What is the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)?
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), signed into law in 2014, provides a framework for long-term sustainable groundwater management across California. SGMA applies to all California groundwater basins and requires that local and regional authorities in designated medium- and high-priority groundwater basins form a locally-controlled and governed Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), which will prepare and implement a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) or an Alternative Plan. In the case of the Indio Subbasin, the region’s water purveyors had already developed an Alternative Plan (the 2010 Coachella Valley Water Management Plan Update) which was submitted to the State under SGMA. Of the 109 medium- and high-priority basins identified by the California Department of Water Resources, the Indio Subbasin Alternative Plan is only one of nine approved alternative plans under SGMA.