Groundwater

Humboldt County Public Works is coordinating the local response to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Opens a New Window.  (SGMA). SGMA was signed into law in September 2014 and applies to designated medium- and high-priority basins within the state. Currently there is one medium-priority basin, the Eel River Valley groundwater basin Opens a New Window. , within Humboldt County. SGMA is administered at the state level by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board.

  • Watch this short video to learn more about groundwater. 

Humboldt County Groundwater Sustainability Agency Formation (May 2020)

Navigate to the Humboldt County GSA Home page for information and documents related to the GSA administration.

Eel River Valley Groundwater Basin

Navigate to the Eel River Valley Groundwater Basin Home or Resources page for information and documents related to the Eel River Valley groundwater basin.

Mad River Valley-Mad River Lowland Groundwater Basin

Humboldt County Comment Letter (August 20, 2018) for Mad River Valley-Mad River Lowland

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is a combination of three bills signed by California Governor Jerry Brown in 2014:  Assembly Bill (AB) 1739, Senate Bill (SB) 1168, and SB 1319.  SGMA provides local agencies with the framework to manage groundwater basins in a sustainable manner.  The legislation recognizes that groundwater is most effectively managed at the local level, and local agencies will need to achieve groundwater sustainability within 20 years of submitting a groundwater sustainability plan.  

In SGMA, sustainable groundwater management is defined as management of groundwater supplies in a manner that can be maintained in planning and implementation phases without causing undesirable results.  Undesirable results include significant and unreasonable chronic lowering of groundwater levels, reduction of groundwater storage, seawater intrusion, degraded water quality, land subsidence, and interconnected surface waters.  

SGMA requires that California groundwater basins identified as high or medium priority establish a Groundwater Sustainability Agency and develop a plan for sustainable management by January 31, 2022. If the local GSAs fail to follow the timeline, then the State Water Resources Control Board will step in and intervene in local groundwater management.

Data Viewers and Tools

SGMA Data and Tools

SGMA Data Viewer

2018 SGMA Basin Prioritization Dashboard

Natural Communities Commonly Associated with Groundwater (NCCAG) Data Viewer