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Sonoma Valley well owners invited to preview sustainability indicators of future groundwater issues

Well owners in the Santa Rosa Plain, Petaluma Valley, and Sonoma Valley have been invited to participate in local community meetings on groundwater conditions and sustainable management of this critical water source. The Sonoma Valley virtual meeting will take place June 23 at 5:30 p.m.

The meetings will preview proposed sustainability indicators, developed with stakeholder input, that are the heart of the Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) being developed by these three groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs). The plans identify issues with current and future groundwater resources and provide means to address the problems.

The state of Sonoma Valley’s GSP can be read at www.sonomavalleygroundwater. org/gsp. The full draft GSP will be released for comment sometime in fall 2021. To receive notice when a section is available for comment, you can sign up to be included on the “interested parties” list. Sonoma Valley’s groundwater subbasin runs from Glen Ellen to San Pablo Bay and includes the marshlands of the North Bay Water District. Water is contributed from areas south of Pythian Road and from the mountains on either side of the valley.

While the upcoming meetings will not focus on the current drought, local water conditions highlight future challenges in the basin as climate change leads to longer, more frequent droughts and fewer but more intense storms.

Each virtual meeting will focus on a specific basin. The Sonoma Valley GSA will meet on June 23, the Santa Rosa GSA met on May 19, and Petaluma Valley met on May 26. GSPs are intended to ensure the sustainable use of groundwater within a groundwater basin for the next 20 years. They are required by the state Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), to be developed by Jan. 30, 2022. The purpose of the GSPs is to establish local, measurable criteria for sustainably managing groundwater, and to determine how each basin will maintain or achieve these goals.

To register for the June 23 Sonoma Valley virtual meeting on groundwater conditions and sustainable management, go to www. sonomavalleygroundwater.org/ meeting/sonoma-valley-gsa-community- meeting.

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