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Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
About SGMA and Local SGMA Planning and Implementation
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act gives local public agencies (counties, cities, water agencies, PUDs) authority to manage groundwater locally, with State oversight. All high and medium priority groundwater basins must be managed under a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). The first step in the process is for the eligible local agencies to determine the make-up of the governance structure(s) in their groundwater basins. The governance agencies, known as Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) can be a single entity managing an entire basin or a combination of Agencies.

Colusa County, along with other local agencies and stakeholders, has been working on a proactive approach to SGMA implementation.

Two groundwater sub-basins in Colusa County are subject to SGMA:

  • Colusa subbasin which spans portions of Colusa and Glenn Counties
  • Butte subbasin which spans portions of Colusa, Glenn and Butte Counties.

Agencies within Colusa County formed a Joint Powers Authority called the Colusa Groundwater Authority, to act as the Groundwater Sustainability Agency for the County portions of the Colusa Subbasin and a small portion of the Butte Subbasin.

For more information on the CGA and SGMA, visit their website at

Although individual landowners are not eligible to be a GSA, it is important that they stay informed and engaged in the planning process. It is especially important for groundwater users that are not part of a water district (private pumpers) to participate in SGMA planning. All beneficial uses and users of groundwater (Water Code Section 10723.2) must be taken into consideration during SGMA planning and implementation. There will continue to be ample opportunities for public engagement during development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans. If you are not on the County's SGMA email list, please contact Water Resources staff.

While we work within Colusa County political boundaries on SGMA planning, Staff continues to communicate planning activities with Yolo County, Glenn County, and each of the other four counties involved in the Northern Sacramento Valley IRWM region (Butte, Tehama, Shasta, Sutter). 
You can find information and presentations from past meetings, as well as information on upcoming local meetings regarding SGMA at the Colusa Groundwater Authority's website:


Helpful Information
GSP Regulations, Plan Contents, presentation by Bill Ehorn, DWR Northern Region Office

GSP Emergency Regulations
The California Water Commission approved the GSP Regulations presented by DWR at their May 18, 2016 meeting.

Domestic Well Users and SGMA Brochure from DWR and SWRCB

SGMA Legislation with 2015 Amendments

Designing Effective Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (UC Berkeley School of Law)
Executive Summary

Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Frequently Asked Questions

CA Department of Water Resources (DWR)
Sustainable Groundwater Management information: