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.
The joint powers agreement cites the following purposes for establishing SGA:
- To maintain the long-term sustainable yield of the North Area Basin;
- To manage the use of groundwater in the North Area Basin and facilitate implementation of an appropriate conjunctive use program by water purveyors;
- To coordinate efforts among those entities represented on the governing body of the joint powers authority to devise and implement strategies to safeguard groundwater quality; and
- To work collaboratively with other entities, including groundwater management authorities that may be formed in other areas of the County of Sacramento and adjacent political jurisdictions, to promote coordination of policies and activities throughout the region.
The SGA draws its authority from a joint powers agreement signed by the cities of Citrus Heights, Folsom and Sacramento and the County of Sacramento. The signatories chose to manage the basin cooperatively by creating a governing board of directors comprised of representatives of the following water agencies and other water users within their jurisdiction:
- California American Water
- Carmichael Water District
- Citrus Heights Water District
- City of Folsom
- City of Sacramento
- County of Sacramento
- Del Paso Manor Water District
- Fair Oaks Water District
- Golden State Water Company
- Natomas Central Mutual Water Company
- Orange Vale Water Company
- Rio Linda/Elverta Community Water District
- Sacramento Suburban Water District
- San Juan Water District
- Agriculture interests within SGA boundaries
- Commercial/Industrial self-supplied water users within SGA boundaries