Groundwater Sustainability Plans in the Sacramento Region

Updated: January 4, 2021

What are Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs)?

Our region is in the process of developing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) for the three groundwater subbasins that underlay Sacramento County and portions of adjacent counties. These subbasins – the North American, South American, and Cosumnes – provide essential water resources for our communities, agriculture, and the environment. The GSP planning process is designed to address six indicators of groundwater subbasin health. These include the change in long term groundwater levels within each subbasin (are they increasing or decreasing), is each subbasin’s groundwater storage declining, is salt water intruding into the subbasins, are there any groundwater quality concerns in each subbasin, is there any significant ground subsiding in each subbasin, and are subbasin surface water resources (rivers and streams) being depleted because of groundwater levels. In addition, assessments are being conducted to determine if any negative impacts are occurring to eco systems (plants, animals, birds, or fish), referred to as Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems or GDEs, because of lowering groundwater levels. Assessments and modeling are being done to determine answers to these questions, and, in turn, to formulate subbasin management objectives and projects to sustainably manage the subbasins and improve them where necessary. This planning and basin management activity will result in additional costs to water users in the region. However, proper planning and subbasin management actions should ensure that the region will benefit from a reliable and sustainable water system capable of providing water resources for all beneficial uses and users even with the expected changes climate change is expected to bring.


What is currently happening regarding our GSP Development?

The year 2021 will see the completion of the three subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plans. The following chart provides an outline of each subbasin planning process. Basin settings and water budgets identify each subbasin’s current conditions and how future conditions may change because of climate change and future water demand. Sustainable Management Criteria are the measurement benchmarks that will be used to guide future subbasin management actions to unsure each subbasin attains and maintains sustainability. Projects and management actions are the specific programs and actions that will be taken by each Groundwater Sustainability Agency to ensure each subbasin is sustainable into the future. Your involvement in the planning and decision-making process is important. The following links will guide you to each subbasin’s GSP planning process.

Water Forum | Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs)
Draft Timelines

Subbasins Represented



Subbasins

North American Subbasin

The North American Subbasin includes the area north of the American River, east of the Sacramento River, south of the Feather River and bounded by the foothills to the east. Click here for information regarding the planning activities currently underway.

South American Subbasin

The South American Subbasin includes the area south of the American River, east of the Sacramento River, north of the Cosumnes River and bounded by the foothills to the east. Click here for information regarding the planning activities and opportunities for public participation.

Cosumnes Subbasin

The Cosumnes Subbasin includes the area south of the Cosumnes River, east of the Sacramento River, north of the Mokelumne River, and bounded by the foothills to the east. Click here for information regarding the planning activities and opportunities for public participation.


Public Involvement

All three GSP plan development processes have expansive public participation processes and you can sign up on their respective websites to get notifications of public meetings and the release of technical documents.


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