Owens Valley Groundwater Authority (OVGA), acting as a joint powers authority,The Owens Valley Groundwater Authority (OVGA), acting as a joint powers authority, approved the selection of DBS&A and team members Consensus and Collaboration Program, TEAM Engineering & Management, Inc., Stillwater Sciences, and Lechowicz & Tseng Municipal Consultants, to prepare a Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) for the Owens Valley Groundwater Basin in Inyo and Mono Counties, California.

The GSP will guide future groundwater management and address the needs of the many stakeholders in the Basin, while bringing the groundwater resources into compliance with the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA). The OVGA selected DBS&A’s team because of its broad expertise in the issues pertinent to groundwater sustainability planning, including:

  • Water rights acquisition
  • Agricultural water conservation
  • Watershed management
  • Funding for water resource projects
  • Database management systems
  • Stakeholder participation
  • Community planning
  • Groundwater resources assessments and safe yield evaluations
  • Conjunctive use
  • Water supply development
  • Feasibility studies
  • Water system engineering

Technical Support for GSP Development

The DBS&A team will be engaged in many activities, culminating in the submittal of the GSP to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) by January 31, 2022. For example:

  • Data compilation, review, and management
  • Developing and implementing a stakeholder engagement/outreach program
  • Providing a technical evaluation of existing groundwater flow models
  • Preparing a description of the Basin setting and current and historic groundwater conditions
  • Developing a hydrogeologic conceptual model and water budget for the Basin
  • Developing sustainability criteria (undesirable results, sustainability goal, minimum thresholds, and measurable objectives)
  • Identifying management areas and specific projects necessary to maintain or achieve sustainability
  • Refining and consolidating of existing groundwater monitoring programs

GSP Expertise

Tony Morgan, P.G., C.HG., DBS&A’s Vice President and Principal Hydrogeologist, is leading our Owens Valley team as Project Manager. Mr. Morgan has expertise in SGMA compliance, including formation of GSAs, creation of GSPs, and conducting groundwater basin studies and regional conjunctive use programs. He collaborates with DBS&A’s hydrogeologists and modelers who support water agencies working toward compliance with SGMA, by developing and providing expert review of groundwater budgets and numerical models, estimating sustainable yields, and implementing groundwater monitoring programs and other groundwater management strategies.

In his role as  corporate Market Leader for Water Planning and Development, Tony draws upon his considerable expertise in SGMA compliance, including forming GSAs and GSPs, as well as regional conjunctive use programs. .

GSP Experience

This work for OVGA follows shortly behind our successful completion of the groundwater budgets for four groundwater basins for the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency’s GSP development effort. DBS&A applied our distributed parameter watershed model (DPWM), which estimates key components of the groundwater/surface water balance, to reduce data uncertainties in the hydrologic balance to acceptable levels resulting in greater accuracy. DBS&A has successfully applied this technique at groundwater basins throughout southern California.

Learn more about SGMA.