County Involvement with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)


In September 2014, Governor Brown signed into law the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which provides a state framework to regulate groundwater for the first time in California’s history. The intent of SGMA is to strengthen local management of specified groundwater basins that are most critical to the state’s water needs.  As shown on the figure, there are four basins with San Diego County jurisdiction that are required to be sustainably managed, including the Borrego Valley, San Luis Rey Valley, San Pasqual Valley, and San Diego River Valley groundwater basins.

SGMA allows for local public agencies, mainly counties, cities, and water districts to become a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (Agency) to manage groundwater in each basin.  Agencies must be formed by June 30, 2017.  The Agencies are then responsible for preparation of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (Plan) and implementation of the Plan to achieve long-term groundwater sustainability within a 20-year timeframe on each basin.  

In January 2016, the County Board of Supervisors (Board) took action to become an Agency over the Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin. On August 3rd, the Board will hold a public hearing on whether to become an Agency over the San Luis Rey Valley, San Pasqual Valley and San Diego River Valley Groundwater Basins. 

Hearing Information:

Date and Time: August 3, 2016 at 9:00 A.M.

Location: County Administration Center, Room 310, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, California.

If you have any questions regarding SGMA, please contact Jim Bennett at or 858-694-3820.

County Preserves 1,386 Acres of Land for Agriculture

paceBy the end of Fiscal Year 2015-16, the County of San Diego permanently preserved 190 acres of agricultural land through the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement (PACE) Program. 

Eligible properties are those that were subject to a density reduction as a result of the General Plan Update in August 2011.  Through the PACE Program, the County compensates these property owners for placing an easement on their property to continue its agricultural use in perpetuity.  Since inception of the Program in Fiscal Year 2013-14, the County has compensated 18 property owners and permanently preserved 1,386 acres of land for agriculture. 

Implementation of the PACE Program is an integral component of the County of San Diego’s Planning & Development Services Sustainable Environments Strategic Initiative to support the local agricultural industry and the preservation of community character.  The County will continue to acquire additional agricultural easements through 2016 and intends to open enrollment for the next round of eligible PACE participants in 2017.

For more information and eligibility requirements visit the PACE Program website or contact the Project Manager, Bulmaro Canseco, at or at 858-694-2216.

The County of San Diego Receives Energy Champion Award

alpineOn June 10, 2016, the County of San Diego was recognized for being a leader in energy efficiency at the 11th Annual Energy Showcase hosted by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).  The County was among 11 San Diego businesses and organizations that were named ‘Energy Champions’ for their investments and commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency in the San Diego region.

The Showcase highlighted the County’s achievements in partnering with SDG&E to implement strategies in the County’s 2015-2020 Strategic Energy Plan -- a road map to improve the quality of life for San Diegans by investing in innovative ways to reduce energy and greenhouse gases at County facilities and in the larger community.

In 2015, the County received more than $150,000 in rebates from SDG&E to replace inefficient lighting at a half dozen County facilities.  The lighting projects reduced the County’s utility bills by saving 3,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity.

This year, construction was completed on the Alpine Library, one of the first “Zero Net Energy” public facilities in the state.  The Alpine Library is expected to generate as much energy as it uses on site, saving an estimated $15,000 annually.

The Energy Champion award distinguishes the County as a leader in energy efficiency and sustainable innovation with the main focus of improving the quality of life for San Diegans.

Code Compliance - Before and After


Code Compliance received a complaint for an alley that was filled with solid waste. Code Compliance responded quickly and worked with the property owner to ensure that the property was brought into compliance in a timely fashion.


Welcome Aboard

gregGreg Anderson

Land Surveyor – Land Development Division

Greg joins PDS as a Land Surveyor. He was employed as a Land Surveyor at the City of El Cajon for the past 16 years. His broad experience includes reviewing and certifying subdivision maps and other official documents to ensure compliance with State and local laws, performing independent research and field surveys, and supervising and participating in preparation of preliminary and final engineering plans, specifications and cost estimates.


cindyCindy Cecil

Civil Engineer – Building Division

Cindy joins PDS as a Civil Engineer in the Building Division. You may recognize her, as she previously worked in the Building Division as a consultant. Cindy brings nearly 26 years of experience, specializing in structural engineering. This includes preparing structural engineering calculations and construction drawings and other documents for building and industrial projects. Cindy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.


lazaroLazaro Herrera

Land Use/Environmental Planner I – Code Compliance Division

Lazaro joins PDS as a Land Use/Environmental Planner I in the Code Compliance Division. He will handle our noise compliance cases. Lazaro worked at Solar Turbines for 15 years, 6 of which were conducting noise surveying in the field, collecting data, and generating and interpreting reports. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego.


Kristina Maxwell

Administrative Analyst III – Support Services Division

Kristina transferred to PDS via the Health and Human Services Agency. She has been with the County in various positions since 2006, most recently as an Administrative Analyst III for the past 5 years. Kristina received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing from San Diego State University. She will be managing our contracts and facilities.



shellyShelly Tregembo

Administrative Analyst III – Support Services Division

Shelly comes to PDS from the Health and Human Services Agency. She has been with the County in several capacities since 2005, and has been an Administrative Analyst III since 2011. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master’s Degree from San Diego State University. Shelly will be assigned to assist our Executive Team with managing various projects focused on our organizational excellence initiatives.

We welcome all of our new staff to the PDS team and look forward to their tremendous support to all of the PDS Divisions and most importantly, our customers. Please join us in congratulating them on their new roles.

Did You Know?

otayThe San Ysidro Mountains are a mountain range in southern San Diego County, California.  The range extends for a short distance into Baja California.  The San Ysidro Mountains are part of the Peninsular Ranges System.  The highest point of the range is Otay Mountain, elevation 3,566 feet.  The majority of the range is included in the Otay Mountain Wilderness Area.  The native vegetation of the San Ysidro Mountains represents the coastal sage scrub of the California coastal sage and chaparral ecoregion (western faces) and plants of the California montane chaparral and woodlands ecoregion (inland).  The San Ysidro Mountains are one of the few locations where the rare Tecate Cypress is found.  This tree was once abundant in the higher elevations of the range as well as in its canyons.  The San Ysidro Mountains were deforested of living foliage by wildfires in 2003 and 2007.  The Tecate Cypress is a fire ecology dependent species, and there has been some evidence of regrowth starting.

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Citizen Access Portal
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Self-Service Reports
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