Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP)
Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), one of the key responsiblitites of the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency (MGA) was to develop, adopt, and submit to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Basin (Basin). DWR had classified the Basin as a high-priority groundwater basin in critical overdraft due to the ongoing threat of further seawater intrusion into Basin groundwater supplies. As a result, the Basin’s GSP was due to DWR by January 31, 2020.
Development of the Draft GSP
A Draft GSP was prepared by MGA member agency staff with support from Regional Water Management Foundation staff, technical and facilitation consultants, and sustained public input from the GSP Advisory Committee and Basin stakeholders. The MGA Board of Directors accepted the Draft GSP at its publicly-noticed meeting on July 18, 2019, and opened a public comment period from July 18, 2019 to September 19, 2019. The MGA received more than 170 comments on the Draft GSP from 23 commenters. Comments were received from state and federal resource agencies, non-governmental organizations, and members of the public.
The MGA Board of Directors established a temporary Board committee to direct the MGA’s response to the comments. The Comment Committee reviewed all the comments, discussed revisions to the GSP with staff, and recommended revisions to improve the GSP’s content and clarity. The Comment Committee worked with MGA staff to oversee preparation of individualized letters to address each comment received. The comments and responses were compiled (Responses and Comments Received), and a comparison document was created to catalog the changes made in response to the comments received.
Adoption of the GSP and Submission to DWR
The MGA Board of Directors unanimously adopted the final GSP after a public hearing on November 21, 2019. The adopted GSP was submitted to DWR for approval on January 30, 2020. On February 19, 2020, DWR posted the Basin GSP at the following link: https://sgma.water.ca.gov/portal/gsp/all.
Information on the Basin GSP and comments received by DWR can be found on the SGMA Portal. The GSP submitted to DWR is provided below, both as a single document and by individual sections and appendices.
An 8-page Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan Summary provides a clear and concise overview of the Basin GSP submitted to DWR.
DWR Assessment and Approval of the Basin GSP (June 3, 2021)
- Assessment Letter (on DWR Portal)
- DWR Letter of Approval and Statement of Findings
Following the submittal of a GSP to DWR, the MGA is required to provide annual reports on the Basin, due April 1st of each year, as well as a 5-year update.
- Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin Water Year 2022 Annual Report (BOARD DRAFT)
- Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin Water Year 2021 Annual Report
- Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin Water Year 2020 Annual Report
- Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin Water Year 2019 Annual Report
Groundwater Sustainability Plan (submitted to DWR January 30, 2020)
Individual Sections and Appendices
- Report Cover, Acknowledgments
- Signature Page
- Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Section 1 Introduction
- Section 2 Plan and Basin Setting
- Section 3 Sustainable Management Criteria
- Section 4 Projects and Management Actions to Achieve Sustainability Goal
- Section 5 Plan Implementation
- Section 6 References and Technical Studies
- Section 7 Acronyms
- Section 8 Glossary
- Appendix A – Basin Point of Contact and Mailing Address
- Appendix B – Summary of Public Comments on the Draft GSP
- Appendix C – Summary List of Public Meetings and Outreach
- Appendix 1-A Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement
- Appendix 2-A. Communication and Engagement Plan
- Appendix 2-B. Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin Groundwater Flow Model: Water Use Estimates and Return Flow Implementation (Task 2) Memorandum
- Appendix 2-C. Municipal Return Flow Memorandum
- Appendix 2-D. Soquel-Aptos Groundwater Flow Model: Subsurface Model (Task 3) Memorandum
- Appendix 2-E. Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin Conceptual Model Update Memorandum
- Appendix 2-F. Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin Model Integration and Calibration
- Appendix 2-G. Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Flow Model: Future Climate for Model Simulations (Task 5) Memorandum
- Appendix 2-H. Comparison of Climate Change Scenarios Memorandum
- Appendix 2-I. Implementation and Analysis of Projects and Management Actions in Model Scenarios as Part of Groundwater Sustainability Plan Development
- Appendix 3-A. Technical Approach for Determining Groundwater Elevation Minimum Threshold for Chronic Lowering of Groundwater Levels in Representative Monitoring Wells
- Appendix 3-B. Hydrographs of Representative Monitoring Points for Chronic Lowering of Groundwater Levels
- Appendix 3-C. Summary of Federal, State, and Local Water Quality Regulations
- Appendix 3-D. Hydrographs of Representative Monitoring Points for Depletion of Interconnected Surface Water
- Appendix 5-A. Santa Cruz Mid-County Groundwater Agency Evaluation of Private Pumper Funding Mechanisms and Fee Criteria, Raftelis, May 2019
DRAFT Groundwater Sustainability Plan (July 2019)