Groundwater Awareness Week

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 22, 2022

Last week marked Groundwater Awareness Week, according to the National Ground Water Association, and The Groundwater Foundation. Groundwater Awareness Week was established in 1999 to highlight the responsible development, management, and use of groundwater and to celebrate local groundwater efforts across the country.

According to Montecito Water District, groundwater is a critical component of California’s water supply, accounting for 40% in a normal year and up to 60% during dry conditions. Groundwater serves as a resource for many different industries and uses, including farms, urban and rural communities, and ecosystems across the state. The Montecito Groundwater Basin supplies water for numerous public and private wells. Locally, groundwater is heavily relied on for local residential, commercial, and agricultural use, particularly during drought.

To help ensure long-term sustainable groundwater conditions, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of 2014 set forth a statewide regulatory framework for improving the management of critical groundwater resources. SGMA requires the formation of local groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) that are now in place throughout the state to develop and implement groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) to manage groundwater pumping and recharge.

The Montecito Groundwater Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (Montecito GSA) was established in 2018 and is moving forward with preparation of the State’s required Groundwater Sustainability Plan. Goals of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan include determining ways to avoid undesirable results, such as seawater intrusion or depletion of groundwater supplies, that may occur without proper stewardship of the basin. The agency’s mission is to ensure a reliable and sustainable groundwater supply for the community through effective basin management pursuant to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, and public involvement is vital.  

To learn more about the Montecito GSA and the importance of groundwater in this community, visit


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