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Managing Our Groundwater in Tehama County

Groundwater is critical to water supply in Tehama County – providing drinking water, a source for agriculture use, and supporting our natural environment.

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California enacted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 to better manage our groundwater over the long term, emphasizing that groundwater is best suited to be managed at the local level.

What is sustainable groundwater management under SGMA?

Management and use of groundwater in a way that avoids Undesirable Results. The undesirable results to be avoided in Tehama County are:

Management and use of groundwater

What does SGMA require?

Groundwater basins must be managed by Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs). GSAs must develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) that provide a detailed roadmap for reaching long-term sustainability. In Tehama County, the Flood Control and Water Conservation District serves as the GSA for subbasins within the County boundaries (refer to map).

SGMA Map

What is contained in a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP)?

GSPs must assess groundwater conditions and articulate how groundwater management will avoid adverse impacts of groundwater overdraft. GSPs must consider projected conditions such as changes in climate, water use demand, groundwater recharge, etc. Methods to achieve sustainability may include managing pumping, increasing water conservation, and creating additional water supplies.

Who will develop the GSPs?

The District will develop individual GSPs for four subbasins located entirely within District boundaries (Bowman, Red Bluff, Antelope, and Los Molinos). The Corning Subbasin extends into Glenn County, and the District is coordinating with the Corning Subbasin GSA (who represents the Glenn County portion of the subbasin) on a single GSP to cover the entire subbasin. The District is also working with the neighboring GSAs to coordinate development of GSPs in these subbasins. GSPs are due to CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) by January 2022.

What are the GSA’s responsibilities?

  • GSP Development
  • Public Outreach & Stakeholder Engagement
  • Coordination with other GSAs
  • Monitoring & Reporting
  • GSP Implementation
  • Enforcement of GSP Provisions

How might SGMA affect me?

SGMA divides users into two groups: domestic and agricultural. Domestic users (single well, no crops or large landscapes) are not subject to SGMA, but participation is integral for effective GSP implementation. Ag users are unlikely to experience changes if it is determined through the GSP that subbasin groundwater supplies are sustainable in the long term. However, if it is determined that groundwater is being depleted, projects or management actions will need to be implemented to bring the basin into long-term sustainability.

How Can I Get More Information?

Upcoming Public Workshops

Virtual public webinar: December 9, 2020 6:00-8:30p – View Event Flyer