GSA Activities

Outreach to Rural Well Owners Underway

Approximately 9,500 rural well owners in Sonoma County received surveys designed to elicit their concerns and ideas about local groundwater conditions. The purpose of the survey was to raise awareness about local groundwater management and to solicit feedback from well owners regarding any concerns they may have about groundwater in the basin. The survey results were used as the basis for focus groups to provide an opportunity for more in-depth discussions of issues and ideas for improving groundwater conditions.

This joint project of the county’s three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) was the first step in an engagement project designed to educate and receive feedback from well owners in the Petaluma Valley, Santa Rosa Plain and Sonoma Valley groundwater basins.

Read the full press release here.

Practitioners Work Groups

The three Sonoma County GSAs received funding from California Department of Water Resources through the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68) to facilitate four work groups comprised of technical subject experts. The work groups were formed to help with the development of the Groundwater Sustainability Plans in four areas:

  • Rural residential population projections;
  • Agricultural water demand projections;
  • Groundwater-dependent ecosystems; and
  • Interconnected surface water depletion.

The work groups began meeting in summer 2020 and were facilitated by a neutral facilitator from the Consensus and Collaboration Program with CSU Sacramento. The work group products were shared with the Board  and Advisory Committees of the GSAs, and were used to develop the water budgets and Sustainable Management Criteria for Interconnected Surface Water.

Meeting materials are below:

 Agricultural Water Demands:

Ag Working Group Meeting slides (overview), Summer 2020
Land-Use Surveys, Fall 2020
Summary Report, 1-4-2021
Agricultural Expansion and Contraction Model, 1-20-2021

Rural Residential Changes:

Summary Report

Interconnected Surface Water:

Draft Meeting Summary, 10-7-2020
Presentation, Meeting 1
Draft Meeting Summary, 12-11-2020
Presentation, Meeting 2
Presentation, Meeting 3
Surface Water Depletion Modeling presentation
Santa Rosa Plain data, monitoring wells near streams

Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems:

Draft Meeting Summary, 7-7-2020
Presentation, Meeting 1
Draft Meeting Summary, 11-19-2020
Presentation, Meeting 3

Community Workshop on Sustainable Groundwater in Our Basin 

Do you get your water from a well? Do you worry about your water quality or water levels? Are you concerned about the costs of water in the future?


Watch the YouTube video from the community workshop

Part 1 includes:
Opening Remarks , Welcome, The Sonoma Valley Groundwater Basin and Questions about the basin

Part 2 includes:
Defining Groundwater Sustainability and Questions about sustainability

Presentations are available here:
Groundwater in the Sonoma Valley basin

Sustainably Managing Groundwater

Recharging Groundwater Basins:  Facts, Myths, Projects and Possibilities Workshop

This public workshop held on December 11, focused on how groundwater can be recharged to help better manage and sustain local aquifers. 

Presentations included:

Recharge: What is it? How does it work? What are the different types of recharge?
Marcus Trotta, Sonoma Water

California’s Flood-MAR (Managed Aquifer Recharge) project: What is it? Where is it happening? How does it work?
Kamyar Guivetchi, California Department of Water Resources

Local recharge efforts: What farmers are doing in Sonoma County to enhance recharge
Dr. Phil Bachand, Bachand & Associates

Workshop Agenda
ALL Workshop Presentations
Recharge Workshop Notes
Increased Shallow Groundwater Levels from RAU
FloodMAR Research and Data Development
Implementation Factors FloodMAR
UCCE Groundwater RechargeFloodMAR fact sheet

Climate Change Workshop

On May 22, the three Groundwater Sustainability Agencies held a public workshop “How a changing climate could affect our groundwater basins – and what we’re doing about it.” The focus of this public workshop was on how climate change must be addressed in the Groundwater Sustainability Plans.

Workshop Notes
How Models Can be Used to Determine Climate Change on Groundwater
Sonoma Water Regional Water Resource Climate Adaption Programs Presentation
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and Climate Change Presentation


For more detailed information on GSA activity, visit the Meeting Calendar to review recent meeting agendas and minutes, read about recent news, or read recent press releases.