Sustainable Groundwater Management

The groundwater beneath the East Bay is an important local resource and EBMUD is stepping up to act as its steward. Many Californians rely daily on their underground aquifers. In the EBMUD service area, residents drink water from Pardee Reservoir in the Sierra foothills and from local surface reservoirs. While we don’t regularly use our groundwater resource, EBMUD is still taking on the responsibility to manage it for supplemental supply and to preserve it for future generations.

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

In stakeholders5.pngSeptember 2014, Governor Brown signed into law three bills collectively known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). SGMA creates a statewide framework for sustainable, local groundwater management in California.

SGMA requires eligible local agencies overlying certain basins to form Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs). GSAs are required to develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) to make basins sustainable within 20 years of implementation. 



What is Sustainable Groundwater Management?

Sustainable groundwater management is the management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained now and into the future without causing undesirable results.

Groundwater Sustainablity Plan (GSP)

A GSP is a plan to implement the sustainable groundwater management of the local basins. A typical GSP will include the following components:

  • Notice and Stakeholder Communication
  • Basin Information
  • Sustainable Management Criteria
  • Monitoring Plan
  • Projects and Management Actions
  • Plan Implementation

Phases of Groundwater Sustainability Plan Development and Implementation


  • Phase 1: GSA Formation 
  • Phase 2: GSP Preparation and Submission 
  • Phase 3: GSP Review and Evaluation 
  • Phase 4: Implementation and Reporting 

East Bay Plain Subbasin and EBMUD

EBMUD’s service area overlies a significant portion of the East Bay Plan Subbasin, which is part of the larger Santa Clara Valley Basin. Following notice in local newspapers and a public hearing, EBMUD’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution to become the GSA for the entire portion of the basin that underlies EBMUD’s service area in 2016. In November 2016, after a 90 day comment period, EBMUD became the exclusive GSA with regulatory and management responsibilities for that portion of the basin (DWR Basin Number 2-009.04). 

Current Status and Partnership

EBMUD shares the East Bay Plain Subbasin with the City of Hayward. Together, we are working to develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) for the entire basin in collaboration with other stakeholders. Currently, EBMUD is also working with the City of Hayward to submit an application for a planning grant to fund GSP development. 


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Learn more about EBMUD’s Groundwater Sustainability Agency
Contact: Ken Minn, Associate Civil Engineer
Phone: 510-287-0668.