Sustainable Groundwater Management

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Recent drought conditions in California compelled the State Legislature to enact the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014 to establish a statewide framework for sustainable local groundwater management.  

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Although Hayward does not use groundwater as a regular water supply, the City maintains groundwater wells that are critical to the City’s ability to provide water service during an earthquake or other water supply emergency.  The City is taking on responsibility for ensuring the long-term sustainable management and protection of its groundwater resources under the provisions of this historic legislation.

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) 

SGMA requires the formation of local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) to develop and implement Groundwater Sustainability Plans for groundwater basins designated by the State as medium or high priority.  Local agencies with water service responsibilities and/or land use authority are eligible to become the GSA for groundwater basins that overlie their service area.

Groundwater Management in Hayward

The City of Hayward is situated over portions of two medium priority groundwater basins:  the East Bay Plain and the Niles Cone.  In February 2017, after providing public notice and conducting a public hearing, the Hayward City Council elected to become the GSA for the portion of the East Bay Plain Basin which underlies the Hayward city limits.  Following a 90-day public comment period, the City became the exclusive GSA, with management and regulatory responsibilities for that portion of the East Bay Plain Basin. The Niles Cone, including the portion underlying Hayward, is covered under Alameda County Water District's GSA. 

Groundwater Use in Hayward 

For over a century, Hayward relied on groundwater for day-to-day water supplies.  Beginning in the early 1960s, when the City entered into an agreement with San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, use of groundwater as a normal supply ceased.  Following the Loma Prieta earthquake, the City accelerated its plans and constructed five emergency groundwater wells in the 1990s and early 2000s.  With a total maximum design capacity of over 10 million gallons per day, the emergency wells are critical to the City’s short-term supply reliability.

Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP)

Sustainable groundwater management is the management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be sustained without causing undesirable conditions.  GSPs include a description of the groundwater conditions, criteria for sustainable management, projects and actions that will be implemented, and a monitoring plan to ensure continued sustainability.  A key component in developing a GSP is stakeholder communication and participation.

Partnership with EBMUD

Hayward shares the East Bay Plain Basin with EBMUD, which serves as the GSA for the portion underlying its service area.  Together, we are working cooperatively to establish a framework for jointly preparing a single GSP for the entire Basin, in collaboration with other stakeholders.

Information about EBMUD groundwater activities can be found at

Jan Lee, Water Resources Manager

August 2018

Hayward and EBMUD are seeking proposals for the development of a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the East Bay Plain Subbasin. Interested parties should review the Request for Proposal. Questions may be directed to EBMUD’s Project Manager, Ken Minn, at (510) 287-0668 or

April 2018

Hayward and EBMUD finalized the Stakeholder Communications and Engagement Plan which will guide our efforts to reach out to stakeholders and obtain public input regarding the development of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the East Bay Plain Subbasin.

March 2018

The Department of Water Resources has recommended awarding a $1 million grant to EBMUD and the City of Hayward to develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the East Bay Plain Subbasin. The public comment period on the draft funding recommendations closed on February 28.

The City of Hayward and EBMUD held a stakeholders meeting at the City of Hayward City Hall on February 27, 2018. The meeting agenda and presentations are posted below under Stakeholder Participation and Outreach.

The City of Hayward and EBMUD are currently accepting written comments on the draft Stakeholder Communication and Engagement Plan. The document can be accessed below under Stakeholder Participation and Outreach. Comments must be received by 5 pm on March 30, 2018 and can be submitted through e-mail or regular mail to:

Marilyn Mosher
City of Hayward
Department of Utilities & Environmental Services
777 B Street
Hayward, CA 94541

Stakeholders within the Basin are invited to participate on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for development of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan. The TAC will be responsible for reviewing draft reports and documents and providing input and recommendations into the final GSP.  More information about the TAC can be found in the draft Stakeholder Communication and Engagement Plan. A Statement of Interest and Qualifications must be completed and can be accessed below under the Stakeholder Participation and Outreach. Statements are due to the City by April 30, 2018.

Stakeholder Participation and Outreach
Hayward GSA Formation Documents
Other Hayward GSA Documents
Other SGMA Resources