• Visit the new website: www.svbgsa.com

    For up-to-date information, please visit www.svbgsa.com

  • Salinas Valley

    Groundwater Basin

    Planning Process

    Working to create a collaborative plan for sustainable groundwater in the Salinas Valley Basin by 2020

    Above the Salinas River 

    An original oil painting by local Salinas Valley artist,

    Rhett Regina Owings www.RhettsStudio.com


    Welcome to the Salinas Valley Groundwater Planning website dedicated to providing information about the coordinating efforts currently underway to form a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) in Salinas Valley, California.

  • Upcoming Meetings

    Please visit www.svbgsa.com/meetings for the most up-to-date meeting information.

    GSA JPA Board

    Salinas Valley GSA Advisory Committee

    Visit www.svbgsa.com/meetings


    The next meeting of the Salinas Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency Advisory Committee is scheduled for Thursday, July 20, 2:00-4:00.



    Monterey County Government Center - North Building, Room N-1604 (Conference Room 5 - view floorpan)

    1441 Schilling Place, Salinas.



    Advisory Committee Meeting Calendar

    ​The SVBGSA Advisory Committee will meet every two months on the third Thursday, 2:00-4:00 pm, at Monterey County Government Center - North Building, Room N-1604 (Conference Room 5 - view floorpan), 1441 Schilling Place, Salinas

    • July 20, 2:00-4:00
    • Sept 21, 2:00-4:00
    • Nov 16, 2:00-4:00
    • Jan 18, 2018 2:00-4:00

    Collaborative Work Group (CWG)

  • Recent News

    Photo: Inaugural meeting of Salinas Valley groundwater sustainability agency joint powers authority  board of directors

    RFQ For Legal Services Now Available

    View the RFQ for Legal Services for SVBGSA.

    Response submittals due by noon on July 14, 2017.



    RFQ for SVBGSA General Manager Now Available

    View the RFQ for GSA General Manager.

    Responses are due by noon on *June 9, 2017*


    Application Period Open for Alternate Director for Small Water System / Disadvantaged Community seat on Salinas Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency


    A nominating group, comprised of small water systems and non-profit organizations, is currently accepting applications for an Alternate Director position for the Salinas Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency. This Alternate Director will serve together with the Primary Director, Mr. Ron Stefani, to represent small water systems and disadvantaged communities in unincorporated areas of the Salinas Valley water basin. Our nominating group would like to find someone who can represent our interests directly if Mr. Stefani is unable to attend a meeting and also as a member of the public when Mr. Stefani is in attendance. Please note that this appointment is for an alternate to the primary representative on the initial board only with the term ending on September 30, 2017.


    Please contact us with any questions or send the application

    (Word) at your earliest convenience to Eric Tynan, (eric@castrovillecsd.org).

    We hope you apply. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions.




    Inaugural Meeting of the Salinas Valley Basin GSA JPA Board of Directors held March 9

    The first meeting of the Salinas Valley Basin GSA JPA Board of Directors was held

    on March 9th in Salinas.



    GSA JPA agenda - March 9, 2017

    GSA JPA Meeting Calendar

    GSA JPA Work Plan 




    Now accepting applications for Interim Public Member Board Director - Due Feb 17, 2017

    Monterey County will appoint two persons to fill the Primary and Alternate Public Member Director positions on the Board of Directors of the Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The Public Member Director positions will be filled through an application process to and appointment by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. Applications are now being accepted for these positions, to serve on an interim basis through September 30, 2017, primarily to start the important work of the Salinas Valley groundwater sustainability agency. Applications are due on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017.


    Qualifications: The appointee must have a basic understanding of the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin and groundwater in general, an understanding of how to run an organization, and the ability to work collaboratively with other directors coming from diverse constituencies. In addition, the appointee must be a rural residential Well owner; or a representative of an industrial processor, a Local Small or State Small Water System (a public water system with less than 16 but more than 1 connection), or of a mutual water company.


