Santa Ynez River Valley Groundwater basin Awarded more than $5.5 Million by California Department of Water Resources

Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District (courtesy)

By the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District

Representatives from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) will present a $5.5 million check to representatives of the three Santa Ynez River Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) on February 8, 2024, at 11:30 am PST at River View Park, 151 Sycamore Dr., in Buellton.

The public is welcome to attend.  If inclement weather, the event will take place at an indoor location in the City of Buellton area and will be announced on

DWR’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Grant Program

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Grant Program awards funds to GSAs for implementation of their Groundwater Sustainability Plans which will promote healthy and sustainable groundwater basins, reduce and eliminate undesirable results, and promote actions and projects that provide multiple benefits while also improving long-term groundwater supply and quality in California groundwater basins.

The Santa Ynez River Valley Groundwater Basin GSAs’ $5.5 million grant award will be used to implement projects and management actions that ensure groundwater sustainability is achieved and produce positive impacts for the communities and agricultural lands of the Santa Ynez and Lompoc Valleys. These activities are described in the three Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) prepared by the three GSAs.

The projects and management actions eligible to be reimbursed under this grant include the following:

  • Well extraction measurement and reporting.
  • Rate Study to recommend fee and rate alternatives.
  • Annual reporting to DWR and periodic update of the three GSPs as required by the State of California.
  • Infrastructure and monitoring improvements to fill gaps in the available data.
  • Capture rainfall runoff from urban areas and creek and river flows to provide aquifer recharge.
  • Identify strategies and performance tracking procedures that improve water utilization and save groundwater.
  • Recycled Water Feasibility Study to investigate potential uses and users of surplus recycled water and reduce the demand for groundwater.

The eight agencies that participate to implement SGMA in the Santa Ynez Basin include the Santa Barbara County Water Agency, the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District-Improvement District No. 1, City of Solvang, City of Buellton, City of Lompoc, Mission Hills Community Services District, and Vandenberg Village Community Services District. These agencies in collaboration with various other stakeholder groups will continue to work collaboratively to implement these projects and management actions. For more information visit


Written by SYRWCD

The Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District. Learn more at

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