The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and Underrepresented Farmers - CivicWell

SGMA and Underrepresented Farmers

The Impact of Groundwater Sustainability Plans on Underrepresented Farmers



Groundwater resources play a vital role in maintaining environmental sustainability in California. During a typical year, approximately 40 percent of the state’s total water supply comes from groundwater. During dry years, groundwater contributes upwards of 60 percent of the state’s total supply, and serves as a critical buffer against the impacts of drought and climate change. With drought drying up wells and putting farmers out of business, groundwater management must be an inclusive conversation.

This white paper responds to concerns expressed by groundwater sustainability advocates that underrepresented farmers have not been included in the development and implementation of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of 2014. It contains results from the evaluation of 14 Groundwater Sustainability Plans with a focus on stakeholder engagement and projected impacts of groundwater decline on underrepresented farmers.

This paper is a collaborative effort by CivicWell, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources, and Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability. It is authored by CivicWell’s Diana Voss-Gonzalez and Ngodoo Atume of Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund.

Read SGMA and Underrepresented Farmers here.