Staff Report

WE Watch and the Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society are inviting local residents to a presentation by Bill Buelow of the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District (SYRWCD) on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Mr. Buelow will discuss the three Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) that are currently being developed for the Santa Ynez River Basin and will be submitted to the State in January 2022. This timely presentation will be held via Zoom at 7:00 p.m. on July 8th

Most of the water used in the Santa Ynez Valley comes from groundwater sources, not from Lake Cachuma or imported State Water Project sources. Prior to 2015 California was the only western state without groundwater regulations until the State legislature passed SGMA requiring local jurisdictions to develop a GSP for every groundwater basin in the State.    

Development of the plans is being coordinated by SYRWCD in conjunction with seven other local water agencies, including the cities of Solvang, Buellton and Lompoc, SYRWCD-ID No. 1, Vandenberg Village Community Services District, Mission Hills Community Services District and the Santa Barbara County Water Agency. Mr. Buelow is a geologist and project manager who is involved in the research, data collection, data analysis, and interagency coordination that will result in the submission of three separate GSPs for the Santa Ynez River Basin’s western (Lompoc), central (Buellton), and eastern (Solvang and Santa Ynez) management areas. 

The public is invited to this free online presentation but pre-registration is required as the sponsor’s Zoom account is limited to the first 100 registrants. You can register at this link:

Registrants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the July 8th webinar.  Registrants will be able to participate in a question-and-answer period immediately following Mr. Buelow’s presentation. 

Mr. Buelow is the Groundwater Program Manager at the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District (SYRWCD), a California special district established in 1939 to protect water rights in the Santa Ynez and Lompoc Valleys.  The SYRWCD should not be confused with Improvement District No. 1 (ID-No. 1) which is a water purveyor in the Santa Ynez-Solvang-Los Olivos area. SYRWCD’s mission is to protect water rights, and conserve and augment the District’s water supplies in an environmentally responsible manner for residential, agricultural and commercial uses.

Anyone wishing to learn more about SGMA and the local groundwater planning effort can find helpful information at  a dedicated website for SGMA in the Santa Ynez Basin at, , as well as the State’s SGMA webpage at

For information about the Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society, a nonprofit educational organization established in 2000, please visit their website at . For more information on WE Watch, a nonprofit educational organization focused on environmental issues, please visit and WE Watch’s water issues webpage at .