Sustainable Groundwater management act

River meanders through farmlands

In September 2014, Governor Brown signed historic legislation requiring that California’s critical groundwater resources be sustainably managed by local agencies.  The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) provides a framework for the sustainable management of groundwater supplies by local agencies.


The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

  • Provides for sustainable management of groundwater basins
  • Enhances local management of groundwater consistent with rights to use or store groundwater
  • Establishes minimum standards for effective, continuous management of groundwater
  • Provides local groundwater agencies with the authority, technical, and financial assistance needed to maintain groundwater supplies
  • Avoids or minimizes impacts for land subsidence
  • Improves data collection and understanding of groundwater resources and management
  • Increases groundwater storage and removes impediments to recharge


SGMA mandated the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and requires the adoption of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) for basins or sub-basins designated as medium or high priority by the CA Department of Water Resources. The regulations require GSPs to address groundwater overdraft and bring groundwater basins into balanced levels of pumping and recharge without causing significant and unreasonable undesirable results by the year 2040.

Field of crops with mountains in background

City of Coalinga Groundwater Sustainability Agency for the Pleasant Valley Sub-Basin

The Pleasant Valley Sub-basin was formed in 2016 as part of its compliance effort to meet California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) legislation enacted in 2014.  The Department of Water Resources reclassified the sub-basin from a low to medium priority designation in November 2018.  The GSA has until February 2022 to submit its Groundwater Management Plan (GSP) and has undertaken a series of steps to develop and meet the GSP submission deadline.

For additional information, please contact the Water and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Public Works and Planning at (559) 600-4292 or visit the Pleasant Valley GSA website: