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With an Understanding of the SLO Basin Developed, Goal Setting Begins


Three water sources —surface water, recycled water and groundwater—serve all of the needs within the San Luis Obispo Valley Basin (SLO Basin). The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), signals the first time in California’s history that groundwater will be formally managed. As required by SGMA, the SLO Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) are developing a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) now through January 2022. The GSP will guide groundwater users on how to maintain sustainable groundwater levels in the future.


Step 2: Document Basin Setting is nearing completion. Over the last several months the project team has documented the Basin’s geology, groundwater levels and quality, water accounting and future land use plans. This information helps to predict future groundwater demand and inform how sustainable groundwater levels can be maintained in the future.

Key takeaways of the basin setting include:

  • Groundwater levels have steadily declined in the Edna Valley since the 1990s, parallel to the growth of vineyard agriculture in the Valley.

  • Groundwater levels within the San Luis Valley have remained fairly steady since the 1990s.

  • A bedrock high creates a natural geological demarcation between the San Luis Valley and Edna Valley areas of the Basin.

Chapter 6: Water Budget is now open for public comment and will close September 30, 2020. In addition, the project team completed a technical memo, Groundwater / Surface Water Model Approach. The memo comment period closed June 15, 2020.


On June 10, 2020, more than 75 stakeholders participated in a virtual workshop to set a shared vision for what a “sustainable SLO Basin” means to them. A workshop summary was produced, which synthesized stakeholder feedback into a set of 5 Guiding Principles to inform the SLO Basin GSP. The summary was opened for public comment and closed on July 31, 2020. The final 5 Guiding Principles will be used to inform the draft basin wide sustainability goal that will be shared at the September 9, 2020 GSC Meeting and October 1, 2020 stakeholder workshop.


Step 3: Set Sustainability Goals is now underway. Key topics that will be discussed at the September 9, 2020 GSC Meeting include: a presentation and discussion of the data management system (DMS) plan; details of the proposed basin monitoring network; the proposed representative monitoring sites; and a draft set of sustainability management criteria for each representative monitoring well.

Stakeholders can inform the draft sustainability goals by attending the September 9, 2020 GSC Meeting and/or October 1, 2020 Sustainable Goal Setting Workshop. Explore details on this and other opportunities to participate


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