The regulatory requirements set forth in the three-bill legislative package consisting of Assembly Bill (AB) 1739 (Dickinson), Senate Bill (SB) 1168 (Pavley), and SB 1319 (Pavley), collectively known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). SGMA defines sustainable groundwater management as “management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained during the planning and implementation horizon without causing undesirable results”, which are defined by SGMA as any of the following effects caused by groundwater conditions occurring throughout the basin (CA DWR, 2018):
- Chronic lowering of groundwater levels indicating a significant and unreasonable depletion of supply if continued over the planning and implementation horizon
- Significant and unreasonable reduction of groundwater storage
- Significant and unreasonable seawater intrusion
- Significant and unreasonable degraded water quality, including the migration of contaminant plumes that impair water supplies
- Significant and unreasonable land subsidence that substantially interferes with surface land uses
- Depletions of interconnected surface water that have significant and unreasonable adverse impacts on beneficial uses of the surface water
The Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Subbasin (Eastern San Joaquin Subbasin or Subbasin) has been identified by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) as critically overdrafted. The Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (Eastern San Joaquin GSP, GSP, or the Plan) has been developed to meet SGMA regulatory. The Eastern San Joaquin GSP provides a path to achieve and document sustainable groundwater management within 20 years following Plan adoption, promoting the long-term sustainability of locally-managed groundwater resources now and into the future.