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The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was passed into California law in fall of 2014 and took effect in January 2015. SGMA requires that state-designated medium and high-priority basins and sub-basins must form a groundwater sustainability agency and develop a long-term GSP. In Kern County, the designated basins/sub-basins are Indian Wells Valley Sub-basin, Kern County Sub-basin, and Cuyama Valley Basin. These basins must comply with SGMA.

General Information


California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM)


CASGEM mandates a statewide groundwater elevation monitoring program to track seasonal and long term trends in priority groundwater basins in California.

Map showing unmonitored CASGEM groundwater basins

List identifying fully and partially unmonitored CASGEM priority basins

CASGEM status designation in Kern County:

  • Cuyama Valley groundwater basin - partially monitored

  • Indian Wells Valley groundwater basin - fully monitored

  • Kern County groundwater sub-basin - partially monitored

Mutual Well(s) Information


Quite a bit of information pertaining to Mutual Wells, such as permitting and water quality, plus who to contact with any questions, can be found on the below links:

State Water Resources Control Board

State regulates “public water systems” defined as ≥15 connections or serves at least 25 individuals at least 60 days per year.

Kern County – Small Water Systems Program

Kern County Environmental Health regulates “small public and non-public water systems”.  Public systems are defined as 5-14 connections and non-public as 2-4 connections.

If a water system has questions about what they should be monitoring for or what money is available, they should contact their State or County regulator.  Also, the California Rural Water Association ( offers a lot of assistance, including technical and training, to small water systems.

Board Members & Staff


Chairman Ron Kicinski - Indian Wells Valley Water District

Vice-chair Mick Gleason - Kern County

Director Matt Kingsley - Inyo County

Director Scott Hayman - City of Ridgecrest

Director Robert Lovingood - San Bernardino County

Commander Peter Benson - Department of the Navy* DoD Liaison

Thomas Bickaukas - Bureau of Land Management (BLM)*

(*Indicates non-voting members)

Don Zdeba - Acting General Manager 

Steve Johnson - Water Resources Manager

James Worth - Board Counsel

Lauren Duffy - Clerk of the Board

Contact Information


If you have any questions or concerns related to sustainability groundwater in the Indian Wells Valley area, contact: 

Don Zdeba - IWVGA Acting General Manager


Lauren Duffy - IWVGA Clerk of the Board of Directors