A 20-year plan that will govern how people in south Sacramento County and parts of Amador County use groundwater and pay to sustain its availability has been released for public review and comment. Comments are due October 20, 2021.
The plan includes broad-based fees on wells and water usage, with the largest portion of the funds generated earmarked for projects that are designed to increase the availability of groundwater in the future.
The draft Cosumnes Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) is a state-mandated plan for achieving sustainable management of groundwater use in the southeastern portion of Sacramento County and parts of Amador County. The timeframe for reviewing the document and providing comments is August 18 – October 20, 2021. The final GSP will be submitted to the State no later than January 31, 2022.
Implementation of this plan over the next two decades will ensure that groundwater in the Cosumnes Subbasin continues to be a long-term resource for both the people and the environment in the area. With the water table in the area declining at a rate of about a foot each year, the GSP provides detailed information about current and projected conditions in the groundwater basin, an analysis of groundwater use, and examination of how groundwater enters and leaves the basin.
Given that the water table in the area is declining at a rate of about 1 foot/year, the GSP contains a strategy to reverse this trend of groundwater depletion by implementing various projects and management practices. One chapter addresses how all the work to protect groundwater might be funded, including fees assessed on farmers, ranchers, and agricultural-residential landowners. The ability to have sufficient water to continue to farm and live in the basin is linked to the success of this plan.