    ​Contact: Annette D'Adamo | (831) 796-3045 | DAdamoA@co.monterey.ca.us


    View: Application; Notice of Availability of Application




    Now Complete -- Salinas Valley GSA Joint Powers Authority Agreement

    View: Salinas Valley GSA Joint Powers Authority Agreement (dated Dec. 13, 2016); Exhibit B; Exhibit C through F


    County will get bill for groundwater agency

    Monterey Herald, Jim Johnson – December 14, 2016



    Monterey County Board of Supervisors and Salinas City Council Vote to Approve Salinas Valley GSA Joint Powers Authority Agreement

    At a hearing on December 13, 2016, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 in favor of the proposed Salinas Valley groundwater sustainability agency. At a separate meeting on December 13, the City of Salinas City Council also voted in favor of the proposed groundwater sustainability agency.


    DWR Announces Basin Boundary Modifications

    The California Department of Water Resources announced the Draft Approved Basin Boundary Modifications and the Basin Boundary Assessment Tool Map (these are both now available on DWR’s web site).


    Salinas Valley Basin Changes

    Seaside/Corral de Tierra

    In the Seaside / Corral de Tierra, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District applied for a change is to mirror the Seaside adjudicated boundaries. DWR approved this boundary change.


    Paso Robles Sub-Basin

    In the Paso Robles sub-basin, Monterey County pursued a jurisdictional boundary change at the county line. DWR did not approve the boundary change. This means that Monterey County and San Luis Obispo County will need to coordinate groundwater sustainability management for the Paso Robles sub-basin. If each county forms a groundwater sustainability agency within its county, the two agencies will coordinate their plans for groundwater management.


    Pajaro Valley Unmanaged Area

    Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency indicated that they are willing to serve as the GSA for the portion of the Pajaro Valley Basin that is within their jurisdiction, which would leave the Potentially Un-Managed Area (PUMA) at the southern portion of the basin in flux. Discussions between MCWRA and DWR indicate that the northern boundary of the Pressure 180/400 sub-basin and Langley sub-basin boundaries were kept conterminous (i.e. sharing a boundary) with the southern boundary of the Pajaro Valley sub-basin; therefore, there is not a potentially un-managed area in the basin.


    SGMA initially established the basin boundaries as defined in Bulletin 118, a comprehensive report on California groundwater resources that is periodically updated by DWR. A provision of SGMA, Water Code 10722.2, established a process for local agencies to request that DWR modify those boundaries to improve coordination and promote statewide sustainable groundwater management. The Draft Approved Basin Boundary Modifications was developed through DWR’s technical review of basin boundary modification requests and public comment made during the submission period, January 1, 2016 through March 31, 2016. Future basin boundary modification submission periods will likely be based on demand and coordinated with 5-year updates to Bulletin 118.


    To discuss modification submissions please contact your DWR Region Office Representatives: South Central Region Office (Fresno) Dane Mathis, Dane.Mathis@water.ca.gov

  • Background

    View the Salinas Valley GSA Overview Fact Sheet (created February 2017)

    What is the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)?

    In September 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown enacted legislation that sets forth a path to create local agencies to sustainably manage the state's groundwater resources. This initiative, known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, shifts planning and management of groundwater resources to newly formed Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, made up of local agencies (cities, counties, water districts) and requires development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans for priority basins.


    The state has designated Salinas Valley as a priority basin. Since 2015, stakeholders have been working collaboratively to begin forming a Groundwater Sustainability Agency. For more information on SGMA, visit: groundwater.ca.gov

    Map of the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin

    How Does A Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Form?

    The first step in implementing SGMA is to form Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, which must be done by June 30, 2017. As outlined below, an agency or combination of local agencies may form a GSA by using any of the following methods: a joint powers agreement (JPA), or a memorandum of agreement (MOU) or other legal agreement .


