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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history for the formation of the Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency?

Background information can be found in the Critical Elements of the Proposed Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency.

How is the YSGA funded?

Currently the 26 member entities are funding the administrative and monitoring efforts of the YSGA and development of the GSP.  The YSGA Board of Directors intend to reconsider the YSGA’s revenue structure and determine whether there is a more equitable, sustainable revenue mechanism for implementing the GSP through 2042.

What is a Groundwater Sustainability Plan?

A plan that includes criteria and projects for ensuring groundwater sustainability over a 20-year period in a groundwater basin.  The Yolo Subbasin is a high-priority basin and a GSP needs to be submitted to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) by January 31, 2022.  The plan must include an assessment of groundwater conditions and criteria that will protect groundwater resources today and in the future.

What is considered “sustainable” groundwater management?

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires the following to be considered as part of sustainable groundwater management – sustainability criteria must be developed to ensure that each basin avoids “undesirable results” defined as follows

  1. Chronic lowering of groundwater levels
  2. Reduction of the amount of storage available for groundwater
  3. Degradation of water quality
  4. Land subsidence
  5. Depletion of interconnected surface water from groundwater use
  6. Seawater intrusion

How will SGMA and GSP development and implementation affect my well?

From an operational perspective, there will be little to no change experienced by individual users of wells, including domestic and agricultural users. The GSP is intended to ensure that groundwater use remains sustainable at the subbasin scale.

How can I express my opinions and concerns about how the Yolo Subbasin GSP will affect me?

The public is encouraged to attend committee, Working Group, and Board of Director meetings of the YSGA. Public outreach workshops occurred in Fall 2021 and public outreach meetings will continue in 2022 as the GSP is implemented. Stakeholders may also reach out via, online at, or via phone at 530.662.3211.

Who will fund the projects that are included in the GSP?

The YSGA still needs to discuss the implementation plan for projects that are listed in the GSP.  The YSGA JPA discusses the beneficiary pays concept for project implementation, and the YSGA Board of Directors will be considering how to prioritize and fund basin-wide initiatives (projects and management actions) in the future.

How do I submit a project for inclusion into the GSP?

The YSGA solicited projects and management actions for the GSP in Spring and Summer 2021.  Now that the first version of the Yolo Subbasin GSP is complete, the YSGA Board of Directors will need to determine what schedule or process they’d like in place for considering the inclusion of additional projects and management actions.  Compiling the annual report may prove to be a good time to solicit new projects and adopt them in the GSP.

What happens if the GSP is not submitted on time to the State or is considered insufficient in the State’s review?

If the GSP is not submitted by January 31, 2022, the State Water Resources Control Board will intervene and take over management of the subbasin.  The State Water Board developed a proposed fee schedule related to subbasin intervention that can be accessed here.  If DWR finds that the GSP is incomplete, the YSGA will have the opportunity to revise the GSP and resubmit it for further review.  If DWR finds that the GSP is insufficient, the State Water Board will intervene in the Yolo Subbasin.

Will agricultural pumps be metered? If they will be, who will pay for it?

Metering of agricultural pumps is not currently included as a project or management action (PMA) in the Yolo Subbasin GSP.

What types of projects or management actions can improve groundwater conditions?

A table of project and management actions (PMAs) for ensuring groundwater sustainability in Yolo Subbasin are included in the Yolo Subbasin GSP. PMAs related to improving groundwater conditions mainly focus on increasing groundwater recharge. One example project is utilizing unlined canals or natural sloughs or creeks to facilitate increased winter recharge of groundwater.

How are you going to know who is pumping and where?

The GSP does not currently intend to identify pumping of groundwater at the individual user scale. Groundwater use and sustainability will be determined at the basin-wide scale, and further examined at the Management Area scale.

Are you going to identify whether well pumps are operated by electricity or fuel?

The GSP does not include projects or management actions related to how pumps are powered.

Will groundwater users have to sign a compliance agreement?

The GSP does not include projects or management actions related to individual groundwater users signing a compliance agreement.

Are you going to share information with Yolo Air Quality Management District or CARB?

The YSGA does not intend to collect, or share, information that would be relevant to the Yolo Air Quality Management District or CARB.

Are you tracking what crops are irrigated for each well?

Information about crop acreages is widely available and can be beneficial to determining total groundwater use in the Yolo Subbasin. Tracking fields linked to individual wells is not currently plan as part of the GSP implementation process and is not a PMA in the GSP.

Are you tracking how many acres the well services?

Information on total irrigated acres and crop types will be evaluated periodically. The GSP does not include PMAs tracking how many acres an individual well services.

More questions? Contact us