Water agency releases draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan for public review

The San Benito County Water District will accept public comments through Oct. 27.

The San Benito County Water District, which manages groundwater around Hollister, has released for public review a draft plan that will set out ways to ensure healthy, equitable supplies of the local resource.

District officials on July 29 made their draft of the North San Benito Basin Groundwater Sustainability Plan available for a 90-day public review as required by state law.

The periodically updated 357-page document assesses water levels and land use conditions. It proposes ways the district can manage water for long-term groundwater sustainability. 

County plans aim to ensure reliable and efficient groundwater supplies for agricultural, domestic, municipal and industrial uses. They also outline ways of providing storage during droughts, keep water quality high and prevent subsidence [ground sinking].

The district manages a 200-square-mile basin that was formed in 2019 by consolidating several smaller ones. It extends from San Benito County to parts of Santa Clara County. 

Groundwater along with imported water from the Central Valley Project are the district’s main source of water and more than 1,000 production wells operate in the basin. 

The sustainability plan contains chapters on groundwater conditions, water balance and sustainable management criteria. 

Comments can be submitted through an online form or by mail through Oct. 27.

After the public comment period closes, the sustainability plan will be presented to the district’s board of directors and the Santa Clara Valley Water District for adoption. It would then proceed to the California Department of Water Resources for approval. 


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BenitoLink Staff