Santa Margarita Groundwater Agency’s April board meeting was held Thursday, April 22, 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. Technical Consultant Georgina King from Montgomery & Associates presented an update on the statuses of the various sections of the GSP, which is due to Department of Water Resources in early 2022.

King presented revised approaches for determining measurable objectives and undesirable results for the three of the four aquifers within the basin (Lompico, Monterey and Butano). Board members had previously shown a preference for ensuring sufficient operational flexibility in case of an emergency and/or potential drought conditions. Following a discussion that modified the methodologies, the board directed staff to proceed with the updated criteria as presented.

The board also received a presentation on potential Projects and Management Actions (PMAs) for the GSP, including high level benefits analysis, preliminary planning costs and scenarios for implementation and incorporating the information into the GSP. PMAs demonstrate that the Agency has identified multiple ways the basin could reach sustainability and considered initial costs for those projects. Following a discussion of the proposed projects and management actions — ranging from water-use efficiency programs to groundwater replenishment projects — the board concluded that the presented information was sufficient and there is no reason for holding a separate workshop about PMAs.

Financial reports for the period January – March 2021 were included in the agenda packet for board review.

The next SMGWA Board of Directors meeting will be held Thursday, May 27, at 5:30 p.m. More information at­­