Get to know your Sustainability Planning Division


The Sustainability Planning Division presents: the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Team!

This small, expert group of hydrogeologists is on a mission to protect groundwater resources in the county. The team develops and manages Groundwater Sustainability Plans in each of the county’s groundwater basins to achieve long-term groundwater sustainability.

We implement SGMA!

Facing a prolonged statewide drought and unfettered groundwater pumping, California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 – providing a framework to regulate groundwater for the first time in California’s history. This historic law strengthens local groundwater management of basins most critical to the state’s water needs. Borrego Valley, San Pasqual Valley, and San Luis Rey Valley are the three basins subject to SGMA in San Diego County.

We implement the Groundwater Ordinance…and CEQA!

To protect, preserve, and maintain groundwater resources, the San Diego County Groundwater Ordinance, enacted in 1991, ensures that development will not occur in groundwater-dependent areas of the county unless adequate groundwater resources are available to serve both existing users and proposed development. In addition to the Groundwater Ordinance, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that certain findings be made in order for a proposed project to be approved. County Guidelines provide guidance for evaluating potential environmental effects that a proposed project may have on groundwater resources.

We love data!

San Diego County overlies complex, finite, yet renewable groundwater resources that vary greatly throughout the county. These resources provide the only source of water for most residents living in the eastern two thirds of the county. To track aquifer conditions in groundwater-dependent areas, we monitor water levels, maintain general water well information and soil data, and compile precipitation and reservoir evaporation data. Over the years, the County’s water level network of monitored wells has grown to more than 400 wells. If you have questions about groundwater in the unincorporated area or would like to learn more about SGMA, the SGMA team can be reached at

Follow Sustainability Planning on Social Media!

Connect with the Sustainability Planning Division on Twitter @SDCoSustainable and Facebook @SDCountySustainable and follow along as we promote County sustainability and conservation initiatives, like the Electric Vehicle (EV) Roadmap, the Climate Action Plan (CAP) Update, Multiple Species Conservation Program, Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, and others.

Want to learn more about the Sustainability Planning Division? You can also meet our Sustainability and Conservation teams.

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