On September 16, 2014, the Governor signed a three-bill
package known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) into law that establishes
a new structure for groundwater management, recognizing that groundwater
management in California is best accomplished locally. For over 100 years, Alameda County Water District (ACWD) has managed the groundwater of the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin (Niles Cone Subbasin 2-09.01) through comprehensive programs that protect and improve water supplies for all groundwater users. ACWD is identified within SGMA as an agency created by statute to manage groundwater and deemed to be the exclusive local agency within its statutory boundaries to comply with SGMA (California Water Code Section 10723 et seq.). ACWD is actively following and providing comments on the draft regulations proposed to implement SGMA since they will change how groundwater basins are managed and regulated in California.
Basin Boundary Modification
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) adopted emergency regulations regarding the process for seeking groundwater basin boundary modifications under SGMA. In the most recent edition of DWR Bulletin 118 (2003), no physical changes of the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin boundaries were made; however, the graphical representation included in Bulletin 118 (2003) did not match the written description of the northern boundary as it does not extend all the way to the northern boundary of ACWD including the areas located within the City of Hayward that were detached in 1973, 2000, and 2004, so that the City of Hayward could provide water service while the District retained authority to manage the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin. Since the basin boundaries in Bulletin 118 will now play a critical role in the management of California’s groundwater basins, ACWD submitted a Basin Boundary Modification Request to correct the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin. On July 1, 2016, ACWD received notice from DWR that the Basin Boundary Modification Request had been approved, as modified by DWR (click here to see ACWD’s Basin Boundary Modification Request). The updated publication is expected in late October.
Groundwater Sustainability Agency Formation
On October 13, 2016, ACWD’s Board of Directors adopted a Resolution No. 16-061 (click here to see Resolution No. 16-061) to set a public hearing (click here to see to the public hearing notice) to consider becoming the Groundwater Sustainability Agency for the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin (Niles Cone Subbasin 2-09.01). ACWD is proposing to become the Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) for the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin and to continue existing groundwater management under SGMA, in addition to other recognized regulatory authority. SGMA provides various authorities to GSAs to promote sustainable groundwater management including the ability to meter wells and fund and implement groundwater management projects. While many of these authorities have been available to ACWD for many years under the Replenishment Assessment Act of Alameda County Water District, SGMA provides additional authority that may further the ability to sustainably manage the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin.
The public hearing will be held at the ACWD office on:
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Alameda County Water District
43885 S. Grimmer Boulevard
Fremont CA 94538