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. 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.
recently, 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) does not match the written description of the northern or southern boundary as it does not extend all the way to the northern boundary of ACWD and it does not include the areas located within the City of Hayward that were detached from ACWD in 1973, 2000, and 2004, where the District worked cooperatively with the City of Hayward so that the City of Hayward could provide water service while the District retained authority to manage the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin; nor did the southern boundary extend to the county lines. While DWR has proposed an Administrative Adjustment to correct the southern boundary, it has not proposed a correction to the northern boundary. In addition, ACWD has identified areas to the east and west that should also be corrected so that the boundary includes the entire outer extent of ACWD and the areas located within the City of Hayward that were detached from the ACWD in 1973, 2000, and 2004. Since the basin boundaries in Bulletin 118 will now play a critical role in the management of California’s groundwater basins, the graphical map needs to be accurate and consistent with the Bulletin 118 narrative documentation of the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin.
On March 10, 2016, ACWD’s Board of Directors adopted a Resolution No. 16-020 formally initiating the basin boundary modification request to correct the boundary of the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin (click here to see Resolution No. 16-020). Accordingly, ACWD will submit the request to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) prior to the March 31, deadline to ensure that the boundary of the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin includes the entire groundwater basin area that ACWD has been managing since ACWD was formed over 100 years ago.