Santa Margarita Groundwater Agency’s March board meeting was held Thursday, March 25, and was conducted via all-remote, web- and phone-based access due to the coronavirus prevention guidelines. The Board is working to develop the state-mandated Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), aiming to complete a draft for review at the July 29, 2021, board meeting. In March, Technical Consultant Georgina King from Montgomery & Associates presented an overview of the GSP sections with their respective statuses. The GSP is due to Department of Water Resources in early 2022.

King explained definitions of measurable objectives and undesirable results and their relationship with the rest of the elements in the suite of sustainable management criteria.

The Board discussed the proposed approach for establishing measurable objectives and undesirable result for the individual aquifers in the Basin. Board members were interested in ensuring sufficient operational flexibility in case of an emergency and potential drought conditions. The Board was in support of the proposed measurable objective for groundwater levels based on the measured seasonal low level at the end of WY 2004 and agreed on specific verbiage for the undesirable results in the Santa Margarita aquifer.

The Board provided input for setting measurable objectives and undesirable results in the Monterey, Lompico and Butano aquifers and is expected to agree on the criteria at its next meeting.

SMGWA also will be enhancing its monitoring network through the installation of additional monitoring wells. This will help the agency address data gaps in the basin. The addition of the wells, including design and construction, is funded largely by a GSP grant and a request for proposals has been issued.

The next SMGWA Board of Directors meeting will be held Thursday, April 22, at 5:30 p.m. More information at­­