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Napa County News

Posted on: January 26, 2023

CA Department of Water Resources approves Napa Valley Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP)

NAPA, CA (January 26, 2023) – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has approved the Napa Valley Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). The GSP provides a detailed roadmap for the Napa Valley Subbasin to achieve and maintain long-term sustainability. 

The plan is based on factors including identifying groundwater conditions, integrating adaptive management approaches, establishing projects and actions to achieve sustainability, and assembling a technical work group to serve as an ongoing advisory group. Among the priorities in the Napa Valley Subbasin GSP is a goal to reduce pumping of groundwater by 10-percent.

The Napa Valley Subbasin spans 45,900 acres extending from the intersections of highways 221 and 12 north towards Calistoga and has been identified as a high-priority subbasin. The 2014 California Department of Water Resources Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires local groundwater sustainability agencies in high and medium-priority basins to develop and implement groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) or to develop alternatives to GSPs within a 20-year time frame. 

In July of 2020, Napa County’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan Advisory Committee (GSPAC), with technical evaluation and analysis from consultant Luhdorff & Scalmanini, began working on the Napa Valley Subbasin GSP. Napa County submitted the plan to DWR on January 31, 2022. 

“This decision by DWR reflects the great work of our county and community stakeholders,” said Board of Supervisor Chair Belia Ramos. “It’s a stamp of approval that we are on the right track towards sustainability.”

The GSP goes into effect immediately. Next steps will include development of four workplans for vineyard and winery water conservation, groundwater pumping reduction, interconnected surfacewater and groundwater dependent ecosystems and a stormwater resource plan. The plans are expected to be completed at the end of the year.

Napa County’s Napa Valley Subbasin was one of four Northern California GSPs approved by DWR. The other GSPs approved were for Santa Rosa Plain, Petaluma Valley and Sonoma Valley subbasins.

To read the executive summary of the Napa Valley Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan, click here

To learn more about groundwater sustainability, click here.

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