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There are five GSAs cooperating to develop a GSP for the portion of the Paso Robles Basin in San Luis Obispo County.

The GSAs can be reached at the following websites:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is SGMA?

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is a California Law, comprised of three bills (AB 1739, SB 1168, and SB 1319), that provides local agencies with a framework for managing groundwater basins in a sustainable manner. Recognizing that groundwater is most effectively managed at the local level, SGMA empowers local agencies by providing them with the authority, the technical and the financial means necessary to achieve sustainability within 20 years.

What is a GSA?

A local agency or combination of local agencies with water supply, water management or land us responsibilities may establish a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA). It is the GSA's responsibility to develop and implement a groundwater sustainability plan (GSP) that considers all beneficial uses and users of groundwater in the basin.

What is a GSP?

GSAs must develop GSPs in accordance with the requirements of the California Department of Water Resources' (DWR) GSP Regulations. The plan(s) must include measurable objectives and interim milestones that ensure basin sustainability within 20 years of GSP adoption. A basin may be managed by a single GSP or multiple coordinated GSPs.

What is the timeline for implementing SGMA?

The major milestones for Paso Robles Basin SGMA implementation are shown on the table below.
Milestone Date Paso Robles Basin Progress
GSA Formation June 30, 2017 DONE
Paso Robles Basin GSP due* January 31, 2020 In Progress
GSP Update -2025 and every 5 years thereafter-
Paso Robles Basin achieves sustainability January 21, 2040 Future Activity
Maintain sustainability 2040 - 2070 Future Activity
*Paso Robles Basin is designated by the State as high priority and subject to critical conditions of overdraft. Therefore, the Paso Robles Basin GSP is due in 2020. GSPs for high and medium priority basins not subject to critical conditions of overdraft are not due until 2022.

What are Sustainable Management Criteria?

Sustainable management criteria are the process by which the Agency [GSA] shall characterize undesirable results, and establish minimum thresholds and measurable objectives for each applicable sustainability indicator. Definitions for these and other related terms are provided below.

Sustainability Indicator

Any of the effects caused by groundwater conditions occurring throughout the basin that, when significant and unreasonable, cause undesirable results. The effects considered sustainability indicators are listed below.

  • Chronic lowering of groundwater levels
  • Reduction of groundwater storage
  • Seawater intrusion
  • Degraded water quality
  • Land subsidence
  • Depletion of interconnected surface waters
Undesirable Results

The significant and unreasonable occurrence of any of the six sustainability indicators constitutes an undesirable result.

Minimum Threshold

Numeric value for each sustainability indicator used to define undesirable results.

Measurable Objective

Specific, quantifiable goals for the maintenance or improvement of specified groundwater conditions that have been included in an adopted Plan [GSP] to achieve the sustainability goal for the basin.

Sustainability Goal

Goal for the basin that culminates in the absence of undesirable results within 20 years of the applicable statutory deadline.