Groundwater Sustainability Plan

A Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) is a 20-year plan to ensure the sustainable use of groundwater within a groundwater basin. The Sonoma Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) is required by state law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), to develop a GSP by 2022.  The goal of the GSP is to establish a standard for “sustainability” of groundwater management and use, and to determine how the basin will achieve this standard.

The Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) is being drafted by a team that includes Sonoma Water and technical consultants. The Advisory Committee, which represents basin stakeholders, provides critical feedback and suggestions. The GSA Board will review draft sections and consider public comments, feedback and concerns before approving the GSP.

The GSP will be comprised of the following primary components:  Introduction, Description of Plan Area, Basin Setting, Sustainable Management Criteria, Projects and Management Actions, and Implementation Plan.

 Sections available to read are:


Draft: Sonoma Valley Plan Area

Sections open for public comments are:

 None at this time.

Upcoming sections are:

Basin Setting, including Hydrogeological Conceptual Model 

Groundwater Conditions

Water Budget and Management Areas (anticipated release date is January 2019)

To provide comments:

The public will have multiple opportunities to provide input  on the draft plan. Your feedback and comments are integral to the final GSP.

Comments received will be read and considered in the development of the final Plan.

Comments will not necessarily receive an individual response, though a summary document of responses to general comments received will be produced.

As sections are released for comment, online comments can be submitted here.

Written comment cards will be available at public workshops and meetings.

State Requirements & Resources

For a thorough description of the GSP process and requirements, read this document from the Department of Water Resources (DWR). DWR will also provide ongoing support through Best Management Practices and Guidance Documents.

Submission and Evaluation

Once completed, the GSPs will be submitted to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) for review and evaluation. There will be a 60-day public comment period during this time. DWR will determine whether the GSP meets the requirements of SGMA and whether it will achieve the basin’s sustainability goal. DWR will respond with one of three outcomes:

  • Approval.
  • Determined incomplete. If the GSP passes basic initial criteria, but is determined by DWR to be incomplete, the GSA may be able to correct and resubmit the GSP.
  • If DWR determines that a GSP is inadequate, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) may intervene in that basin’s groundwater management.