News & Media

State issues comments on Turlock Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan, GSP to be revised

January 18, 2024

On January 18, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) provided comments on the Turlock Subbasin’s Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) following a two-year review period. The Turlock Subbasin’s GSP was determined to be incomplete by DWR and is required to be revised within 180 days.

Turlock Subbasin’s GSP was a joint effort between the West Turlock Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) and East Turlock Subbasin GSA, who collaborated to develop and jointly-file the GSP. The GSP was required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

DWR supported many portions of the Turlock Subbasin’s GSP, including the minimum thresholds set forth by the plan. However, DWR identified deficiencies related to the 20-year implementation of the GSP which noted that groundwater conditions may worsen before they improve.  DWR has asked that the GSP be revised to address the near term impacts of declining groundwater levels and provide more details on projects and programs that will reduce overdraft and increase groundwater levels.  Both GSAs have begun to analyze DWR’s comments and, just as with the GSP development, will seek public participation in the GSP revisions.

“We’re disappointed in DWR’s determination; however, many GSPs across the State and San Joaquin Valley have received the same determination,” said Joe Alamo, Chair of the West Turlock GSA Board. “We look forward to working with the East Turlock GSA on revising the GSP and bringing it into compliance.”

“The 180-day revision period is an opportunity to address deficiencies in the GSP, ultimately ensuring groundwater management remains local,” said Ward Burroughs, Chair of the East Turlock GSA Board.

The Turlock Subbasin has begun to, and will continue to move forward with current groundwater sustainability projects during the revision of the GSP.

The Turlock Subbasin, has not been deemed critically overdrafted by the state. The GSP was approved by both GSAs on January 6, 2022 and then submitted to state on January 28, 2022. DWR had through January 2024 to review, comment, and make determination on the GSP.


Media Contacts:

For West Turlock Subbasin GSA, contact Brandon McMillan | | 209.883.8539
For East Turlock Subbasin GSA, contact Sarah Woolf | | 559.341.0174

About the Turlock Subbasin The Turlock Subbasin’s local agencies eligible to form GSAs entered into lengthy discussions after SGMA became enacted into law in 2014. As a result, two GSAs formed within the Subbasin: the West Turlock Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) and the East Turlock Subbasin GSA. The boundary separating the two GSAs is generally the Turlock Irrigation District’s eastern irrigation service area boundary. Both GSAs held public hearings and took official action electing to be the GSA for their respective areas. The GSAs submitted the necessary documentation to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) prior to the July 2017 deadline. The West Turlock Subbasin GSA (consisting of 12 public agencies) and the East Turlock Subbasin GSA (five agencies) jointly developed a single GSP to manage groundwater sustainably through at least 2042. The GSP was submitted to DWR on January 28, 2022.