as reduced pumping.

Measurable Objectives

refers to specific, quantifiable goals for the maintenance or improvement of specified groundwater conditions that have been included in an adopted Plan to achieve the sustainability goal for the basin

Minimum Thresholds

a numeric value for each sustainability indicator used to define undesirable results

Probationary Basins

if GSAs are unable to develop an adequate GSP, or fail to implement the GSP successfully, the Board may designate the entire basin probationary. Anyone who extracts groundwater from a probationary basin must file an extraction report with the State Water Board. The State Board may require use of meters to measure extractions and reporting of additional information.

Sustainability Goal

existence and implementation of one or more GSP’s that achieve sustainable groundwater management by identifying and causing the implementation of measures targeted to ensure operation within sustainable yield

Sustainability Indicator

any of the effects caused by groundwater conditions occurring throughout the basin that, when significant and unreasonable, cause undesirable results

Sustainability Yield

maximum quantity of water, calculated over a base period representative of long-term conditions in the basin and including any temporary surplus, that can be withdrawn annually from a groundwater supply without causing an undesirable result

Sustainable Groundwater Management

defined by SGMA as management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained during the planning and implementation horizon without causing undesirable results

Unmanaged Area

part of a subbasin not within the management area of a GSA before July 1, 2017. There are 6 GSAs that cover the  geography of the Tulare Lake Subbasin; there are no areas of the Subbasin considered an unmanaged area.

Undesirable Results

chronic lowering of groundwater levels and supply, significant and unreasonable reduction of groundwater storage, significant and unreasonable seawater intrusion, significant and unreasonable degraded water quality, significant and unreasonable land subsidence, depletion of interconnected surface water that have adverse impacts on beneficial uses of surface water

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