Groundwater Resources Information

DWR Priority Basins

Groundwater is an important resource in Ventura County supplying more than 63% of the county’s water needs. The proper management of this limited resource is vital to meet the current and future demands of urban, industrial, agricultural and in-stream water uses. Management of this resource requires coordination among programs and projects to protect and enhance water supply and water quality to maintain sustainable supplies.

There are many sources of information regarding local groundwater. The County of Ventura has a number of responsibilities regarding groundwater management and monitoring. Please visit their website for information:

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

In September of 2014, the California Legislature enacted comprehensive legislation aimed at strengthening local control and management of groundwater basins throughout the state. Known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of 2014, the legislation provides a framework for sustainable management of groundwater supplies by local authorities, with a limited role for state intervention when necessary to protect the resource.

The first step in the process laid out by the legislation is that local agencies must form local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) within two years. These GSAs must be formed to address groundwater basins determined by the state to be of high or medium priority.  In the County 7 basins are designated as medium priority and four are designated as high priority.  10% of all Medium and High Priority Basins are in Ventura County.  In addition, three basins the County are designated as critically overdrafted (Oxnard, Pleasant Valley, Cuyama Valley).