Municipalities across California are grappling to keep up with the state’s evolving groundwater regulations. Although groundwater can account for nearly 60% of the state’s water supply, California is just beginning to establish its first state-wide regulation that comprehensively manages groundwater use outside of the courts: the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Woodard & Curran is providing groundwater technical and planning support for the City of Oceanside to address a wide variety of groundwater issues including meeting requirements under the SGMA and complying with the California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) Program.
The City of Oceanside is in San Diego County, which contains multiple separate groundwater basins, few of which are CASGEM compliant. The County initiated a concerted effort to prepare CASGEM monitoring plan and to bring all groundwater basins in the County into compliance with CASGEM. Recently, the County has completed the draft monitoring program for the San Luis Rey Valley Groundwater Basin, and Woodard & Curran is reviewing and providing input on that document on behalf of the City of Oceanside.
Oceanside lies on top of the San Luis Rey Valley Groundwater Basin, which is a long, narrow coastal groundwater basin with a wide variety of groundwater users, including heavily urbanized areas on the west and agricultural lands and Native American tribal lands on the east. Woodard & Curran has been attending initial groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) formation meetings on behalf of the City of Oceanside, and has developed and proposed a strawman GSA governance structure that is being used as the foundation in initial discussions by potential GSA representatives and stakeholders for compliance with SGMA and the impending 2017 GSA deadline.