Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs)

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Map of aquifers under the authority of the SVBGSA. Photo from [2][1]

A organizational summary, by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.


The Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (SVBGSA) was created in 2017 under the SGMA with the mission of creating and implementing a sustainable groundwater management plan by 2020 to achieve sustainable groundwater use by 2040.[2]


The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act required that every basin of high- to medium-risk create a Sustainable Groundwater Plan (SGP) by June 30th, 2017. In the case of the Salinas Valley Basin that resulted in the creation of the SVBGSA. [2]

If the SVBGSA fails to follow the SGMA the Salinas Valley basin will then be managed by the California State government. Reasons for state intervention would be failing to implement a sustainable groundwater plan (SGP) by 2020, or failing to achieve sustainability by 2040. This threat of State control over groundwater basins gives incentive to local actors to compromise and achieve sustainable groundwater management.


The SVBGSA has a board of 11 members occupying different seats to consider different stakeholder viewpoints. These members and their focus are are:

  • Adam Secondo, Secondo Farms- Agriculture, Pressure
  • Bill Lipe, Rava Ranches- Agriculture, Upper Valley/Paso
  • Brenda Granillo, Cal Water- CPUC Regulated Water Company
  • Colby Pereira, Costa Farms- Agriculture, East Side/Langley
  • Janet Brennan, LandWatch- Environment
  • Lou Calcagno- Public Member
  • Supervisor Luis Alejo, Monterey County- Other GSA Eligible Entity
  • Mayor Joe Gunter, City of Salinas- City of Salinas
  • City Manager Mike McHatten, City of Soledad- South County Cities
  • Ron Stefani, Castroville CSD- Disadvantaged Community or Public Water System, including Mutual Water Companies serving residential customers
  • Steve McIntyre, Monterey Pacific/McIntyre Vineyards- Agriculture, Forebay [3]

Each member gets one vote. For routine decisions a majority is needed (6 votes) and a super majority (8 votes) is needed to approve the groundwater sustainability plan (GSP), annual budgets, regulations, and fees.[4]


The SVBGSA is a self-funded agency that plans to seek its funding primarily through grants and other funding opportunities. Funding will also come from fees assesed by the agency under existing laws for public agencies.


  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1