Alternative Plan Update
Final Alternative Plan Update
The Mission Creek Subbasin Alternative Plan Update (Alternative Plan Update) for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (the “SGMA”) that was adopted by the Management Committee Agencies is now available at: Volume I – Alternative Plan Update Report and Volume II – Alternative Plan Update Appendices A-I. Comments received during the public review period and responses to the comments can be found in Appendix H of Volume II.
In March of 2022, the Alterative Plan Update was revised to address a discrepancy between groundwater model forecast pumping simulations and projections for the period 2020 through 2069. The forecast model has been corrected to match the pumping projections and the Alternative Plan Update has been revised accordingly as described in the March 23, 2022, Technical Memorandum. The revisions did not result in predicted water levels or storage differences that materially altered the conclusions of the Alternative Plan Update. The Mission Creek Subbasin is expected to meet its sustainability goal through the planning horizon of 2045.
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) in medium- or high-priority groundwater subbasins to have an approved Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) or Alternative Plan to manage the subbasin. The Mission Creek Subbasin, which was designated as medium-priority by the State of California Department of Water Resources (DWR), is unique in that it is one of only nine subbasins throughout the State with an approved Alternative Plan. SGMA also requires that GSAs be established to develop and implement the Alternative Plan. In the Mission Creek Subbasin, the two GSAs are the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) and the Desert Water Agency (DWA). The two agencies are also working together with Mission Springs Water District (MSWD) as the Mission Creek Subbasin Management Committee (see Home > Management Committee page) to prepare an update to their approved Alternative Plan.
Overview of Alternative Plan
The Mission Creek Subbasin Management Area was initially formed in 2003 when CVWD and DWA entered into the Mission Creek Groundwater Replenishment Agreement for the cooperative management of groundwater replenishment. The Mission Creek Subbasin Management Committee was formed as a result of the 2004 Settlement Agreement which also resulted in the agreement to jointly prepare a Water Management Plan for the Mission Creek Subbasin and Garnet Hill Subarea of the Indio Subbasin. The 2013 Mission Creek/Garnet Hill Water Management Plan (2013 MC/GH WMP) was prepared for the Mission Creek Subbasin and Garnet Hill Subarea of the Indio Subbasin as required by the 2004 Settlement Agreement (see Home > History of Groundwater Planning page) to address the water management needs of these areas. In 2016, the SGMA Bridge Document was developed to demonstrate that the 2013 Mission Creek/Garnet Hill Water Management Plan (2013 MC/GH WMP) is functionally equivalent to the requirements for a GSP. The Bridge Document described how the 2013 Mission Creek/Garnet Hill Water Management Plan meets each of the requirements of SGMA.
The Mission Creek Subbasin Management Committee developed the following Mission Statement:
“The purpose of the Mission Creek and Garnet Hill Water Management Plan is to manage the water resources to meet demands reliably and protect water quality in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.”
The 2013 MC/GH WMP water management objectives are shown below.
The water management objectives of the 2013 Mission Creek/Garnet Hill Water Management Plan are to:
• Meet current and future demands with a 10% supply buffer
• Eliminate long-term groundwater overdraft
• Manage and protect water quality
• Comply with state and federal laws and regulations
• Manage future costs
In January 2017, the Mission Creek Subbasin Management Committee collaboratively submitted the 2013 Mission Creek/Garnet Hill Water Management Plan and supporting materials as an Alternative Plan for the Mission Creek Subbasin. The Alternative Plan was approved by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on July 17, 2019. With this approval, DWR made several recommendations for new information and a requirement that the first Alternative Plan Update be prepared by January 1, 2022.
The Alternative Plan is available for review here. Key reports are shown below.
Alternative Plan Update
SGMA requires that GSPs and Alternative Plans be updated every five years. Because the Mission Creek Subbasin Alternative Plan was first submitted in 2017, an update must be prepared by 2022. DWR gave the GSAs a deadline of January 1, 2022 for submittal of an Alternative Plan Update.
The Mission Creek Subbasin GSAs updated and submitted the Mission Creek Subbasin Alternative Plan Update to DWR in December 2021. The update ensured that population growth, land use changes, and other future conditions are incorporated in water management planning in the region. The Alternative Plan Update analyzed groundwater pumping and recharge volumes (the basin’s “water balance”) to understand the GSA’s progress in maintaining groundwater sustainability.
The Mission Creek Subbasin GSAs may make other changes in the Plan Update to ensure the plan meets SGMA requirements and that DWR recommendations have been considered.
CVWD = Coachella Valley Water District
DWA = Desert Water Agency
DWR = California Department of Water Resources
GSA = Groundwater Sustainability Agency
GSP = Groundwater Sustainability Plan
MSWD = Mission Springs Water District
SGMA = Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
There are no upcoming meetings scheduled for 2022.
|Date & Time||Name||Location||Meeting Materials|