Supervisors to create groundwater agencies

Angela Hart, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) website – newsletter signup and meetings.

Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday took their first substantive action to implement California’s landmark groundwater laws, voicing support for a three-pronged governance structure for local public entities that will have broad authority to regulate underground water supplies.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved forming one “sustainability agency” for each of the three basins in Sonoma County that fall under the new laws — the Santa Rosa Plain, Sonoma Valley and Petaluma Valley basins. The agencies must be in place by mid-2017.
“We need to be prepared,” said Supervisor James Gore. “The reality is that sustainability is not a choice.”
Other options included multiple agencies per basin, or one for the entire county.
Regulatory jurisdiction for the agencies could take in wells on residential and commercial properties, where officials would have authority to restrict pumping, assess fees to cover staff and infrastructure costs and fine users for depleting aquifers.
The bodies also could take proactive measures, ranging from land acquisition for water conservation projects to financing for water-saving infrastructure, including networks to distribute recycled water and catch stormwater.
Read more at: Sonoma County supervisors endorse framework for overseeing groundwater | The Press Democrat