The Colusa County Groundwater Authority will be applying for a $1 million grant from the Department of Water Resources, which will be used to develop a groundwater sustainability plan for the Colusa Sub-Basin. The agency will apply for the grant jointly with the Glenn County Groundwater Authority, which shares the sub-basin with Colusa County.
“The Colusa Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) and the Glenn GSA are going to be doing a single plan together for the whole sub-basin, so the grant that we’ll be applying for will be used for putting that plan together,” said Mary Fahey, Colusa County’s water resources manager. “Hopefully, it will get funded.”
Fahey said that the two GSA’s will be applying for the maximum grant amount of $1 million. GSA’s which are in “critical overdraft” are eligible for $1.5 million, but the Colusa Sub-Basin does not qualify.
“We have to have (groundwater sustainability) plans in place by 2022 – it’s a requirement of the (Sustainable Groundwater Management Act),” Fahey said. “DWR has a whole list of requirements that need to be in the plan, so essentially this money will go to a consultant, or team of consultants, that will put the plan together for us. That plan will be what our GSA’s use to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act for the next 20, 40 years.”
A three-bill package signed into law in Sept. 2014, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act established a definition of sustainable groundwater management, and required that a Groundwater Sustainability Plan be adopted for the most important groundwater basins in the state. The act aimed to place the responsibility for management in the hands of local jurisdictions. A total of 265 unique local agencies have formed GSAs in 141 basins. ■