Publication Date

Fall 2017

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Frances Edwards


Water management, Water conservation, Sustainable Groundwater Agencies, drought, California


Public sector leaders and decision makers in the California water industry have learned from previous severe drought conditions that to sustain water supplies during extremely dry seasons, there is a substantial need for behavioral changes associated with water conservation efforts among the businesses and residents of the community to maintain an adequate water supply. The intent of this study is to compare four California water agencies that have been designated as sustainable groundwater agencies (GSA), and determine what current programs and/or practices those agencies are using to meet the mandated requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (Act of 2014). Under the Act of 2014, GSAs have been given authority to enforce their GSA approved groundwater sustainability plan. This study goes on to examine some of the methods that are used by three other water districts, located outside of the state of California. This was done to determine best practices that have been implemented to address severe drought conditions, like the circumstances that Californians experienced from 2010 to 2016; a period when California experienced one of the worst droughts ever recorded in the state’s history (McCullough, 2015).