M&A supported development of the first approved GSPs

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We are pleased to announce Montgomery & Associates (M&A) is the lead consultant on the two Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) approved by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) as part of its first assessments released June 3, 2021. Submitted to DWR in January 2020, GSPs for the 180/400-Foot Aquifer Subbasin (Salinas Valley Basin) and the Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin are the first to be approved since the passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). According to the determination letters from DWR, each GSP “satisfies the objectives of SGMA and substantially complies with the GSP Regulations.”

M&A worked closely with the Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to develop these GSPs to meet the requirements of SGMA. M&A staff adopted various roles, including serving as the primary author of one of the GSPs, providing technical consulting to the GSAs, interpreting SGMA regulations, and developing and coordinating strategic direction with GSA staff. Technical roles included assessing geology and hydrogeology; developing hydrogeologic conceptual models; understanding surface water/groundwater interactions; assessing groundwater quality; developing and using groundwater models to simulate potential future conditions; and developing data management systems in accordance with all SGMA requirements. Our team also provided input and guidance on developing sustainable management criteria, which require important policy making by the GSAs and their boards.

“Congratulations to the M&A teams that worked on the Salinas Valley and Santa Cruz Mid-County GSPs,” said Hale Barter, M&A president. “This significant achievement is the result of dedicated scientists, client collaboration, and acceptance across a broad spectrum of stakeholders.”

“Having the first two GSPs approved by DWR is testament to our team’s hard work and thorough understanding of SGMA,” said Cameron Tana, P.E., principal hydrologist and California operations manager at M&A. “GSP development has been a long, involved, and challenging but rewarding process, and we hope the approved GSPs will serve as models for future GSP development.”

M&A is currently leading or assisting with the development of GSPs in 14 other subbasins including two subbasins within the Redding Basin, Corning Subbasin, Santa Margarita Basin, Petaluma Valley Subbasin, Sonoma Valley Subbasin, Santa Rosa Plain Subbasin, five additional subbasins in the Salinas Valley, Carpinteria Basin, and Turlock Subbasin. These GSPs will be submitted to DWR in January 2022. Additionally, M&A is working with GSAs to implement GSPs in three subbasins and developing the five-year update for the Pajaro Valley GSP Alternative.

For more information about M&A’s groundwater management services in California, visit our website or contact Derrik Williams, P.G., C.Hg., California business development manager.