Proposition 218 Landowner Fee

Proposition 218 Landowner Fee for SGMA Compliance

Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), the Merced Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) is obligated to manage and balance groundwater supplies in the Merced Subbasin through a variety of activities. The Merced Subbasin GSA is in the process of collaborating with other GSA’s in the Merced Subbasin on the development of a required Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) that will be submitted to the California Department of Water Resources by January 31, 2020. After development of the GSP, the GSA is required to implement the Plan and manage the Merced Subbasin in a manner consistent with the GSP and that achieves groundwater sustainability by the year 2040.

To sufficiently fund the essential activities required to comply with SGMA’s unfunded state mandate and to maintain local management and control of the groundwater basin, the Merced Subbasin GSA must develop and implement a fee structure within the GSA’s management area. The Merced Subbasin GSA Governing Board is considering a proposal to impose a landowner fee for all lands within the management area of the Merced Subbasin GSA in order to fund the operations and activities necessary for compliance.

A public workshop was held in Planada on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 and in Atwater on Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The two meetings had presentations regarding the Proposition 218 landowner fee. The presentations included:

  • Background on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
  • State requirements and intervention
  • Proposed budget, alternatives and preferred alternatives
  • Billing procedures
  • Next steps 

Prop 218 Landowner Fee for SGMA Compliance Presentation


FINAL Fee Study Report

  • GSA Board approved June 5, 2019