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Groundwater workshops gurgle to surface in Sonoma

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A series of workshops intended to update well owners and others on local implementation of California’s new groundwater law will begin later this month, with the first workshop slated for Thursday, June 30 in Sonoma Valley.

The workshops will include a brief overview of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act requirements and an update on implementation of SGMA in the three groundwater basins immediately affected: Sonoma Valley, the Santa Rosa Plain and Petaluma Valley.

The first requirement of SGMA is the creation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs), which are regulatory bodies responsible for developing and implementing plans to sustainably manage groundwater. Staff representatives from the entities that are eligible to serve as GSAs are working on recommendations to their governing bodies regarding these new agencies.

In the Sonoma Valley Basin, eligible entities include the City of Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon Water District, the Sonoma County Water Agency, and the Sonoma Resource Conservation District. The Sonoma Valley has a groundwater management plan and Basin Advisory Panel, and is in its eighth year of implementation.

The Sonoma meeting will be introduced by 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin, and include an overview by Jay Jasperse, Chief Engineer and Director of Groundwater Management for the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA); an update on governance issues from county administrative analyst Peter Bruland; and an opportunity for public input.

The workshop is slated for Thursday, June 30 from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Sonoma Charter School Multi-Purpose Room, 17202 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma. A second workshop will be held on Monday, July 11 in Santa Rosa and the final workshop is on Aug. 17 in Petaluma. For more information, go to sonomacountygroundwater.org.

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