Last week, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) formally approved a groundwater sustainability plan for the North and South Yuba groundwater subbasins in Yuba County.

According to a news release, the plan was developed by Yuba Water Agency in coordination with Cordua Irrigation District, the city of Marysville and other stakeholders to meet the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

“The sustainable groundwater conditions in Yuba County and today’s announcement are testaments to the success of locally-driven water management,” said Scott Matyac, Yuba Water’s director of water resources, in the release. “We’re grateful to our local partners for their work on this plan and their continued commitment to protecting this critical resource for our region.”

Because of its population and groundwater use, the Yuba subbasins were two of 127 regions identified in 2014 by DWR as being medium- or high-priority basins subject to SGMA. Approximately 80 percent of Yuba County residents rely on groundwater as their sole source of supply, the release said.

“In light of the historic and variable climate conditions we are experiencing, these decisions reinforce that managing our water resources in an adaptive and inclusive way is how groundwater sustainability will be achieved,” said Karla Nemeth, DWR director, in the release. “We appreciate and support the role of local leaders in shaping how their communities manage the change that comes from creating sustainable groundwater supplies. DWR is committed to providing additional drinking water guidance for the local groundwater agencies to make public health and safety a top priority.”

Yuba Water Agency said it is already addressing three recommendations for improvement included in the sustainability plan.

To learn more about the groundwater sustainability plan, visit www.yubawater.org/322/Groundwater-Sustainability-Plan.

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