Alternative Groundwater Sustainability Plan and Updates
Zone 7 proactively manages our
groundwater basin to ensure this valuable resource remains a
sustainable source of water for future generations of the
As the designated agency for
managing the groundwater basin (called a Groundwater
Sustainability Agency or GSA), the state requires a Groundwater
Sustainability Plan (GSP); however, the Agency has been
monitoring the basin since 1974 and managing groundwater since
the early 1960s. Because Zone 7 had an existing plan in place in
advance of state requirements, staff was able to submit an
Alternative GSP, one of only nine accepted by the Department of
Water Resources across the state, marking a big win for the
Agency and a testament to proactive and sustainable groundwater
management that is central to the Agency’s mission and
Grant Funded Updates
Our Alternative GSP received a half million dollar grant to help
us update the plan, and specifically, expand our knowledge of the
fringe and upland basins – the unincorporated areas, hills, and
recharge areas on the outlying areas of the basin and how they
relate to the main basin. This planned update is an important
part of our groundwater management process and applying for state
grants is an example of our strategies to leverage available
resources for responsible fiscal management.
Groundwater Management Timeline
1900 - 1962 – The groundwater basin
level declines to an all time low of 182 feet above mean sea
level or from near the ground surface to roughly 200 feet below
1962 – Zone 7 begins artificial groundwater
recharge of the basin using purchased water from the newly formed
State Water Project and newly constructed South Bay Aqueduct.
1983 – The groundwater basin level recovers
to a more recent high of 312 feet above mean sea level with
sustainable management practices and has stayed within a target
zone for over 40 years.
2016 – Zone 7 submits an Alternative
Groundwater Sustainability Plan (Alternative GSP) for compliance
with Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) regulations.
2019 – DWR approved Zone 7’s Alternative
GSP, recommends Zone 7 extend the criteria of minimum thresholds
developed for the Main Basin (e.g. historic low water levels)
into the Fringe and Upland portions of the Basin. This will
require extending geologic cross-sections and the existing model.
2019 – Zone 7 receives two comment letters from
The Nature Conservancy on the Alternative GSP, which recommended
further evaluation of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems. DWR has
provided the Natural Communities Commonly Associated with
Groundwater (NCCAG) mapping, which is a useful tool to help in
identifying potential groundwater-dependent ecosystems.
2019 – Zone 7 staff submit a detailed grant
proposal in November for a DWR-administered Proposition 68 grant
for $666,500, of which $499,875 was to be reimbursed by the
grant, for the update of the Alternative GSP.
2020 – DWR approved the grant proposal and Zone
7 entered into an agreement with DWR for the project. The
DWR-approved work plan addresses the comments received on the
2016 Alternative GSP.
2020 – In June, Zone 7 staff presented a summary
of the grant project at a public Zone 7 Board meeting (see
AGSP Agenda and AGSP Presentation). During that meeting, the Board also
authorized a contract (see AGSP Contract Approval) with a
consultant, (EKI Consultants, Inc.) to assist staff on some
portions of the project.
View the Stakeholder Communication and Engagement Plan to
learn how we will support stakeholder outreach during the
2022 Alternative GSP process: AGSP SCEP
View the Grant Work Plan to see details of the grant
requirements: AGSP Work Plan