Basin-Wide Sustainability

monitoring flow in artesian well for groundwater sustainability

Working to Promote Groundwater Sustainability in All Its Forms

GEOSCIENCE has been working with water purveyors on sustainability-related matters for decades.

A hallmark of GEOSCIENCE is its commitment to workable and sustainable groundwater resource planning and management. The importance of maintaining sustainable groundwater resource supplies has come to the forefront with the enactment of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA). While implementation under SGMA is new, our work helping water districts and other agencies reach and maintain water balance and sustainable yield is not. Leveraging nearly 40 years of knowledge, GEOSCIENCE continues to work with clients to solve these significant groundwater and groundwater hydrology issues.

SGMA requires the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to coordinate the activities of local groundwater resource management agencies across designated groundwater basins. Under the statute, GSAs are tasked with developing and implementing specific Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) to sustainably manage groundwater resources according to a specific timeline based upon a priority designation established by the State Department of Water Resources.

For many years, GEOSCIENCE has been designing and implementing groundwater sustainability plans for numerous California water agencies, including those with jurisdiction in overlying basins or in basins covered by multiple agencies. Successful completion of these types of projects requires a thorough understanding of:

  • Basin boundary delineations
  • Sustainable yield/perennial yield studies
  • Pumping distributions
  • Groundwater management planning
  • Groundwater model development for use as a management tool

GEOSCIENCE has a solid track record when it comes to working with water boards, technical staff, state and local agencies and stakeholders to develop plans that address the issues that may be contributing to chronic or unreasonable overdraft or other undesirable conditions, and what steps need to be taken to develop plans that satisfy local policies and the goals of SGMA.

Achieving water budget equilibrium requires the quantification of several components impacting the inflow and outflow to a basin from a variety of users, including:

  • Basin characterization
  • Collection, review and analysis of historical geohydrological data
  • Surface and groundwater interactions
  • Artificial recharge
  • Development of groundwater flow models, including MODFLOW and MT3D
  • Subsidence
  • Salt water intrusion
  • Monitoring of groundwater levels, water quality and water quality degradation
  • Coordination with local agencies and other water users
  • Development and implementation of practical plans with workable solutions

Balancing yearly input to a basin with yearly extraction or outflow is the primary goal of sustainability. GEOSCIENCE has conducted more than 70 groundwater studies or projects that have assisted water districts in determining the actions necessary to achieve their groundwater sustainability goals.


Big Bear Lake Area Watershed Study

Client: City of Big Bear Lake, Department of Water and Power
Date: 2001-2006
Services Performed: Basin-wide Sustainability, Geohydrologic Studies, Groundwater Modeling