Sustainably Managing the North Area’s Groundwater Basin

The Sacramento Groundwater Authority is a joint powers authority (JPA) formed in 1998 to manage the groundwater basin in Sacramento County north of the American River. Known locally as the North Area Groundwater Basin (North Area Basin), the basin encompasses the southern one-third of the North American Subbasin (Basin 5-21.64) as defined by the California Department of Water Resources.

SGA is recognized as an essential part of implementing the groundwater management element of the historic Water Forum Agreement (WFA) of 2000. A centerpiece of the agreement is a regional program to manage and conjunctively use groundwater and surface water to help meet water needs through the year 2030, while reducing diversions from the lower American River during environmentally sensitive times.

In January 2016, SGA became the exclusive Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) in conformance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of 2014 for its portion of the North American Subbasin.

Key basin management activities from 2013 through mid-2016 have included:

  • Developing and implementing the SGA Groundwater Management Plan
  • Implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
  • Developing and adopting the Water Accounting Framework, which establishes policies and procedures to encourage and support conjunctive use operations within the SGA area.
  • Studying PCE Contamination in Northern Sacramento County: SGA was awarded $224,969 from the California Department of Water Resources’ Local Groundwater Assistance Program in 2013. The grant is allowing SGA to analyze potential impacts of tetrachoroethylene (PCE) contamination to the region.

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