    Visit the Department of Water Resources website for more information on GSAs

    What entities are eligible to serve as a GSA?

    SGMA provides that a local agency, a combination of local agencies, or a county may establish a GSA. Specifically, a local agency is defined as any local public entity that has water supply, water management, or land use responsibilities within a groundwater basin. In short, any local agency or combination of local agencies overlying a groundwater basin can elect to be a GSA. A water corporation regulated by the Public Utilities Commission or a mutual water company may participate in a GSA through a memorandum of agreement or other legal agreement. Non-agency parties can be incorporated into the decision-making process for the GSA through advisory bodies or by creating special provisions in the legal formation.

    Information about SGMA

  • Process + Timeline

    What is the process for GSA formation in Salinas Valley?

    Since 2015, local agencies and stakeholders have been working with the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) to facilitate the GSA formation in the Salinas Valley Basin. CBI first conducted a stakeholder assessment, including interviews and surveys, that resulted in recommendations for a transparent, inclusive process moving forward.


    The CBI stakeholder assessment report outlined the following keys to success for the GSA formation planning process in the Salinas Valley :

    1) create a transparent, inclusive process that engages interested stakeholders,

    2) design a government structure that balances interests, supports a vibrant economy, manages groundwater sustainability, and meets SGMA requirements.

    Who decides on the GSA formation?

    The Collaborative Work Group, in consultation with the Groundwater Stakeholder Forum, recommended the GSA structure to the GSA eligible entities in the basin. Because more than one agency chose to participate in the GSA, each agency’s governing board adopted or approved the GSA. If the Collaborative Work Group was unable to reach consensus on the recommended structure, each GSA-eligible agency had the option to move forward to comply with SGMA by forming one or more GSAs and the required coordination agreements.


    SGMA stipulates that if no agencies step forward to form the GSA, the County will be the default GSA.

    What's happening in the Salinas Valley before 2017?

    View the Process Roadmap (updated 3/21/16)

  • Stakeholder Groups

    The Groundwater Stakeholder Forum and Collaborative Work Group met throughout 2016 to develop recommendations on forming a Groundwater Sustainability Agency that has widespread support among affected agencies, organizations, and individuals.

    What is the Groundwater Stakeholder Forum?

    The Groundwater Stakeholder Forum advised on forming the Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The Forum met three times in 2016 to shape the overall process for forming a Groundwater Sustainability Agency. Meetings took place in Salinas and had simultaneous Spanish translation.


    Link to Stakeholder Forum Schedule + Materials

    What is the Collaborative Work Group (CWG)?

    The Collaborative Work Group developed recommendations for forming a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) in the Salinas Valley Groundwater Basin. The Collaborative Work Group vetted ideas with the Groundwater Stakeholder Forum, and eligible agencies ultimately adopted the recommended GSA to be in compliance with state law.


    Link to Collaborative Work Group Meeting Schedule + Materials

    Who is in the Collaborative Work Group?

    Collaborative Work Group

    Current Members


    Cal Water Service

    Castroville Community Service District


    City of Salinas

    Driscoll Strawberry Associates

    Environmental Justice Coalition for Water

    California Native Plant Society

    City of Gonzales

    Grower-Shipper Association of Central California


    Marina Coast Water District

    Monterey County Regional Water Pollution Control Agency

    Monterey County Farm Bureau

    Monterey County Vinters & Growers

    Monterey County

    Salinas Valley Sustainable Water Group

    San Jerardo Cooperative, Inc.

