10/14/2020 -- For all of California's history, groundwater has been unregulated. Currently, if someone has access to a well or an aquifer from their property, they are allowed to pump as much water out as they want. There is no regulatory body that has the authority to track or limit pumping. That is all changing.
In 2014, the California state legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which requires that localities with insecure water situations to create a plan to regulate their groundwater in a way that will avoid overdraft and maintain a water supply far into the future.
The legislation was signed into law by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2015. At that time, the state listed 94 groundwater basins as medium and high priority, and with those designations, assigned deadlines for the appropriate localities to create a groundwater plan. Now, five years later, the first deadlines for creating a groundwater sustainability plan in the Ukiah groundwater basin (listed as medium priority) are just around the corner.
At this time, the Groundwater Sustainability Agency is writing the plan that will define how Ukiah's water is managed for perpetuity.