Owens Valley Groundwater Authority

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is a 2014 California law that requires groundwater to be sustainably managed over a long period. This means the amount of groundwater that can be taken every year cannot, overtime, create lower groundwater levels and/or:
  • Harm water quality
  • Deplete creeks, streams and rivers (or other connected water)
  • Create land subsidence
  • Cause seawater to seep in
  • Cause other significant and adverse impacts

The OVGA approved the Groundwater Sustainability Plan on December 9, 2021.

OVGA Groundwater Sustainability Plan

September 2023 Owens Valley Groundwater Authority Newsletter

Upcoming Meetings

Owens Valley Groundwater Authority Meeting ( Agenda posted)

Interactive Groundwater Maps


The OVGB is a large basin – 1,030 square miles – with a number of jurisdictional, legal, and water management considerations specific to the basin. The Basin includes the Owens, Round, Chalfant, Hammil, and Benton Valleys as well as Fish Slough. Owens Valley is currently identified as a low priority Basin by DWR, and not in a critically overdrafted condition. However, in 2014 the Basin was considered a medium priority basin, but an approved basin boundary modification in 2016 triggered a reassessment of basin priority. In 2018 DWR proposed the basin be classified as high priority due largely to out-of-basin groundwater exports. The OVGA objected to that draft DWR designation and in May 2019, the DWR released phase II of its prioritization proposing to designate the basin low priority. That designation was finalized in December 2019.

Owens Basin GLA Data Map
Owens Valley Groundwater Map
Fish Slough Groundwater Map
Owens Valley Groundwater Data Map
Owens Basin GLA Data Map



The Board

The Owens Valley Groundwater Authority safeguards the sustainability of the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin through locally tailored management of groundwater resources to protect and sustain the environment, local residents and communities, agriculture, and the economy.


  1. Prepare and implement a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) as described in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
  2. Establish standards and criteria for sustainable groundwater conditions and management within the Basin.
  3. Implement groundwater management policies, regulations, and projects of the GSP consistent with the authorities granted under SGMA.
  4. Monitor groundwater resources as prescribed in the GSP, assess changes in the groundwater basin using best available models and data, and adjust or modify management practices when needed to achieve or maintain sustainability.
  5. Report annually and as needed to the OVGA Board and public on groundwater uses and conditions in the Basin.
  6. Ensure local resident and stakeholder voices including Federal and State recognized tribes are heard through effective public engagement that invites deliberation, collaboration, and action on groundwater management issues of common importance.