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Best Management Practices

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Chapter 7 of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), in Water Code Section 10729(d), states that, “By January 1, 2017, the department shall publish on its internet Web site best management practices for the sustainable management of groundwater.

The Groundwater Sustainability Plan Emergency Regulations (GSP Regulations), which were adopted in May 2016, define BMPs as the following:

“Best management practice” refers to a practice, or combination of practices, that are designed to achieve sustainable groundwater management and have been determined to be technologically and economically effective, practicable, and based on best available science.
  –GSP Regulations §351(h)

In addition, the GSP Regulations address BMPs in Section 352.2 (Monitoring Protocols) and Section 352.4 (Data and Reporting Standards). Other than BMPs addressing these two topics, SGMA and the GSP Regulations provide no direction or limitation with respect to what type of BMPs should be developed to assist GSAs with making sustainable groundwater management decisions. DWR may develop additional BMPs, or revise these BMPs, as needed.

DWR has elected to publish two categories of information that can assist GSAs with developing GSPs – BMPs and Guidance Documents. Please note that the BMPs or Guidance Documents do not serve as a substitute for the GSP Regulations or the statutory provisions of SGMA. View the BMP Framework Document for more information.

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

The BMP categories include the following (click on the BMP to download the document):

Guidance Documents

While BMPs are more technical in scope, Guidance Documents were prepared for topic areas unique to SGMA, for topics where no established practices in the water management industry exist, and which may not have been specifically identified in the GSP Regulations. The Guidance Documents include the following (click on the Guidance Document to download the information):

More Information

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For additional information regarding BMPs, please contact Trevor Joseph at or 916-651-9218.