Supervisors explore county impacts of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

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EUREKA- Humboldt County will begin exploring local options to form an agency responsible for regulating groundwater use.

At Tuesday's Board of Supervisor's meeting, public works shed light on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. It went into effect January and requires all counties to take steps towards protecting area groundwater. The first of those steps is forming an agency by 2017 to study the impact of groundwater use, and create a regulatory plan by 2022.

The board got that process moving at the meeting, directing staff to organize a workshop for stakeholder feedback in April and begin preparing to apply for Prop 1 funding in 2016.

"The new groundwater legislation emphasizes local control but it doesn't bring a funding source," Hank Seemann, public works deputy director with the County of Humboldt said. "So it's going to be up to the county working with cities and other stakeholders to figure out a funding mechanism it's a big issue just looking at groundwater supply, short term and long term trends, how we can ensure that it's a reliable water source so we're still in the information gathering stage."

The supervisors said they need to act on the new law locally or else the state could take over and impose regulations.