Borrego Sun - Since 1949



Last updated 1/11/2018 at 9:52am

Proposition One, approved by the voters on November 4, 2014 authorized the California State Legislature to appropriate funds to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to establish the Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program. This program provides funds for projects that develop and implement sustainable groundwater planning and projects consistent with requirements outlined in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

SGMA requires formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) for all basins designated as high or medium priority by DWR. The newly formed GSAs are then responsible for the development of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs).

In Borrego Springs, BWD and the County of San Diego (County) serve as the GSA and are working with a citizens’ Advisory Committee (AC) composed of representatives from all major interest groups in the Valley. In November 2017 the County submitted a Prop One grant application on behalf of the GSA. The maximum grant is $1 million, so BWD and the County each applied for $500,000 to fund the projects they selected.

The Borrego Valley has been designated as a Critically Overdrafted Basin as well as a Severely Disadvantaged Community, both of which increase the chances of grant approval. BWD’s projects include a socioeconomic study covering the local economy, analysis of impacts of water use reduction, and assessment of potential water supply decision-making issues.

Also included in the application are a metering and monitoring program for privately-owned wells, and a study of potential sites for a new well. The County hopes to use its grant funds for environmental planning, in order to ensure that the GSP and its projects comply with the California Environmental Quality Act. A final decision is expected for Spring of 2018. For more information, see the websites ( or, or better yet come to a meeting of the BWD Board (Jan 16 and 24) and AC (Jan 25).

By Wendy Quinn

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