Groundwater Sustainability Agencies in Santa Barbara County

In Santa Barbara County, basins that are subject to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) include all medium and high priority basins, as defined by the State Department of Water Resources (DWR), that have not previously been adjudicated. Under SGMA, these basins were required to form a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) by June 2017, and have begun the process of drafting Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs). 


Non-Adjudicated Fringe Areas of the Santa Maria Groundwater Basin

The Water Agency serves as the GSA for the non-adjudicated fringe areas of the Santa Maria Groundwater Basin.

The Water Agency has submitted an initial notification to DWR that it will submit a basin boundary modification request to remove the fringe areas from the groundwater basin as defined in DWR's Bulletin 118

September 14, 2016 Public Meeting
Non-Adjudicated area map
BOS Hearing forming the GSA
BOS Hearing for Basin Boundary Modification Initial Notification
BOS Hearing for Basin Boundary Modification Submission

Cuyama Valley Groundwater Basin

The Cuyama Valley Groundwater Basin GSA has been formed by a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) between the Santa Barbara County Water Agency, the Counties of San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and Kern, the Cuyama Community Services District (CCSD), and the Cuyama Basin Water District (CBWD). Please visit the GSA website for Board of Directors and Stakeholder Advisory Committee announcements, agendas, and minutes here:

Santa Ynez River Valley Groundwater Basin

The Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District (SYRWCD) led formation of three GSAs, one for each of three sub-basin Management Areas. The entities involved in the GSAs will be the SYRWCD, SYRWCD ID#1, cities of Buellton, Solvang, and Lompoc, Mission Hills CSD, Vandenberg Village CSD, and the County Water Agency.  

GSA formation documents have been filed with DWR for the Eastern Management AreaWestern Management Area and the Central Management Area.

The Political Reform Act (Government Code Section 81000, et seq.) requires state and local government agencies to adopt and promulgate conflict of interest codes. Below are posted notices and proposed Conflict of Interest Codes for the Western and Central Management Areas:
Western Management Area GSA: Notice of Intention to Adopt Conflict of Interest Code, Conflict of Interest Code
Central Management Area GSA: Notice of Intention to Adopt Conflict of Interest Code, Conflict of Interest Code


Public Meetings:

Tuesday November 8, 2016 Agenda
Thursday, November 17, 2016 Agenda and Presentation
Thursday, February 16, 2017 Notice
BOS Hearing to form GSAs in the Western and Central Management Areas held December 6, 2016
BOS Hearing to form a GSA in the Eastern Management Area held April 11, 2017
Western Management Area GSA Meeting  June 7, 2018: Agenda
Central Management Area GSA Meeting May 16, 2018: Agenda Package

For more information on GSA formation in the Santa Ynez Groundwater Basins, please contact Bill Buelow with the SYRWCD: 805-693-1156,

Non-Adjudicated Fringe Areas of the Goleta Groundwater Basin

The County Water Agency will serve a the GSA for the non-adjudicated fringe areas of the Goleta Groundwater Basin. The Water Agency is currently exploring modification of the basin boundary to eliminate areas outside the adjudicated basin boundary. The Board of Supervisors gave direction staff to pursue such a modification on February 13, 2018. Materials and the Board's resolution may be viewed here.

BOS Hearing forming the GSA

San Antonio Creek Valley Groundwater Basin

SGMA implementation in the San Antonio Creek Valley Groundwater Basin is being led by the Cachuma Resources Conservation District. For information regarding GSA formation, please see the basin website, or  please contact Anna Olson, Executive Director of the Cachuma Resources Conservation District: 805-868-4013,

The GSA was formed through series of meetings between a working group of agencies and stakeholders, including the County Water Agency, Los Alamos Community Services District, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and the CRCD. 

Workgroup Meetings

April 18, 2016 Agenda and Minutes
May 19, 2016 Agenda and Minutes
June 16, 2016 Agenda and Minutes
July 21, 2016 Agenda and Minutes
July 25, 2016 Agenda and Minutes
October 6, 2016 Agenda and Minutes
November 9, 2016: Agenda and Minutes
December 15, 2016: Agenda and Minutes
January 19, 2017: Agenda and Minutes
March 1, 2017: Agenda and Minutes

Public Meeting:
August 9, 2016 Presentation and Information

BOS Hearing on Countywide GSA Formation, December 6, 2016
BOS Hearing on Countywide GSA Initiation, July 12, 2016
BOS Hearing withdrawing the Water Agency from GSA formation on March 14, 2017