Northern Sacramento Valley Branch Meeting- Butte County Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Update – Challenges and Uncertainties

The Northern Sacramento Valley Branch is pleased to present:

Butte County Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Update - Challenges and Uncertainties

Paul Gosselin
Director of Water and Resource Conservation


In 2014, Governor Brown signed into law the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). SGMA provides for local public agencies with land use, water management or water supply authority the opportunity to be Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA) with the responsibility for developing and implementing Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP). GSPs must evaluate the sustainability of the basin and identify actions that will be implemented to achieve sustainability over a 20 year period. SGMA represents the greatest change in groundwater law in 100 years. To fully implement a new regulatory structure poses significant institutional and technical challenges. Locally, we are overcoming some of the challenges and uncertainties of the early phase of implementation. The first major challenge was meeting the June 30, 2017 deadline to have one or more GSAs cover the full extent of the four subbasins (Vina, West Butte, East Butte and Wyandotte Creek) in Butte County subject to SGMA. That deadline was met with most of the eligible local public agencies including Butte County electing to be a GSA. All of the GSAs have committed to work towards developing and submitting a single GSP in each subbasin by January 30, 2022. The next phase of SGMA implementation presents new and increasingly more difficult challenges. To achieve the goal of developing one GSP, a governance structure must be developed for each subbasin. As governance discussions are occurring, the state will accept requests from local agencies to modify basin boundaries until June 30th. To improve planning efficiency, a number of potential basin boundary modifications are being considered by local agencies. If these basin modifications are approved, they would change the grouping of local agencies in each subbasin and potentially the governance. These issues should be clearer by mid-2018. But as the GSAs move deeper into developing their GSP, they will face a host of new technical challenges and uncertainties. Creating the hydrogeologic conceptual model and developing water budgets may have a high level of uncertainty due to limited data. Collaborating with adjoining subbasins that utilize different tools and approaches may not resolve interbasin uncertainties. Evaluating and selecting the appropriate integrated hydrologic modeling tool will require an in-depth understanding of the expectations of a GSP. Selecting representative monitoring may be hampered by an inadequate monitoring grid. Adequately assessing stream aquifer interaction and whether significant stream depletion is occurring poses one of the greatest challenges. These are some of the challenges and uncertainties as GSAs begin the process of developing GSPs. 


Paul Gosselin joined Butte County as the Director of Water and Resource Conservation in November 2007. The Department manages the County’s State Water Project allocation, administers the Groundwater Conservation Ordinance, the Groundwater Management Plan, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and foster regional partnerships. Prior to joining Butte County, Paul was Chief Deputy Director for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. From 1989 to 1993, he was the Director of Regulatory Services for the Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture. Paul received a bachelors’ degree in biochemistry and a masters’ degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts.


No-Host Social and Registration- 5:30-6:00 p.m.
Announcements & Dinner - 6:00-6:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker - 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Questions & Answers - 7:30 - 8:00 p.m.


Members: $25.00
Non-Members: $30.00
Students: $15.00

  • If you register after Noon on Wednesday, April 11th, or walk-in, a $5.00 surcharge will be added to the meeting cost.
    (Excluding Students)


-Mavarati Mushroom Burger
-BBQ Pulled Pork
-Fish Tacos
-Chinese Chicken Salad

If you have questions about the meeting, please call Eddy Teasdale at (530) 419-9484 or email him at



Thu, April 12, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Event has ended


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