California has over 500 groundwater basins and only 21 are classified as "high-priority basins in critical overdraft." The Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin is one of these 21 basins.
What Does Critical Overdraft Mean
In the Santa Cruz Mid-County, critical overdraft means our freshwater supply is threatened by active seawater contamination at the coast and a locally developed Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) must be in place by January 31, 2020, that addresses how to achieve a sustainable basin by 2040.
Why Protect our Groundwater Basin
The Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin provides water for a population of approximately 95,000 people from Live Oak to La Selva Beach and the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Coast. For many of these people, groundwater is their only source of freshwater. Even before the state passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA), our local water agencies were working together to protect our groundwater resources.
What Does State Law Require of Local Groundwater Basin Managers
Established in March 2016, the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency (MGA) is a Joint Powers Agency required by state law to manage our groundwater basin sustainably, now and in the future. The MGA is governed by a local 11-member board made up of water agencies and three private well representatives. The MGA must develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) and achieve groundwater sustainability by 2040.
Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Advisory Committee
The MGA Board conducted an open recruitment to select a GSP Advisory Committee made up of qualified local candidates. The GSP Advisory Committee represents the interests of beneficial uses and users of groundwater in the MGA Basin. The GSP Advisory Committee planning process is open to the public and gathers public input for the plan. Between October 2017 and June 2019 the GSP Advisory Committee will have held more than 25 public meetings to learn about the MGA Basin and to prepare recommendations on the state's detailed SGMA requirements.
Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Release, Review, and Comment Period
- June 19, 2019 - GSP Advisory Committee holds its final meeting to make sustainability recommendations that will be presented to the MGA Board on July 19, 2019.
- July 12, 2019 -The administrative draft GSP will be released for review on July 12, 2019 (In the MGA Board Packet)
- July 19, 2019 - MGA will hold board meeting to discuss administrative draft GSP and begin receiving comments.
- July 19-September 19, 2019 - GSP public review and comment period.
- July 20, 2019 Public meeting held Saturday from 10-noon at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County. 7807 Soquel Drive, Aptos
- July 22, 2019 Public meeting held Monday from 7-9 pm at Simpkins Family Swim Center. 979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz
- These and other MGA meetings announced are found on the MGA website calendar.
Community members are encouraged to attend these meetings and comment on the GSP. The final GSP is due to the California Department of Water Resources prior to the state mandated deadline of January 31, 2020.