California Assembly Bill Would Require Groundwater Sustainability Agency Involvement in Local Agency Well Approval Process

September 2022

California Water Law & Policy Reporter, Volume 32, Number 11

On March 28, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-7-22, prescribing emergency actions to address California’s ongoing drought conditions. Among other things, N-7-22 prohibits cities, counties, and other public agencies from approving the construction or alteration of a groundwater well that is subject to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) (Wat. Code, 10720 et seq.) without written verification from their local Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) that extraction from the proposed well would not be inconsistent with the basin’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). Citing a need for longer-term protection of communities that depend on groundwater, Assembly Bill (AB) 2201 would make the GSA verification process for new well applicant to supply an engineer’s report on the risk of interference with other wells, and create a 30-day public comment period before an application can be removed.

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