The Santa Margarita Groundwater Agency (SMGWA), formed in 2017 to comply with California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act will be enhancing its data-collection network through the installation of additional monitoring wells.

The monitoring wells help the agency better assess groundwater levels throughout the basin and will assist SMGWA in tracking progress toward sustainability goals.

SMGWA is developing its groundwater sustainability plan (GSP), which is expected to be adopted in December 2021. The GSP will guide long-term management of the groundwater basin — a resource shared by the Scotts Valley Water District, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District, the Mount Hermon Association and private well owners — to ensure a reliable water supply for community needs and the natural environment of the region.

The two most important sustainability indicators in the SMGWA Basin are groundwater level declines and interconnected surface water depletion. To demonstrate that the SMGWA is making progress towards sustainability, SMGWA must build a robust monitoring network. While existing monitoring programs developed by SMGWA member agencies provide much of the needed data, there are gaps in the monitoring networks that must be addressed.

The addition of the wells, including design and construction, is funded largely by a GSP grant. A request for proposals has been issued and responses are due Monday, April 19.


The Santa Margarita Groundwater Agency (SMGWA) is a joint powers authority comprised of the San Lorenzo Valley Water District, Scotts Valley Water District and the County of Santa Cruz, to oversee the groundwater management activities in the Santa Margarita Groundwater Basin in Santa Cruz County, California. The agency was established in 2017. The Board of Directors of the SMGWA includes two board members from each of the member agencies, one from the City of Scotts Valley, one from the City of Santa Cruz, one from the Mount Hermon Association Community Water System and two well owner representatives. Learn more at, on Facebook and on Instagram.