Groundwater Info Center
Developing a Groundwater Management Plan

Beginning January 1, 2015 no groundwater management plans (GWMPs) can be adopted in medium- and high-priority basins, in accordance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.  GWMPs previously developed for medium- and high-priority basins are still in effect until groundwater sustainability plans are developed. The guidelines provided below are only relevant for very low- or low-priority basins.

1) What is the current procedure or process to adopt a groundwater management plan?

The California Water Code defines the process for adopting a groundwater management plan. The procedures were initially introduced in AB 3030 and enhanced with SB 1938 and AB 359. Revising a groundwater management plan shall follow the same process used in developing and adopting a new groundwater management plan.

View the Guide for adopting and updating a GWMP

The guide is prepared from the California Water Code effective through 1/1/2014.

2) What technical components are required and what components are voluntary?

A properly prepared Groundwater Management Plan includes all the required components identified in California Water Code Section 10753.7.

View the Guide for GWMP Required Components

In addition to the required components, GWMP's should consider as many of the 12 voluntary components as relevant.

For GWMP Voluntary Components see AB3030 Summary Information

3) What recommendations does DWR offer to help in developing and adopting groundwater management plans?

In 2003, DWR prepared a list of seven recommendations that can be used to develop, implement, and update GWMPs. The recommendations address topics such as: formation of advisory committees; how management objectives are established, monitored, and managed; the development of detailed monitoring plans; and periodic reports and evaluations of the plan.

The complete and detailed list of DWR's recommendations can be found in Chapter 3 of Bulletin 118-2003.

4) What is DWR involvement in groundwater management?

DWR is involved in many different activities that are established to provide technical and financial assistance in various aspects of groundwater management. Below is a short list with links that can be used to provide additional information:

California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM)
California Data Exchange Center (CDEC)
California's Groundwater - Bulletin 118
California Water Plan
Drought Coordination
Integrated Regional Water Management
Local Groundwater Assistance

5) Finally...

DWR does not:

Regulate groundwater quality. Contact State and Regional Water Boards for additional information on water quality.

Regulate groundwater use. Contact State Water Board - Water Rights for additional information on water rights.