    San Luis Obispo County

    Salinas Valley Water Coalition

    The Nature Conservancy

    Water Resources Agency

  • Past Meeting Materials + Documents

    SVBGSA Board of Directors

    SVBGSA Board of Directors Meeting, July 13

    Materials: Agenda | June 8 Minutes | Item 7 Board Report - Negotiation for Management Services


    SVBGSA Board of Directors Meeting, June 8, 2017

    Materials: Revised Agenda | May 11 Meeting Minutes | Board Report


    SVBGSA Board of Directors Meeting, May 11, 2017

    Materials: Agenda


    SVBGSA Board of Directors Meeting, April 20, 2017

    Materials: Agenda | Meeting Packet | Letters to SVBGSA


    SVBGSA Advisory Committee Meeting Materials + Summaries

    Past CWG Meeting Materials + Summaries

    CWG Meeting #17, February 23, 2017 


    Materials: Agenda


    CWG Meeting #16, January 19, 2017 


    Materials: Agenda


    CWG Meeting #15, December 2, 2016

    At this meeting, Work Group members focused on finalizing the JPA agreement.


    Materials: Agenda


    CWG Meeting #14, November 14, 2016


    Materials: Compiled documents

    CWG Meeting #13, November 4, 2016


    Materials: View all materials here (compiled in a single document)

    • CWG #13 Agenda
    • Draft GSA Board Member Qualifications
    • GSA Governing Board Selection Process
    • Disadvantaged Communities Chart
    • Salinas Briefing Points
    • Draft Meeting #12 Summary


    CWG Meeting #12, October 20, 2016


    Materials: Agenda | Proposal - Governing board selection process v6


    CWG Meeting #11, October 14, 2016


    Materials: Agenda | Proposal - Governing board selection process


    CWG Meeting #10, September 23, 2016


    Materials: Agenda | Draft governing board proposal | Map - Proposed Marina Coast Water District GSA


    CWG Meeting #9, September 8, 2016


    Materials: Agenda, Handout 1 - Groundwater governance examples,

    Handout 2 - Proposed Salinas Valley GSA governing board


    CWG Meeting #8, August 18, 2016


    Materials: Agenda, GSA Structure Info


    CWG Meeting #7, August 5, 2016


    Materials: Full Agenda, Preliminary Governance Ideas v2.2, Matrix Comparing Proposals


    CWG Meeting #6, June 16, 2016



    CWG Meeting #5, June 3, 2016



    CWG Meeting #4, May 19, 2016



    CWG Meeting #3, April 13, 2016




    CWG Meeting #2, March 23, 2016




    CWG Meeting #1, March 4, 2016



    Past Groundwater Stakeholder Forum Materials + Summaries

    Third Groundwater Stakeholder Forum

    November 14, 2016

    Participants learned about and provided feedback on the recommendation for Groundwater Sustainability Agency formation


    Meeting summary forthcoming


    Materials: Agenda - English / Spanish | Fact Sheet: Salinas Valley GSA Recommendation | Governing board selection process | Presentation | Flyer



    Second Groundwater Stakeholder Forum

    September 8, 2016



    Materials: Full Agenda | Presentation 1 - Sam Boland-Brien, State Water Resources Control Board | Presentation 2 - GSA Options Under Consideration in Salinas Valley | Flyer | Press Release


    First Groundwater Stakeholder Forum

    May 19, 2016



    Materials - English | Materials - Spanish


    Salinas Valley GSA Overview Fact Sheet (created February 2017)


    Salinas Valley Stakeholder Issues Assessment(developed by Gina Bartlett, CBI)

    Process Roadmap (updated 3/21/16)

    Meeting Framework (updated 3/21/16)

    Work Group Charter

  • Get Involved!

    How can I get involved?

    The best way to get involved is to attend the Groundwater Stakeholder Forum. The Groundwater Stakeholder Forum is designed to share information and gather public input on the GSA formation process. The first Groundwater Stakeholder Forum will take place on May 19, from 5:30-7:30 pm.


    Sign Up to receive regular updates via email by Joining the Interested Parties Mailing List.


    Additionally, all Collaborative Work Group meetings are open to the public. View the schedule here.

  • Sign Up

    Sign up to be on our mailing list to get regular updates about the process.

  • Contact

    For more information about the process, including how to get involved, contact: