Humboldt County Public Works is coordinating the local response to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which was signed by Governor Brown in September 2014. The legislation applies to groundwater basins designated as medium- or high-priority by the California Department of Water Resources. In June 2014, DWR designated one medium-priority basin (Eel River Valley) and no high-priority basins in Humboldt County. In May 2018, DWR released draft basin prioritization results which identified Eel River Valley and Mad River Valley-Mad River Lowland as medium-priority basins. The public comment period ended on August 20, and the final prioritizations are expected to be released in November.

Basin Prioritization

Eel River Valley Groundwater Working Group

The Eel River Valley Groundwater Working Group was convened in October 2015 to guide the local response to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The purpose of the Working Group, as revised on September 12, 2016, is to:

  1. Provide information and viewpoints regarding groundwater issues in the Eel River Valley.
  2. Support the collection and analysis of technical data and information to understand conditions and trends.
  3. Discuss selection and formation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA), if applicable.
  4. Discuss the framework and sustainable management criteria for an Alternative Submittal or future Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP).

Scope: The scope of the Working Group is limited to the Eel River Valley.

Eel River Valley Groundwater Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Alternative Submittal

On December 30, 2016 the Humboldt County Public Works Department submitted a Groundwater Sustainability Plan Alternative to the Department of Water Resources. The following documents were included in the submittal packet:

The submittal packet can also be found on the Department of Water Resources Alternative Reporting System website.

A total of 18 Groundwater Sustainability Plan Alternatives were submitted across the state. The Department of Water Resources expects to complete their review by Fall 2018.


To put your name on the contact list, send an e-mail to Robert Vogt.