Groundwater sustainability plan and 5-year update adopted for submittal to DWR

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M&A continues work toward groundwater sustainability in California

Montgomery & Associates (M&A) has worked closely with the Santa Margarita Groundwater Agency for the past two years to develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), as required by California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The GSP was adopted on November 17, 2021, and will be submitted to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) by January 31, 2022. DWR has two years to evaluate the GSP to determine if it is approved or if corrective actions are needed before approval.

In addition to developing the GSP for Santa Margarita, M&A worked with the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency to develop the 5-year Update to the Pajaro Valley GSP Alternative (GSU22), as required by SGMA. GSU22 was also adopted on November 17, 2021, for submittal to DWR.

As the technical consultant working with these and other Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs), M&A’s work includes assessing geology and hydrogeology; documenting hydrogeologic conceptual models; developing sustainable management criteria; understanding surface water/groundwater interactions; assessing groundwater quality; developing and using groundwater models to simulate potential future conditions; supporting development of data management systems; and writing the GSP or GSP Alternative in accordance with SGMA.

“Congratulations to the Groundwater Sustainability Agencies and the M&A teams that worked on these projects,” said Hale Barter, president of M&A. “Completing these comprehensive plans, which guide ongoing management of the groundwater basins and provide solutions to achieve sustainability, is a tremendous milestone.”

M&A is currently leading or assisting with the development of GSPs in 13 other subbasins including two subbasins within the Redding Basin, Corning Subbasin, Petaluma Valley Subbasin, Sonoma Valley Subbasin, Santa Rosa Plain Subbasin, five subbasins in the Salinas Valley, Carpinteria Basin, and Turlock Subbasin. These GSPs will be submitted to DWR in January 2022. DWR approved two GSPs as part of its first assessments released June 3, 2021. These GSPs for the 180/400-Foot Aquifer Subbasin in Salinas Valley and the Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin were submitted in January 2020, and M&A led the development of both.

“We’re proud to be at the forefront of SGMA and pleased that our guidance, experience, and practical SGMA knowledge has helped the GSAs. Our clients have worked tirelessly gaining consensus among stakeholders and developing plans and alternatives that will be acceptable to DWR,” said Derrik Williams, P.G., C.Hg., principal hydrogeologist and M&A California business development manager.

For more information about M&A’s groundwater management services in California, visit our website or contact Derrik.