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Help develop a plan for groundwater use in the Sierra Valley

The greater Sierra Valley community is invited to an upcoming workshop to discuss groundwater conditions and trends in Sierra Valley and to generate ideas on how to sustainably manage groundwater in the basin. Everyone is welcome. No specific knowledge or expertise is needed to join the conversation. A brief presentation and user-friendly handouts will give you the information you need to weigh in.

The content at two public workshops will be the same, so please attend at the date, time and location that works best for you. Both workshops will proceed rain or shine, with refreshments provided! Additional materials will be posted as they become available at: https://www.sierravalleygmd.org/gsp-meetings. The two workshop options are:

  • Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. – noon, outdoors at the Loyalton Community Park Pavilion
    105 Beckwith St., Loyalton, CA
  • Monday, May 10, from 6 – 8 p.m., indoors at Sierra Christian Church, 81059 Highway 70, Beckwourth, CA

Each workshop will start with a brief 15-minute presentation on the effort to develop a local Groundwater Management Plan (GSP). After that, five “stations” will be set up where people can have more in-depth discussions about specific topics. Each station will have summary sheets with background information, along with a worksheet to provide comments on the following topics:

  • Groundwater Quality
  • Inter-connected Surface Water and Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems
  • Subsidence
  • Groundwater Levels and Groundwater Storage
  • Q and A on SGMA and the Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (Sierra Valley Groundwater Management District and Plumas County)

Background

The 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) defines sustainable groundwater management as the “management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained without causing undesirable results.”  SGMA requires groundwater basins to be managed under a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) and to achieve sustainability over a period of 20 years. The State has prioritized 98 basins that must comply with SGMA, including the Sierra Valley Groundwater Subbasin, which must develop and submit a Plan by Jan. 31, 2022.

Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and Managing for Sustainability

The Sierra Valley Groundwater Management District and Plumas County are the two GSAs for the Sierra Valley Subbasin and are tasked with working together to develop a GSP.  SGMA identifies six indicators for evaluating groundwater sustainability: groundwater quality, land subsidence, groundwater levels, groundwater storage, inter-connected surface water and seawater intrusion (which does not apply in Sierra Valley). Locally determined sustainability goals and indicators will track whether the groundwater management is supporting sustainability or contributing to undesired results.

Participation in Groundwater Sustainability Planning

As part of the outreach for developing a GSP, a Technical Advisory Committee has been meeting since October 2020 to assist the GSAs and provide suggestions and recommendations.

Public workshops in May, mid-summer and September 2021 will allow groundwater users and the general public to provide input into the GSP planning process.

How to Learn More

For more information about GSP development and participation events in Sierra Valley visit: https://www.sierravalleygmd.org/sierra-valley-groundwater-sustainability-plan.

To learn more about SGMA visit: www.groundwaterexchange.org

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