Water & Resource Conservation

Butte County's Department of Water and Resource Conservation was formed on July 1, 1999 following many years implementing programs to protect the Butte County water resources.

Our Mission: To manage and conserve water and other resources for the citizens of Butte County.

Basin Setting Project

The Basin Setting project began late in 2018 to develop portions of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) in each of the three subbasins in Butte County: Vina, Butte, and Wyandotte Creek subbasins.  Our department has contracted with Davids Engineering to conduct the work on behalf of all Groundwater Sustainability Agencies in these subbasins.  The project is funded by the Prop 1 GSP planning grant. 

This PowerPoint provides an overview of the project scope.

Project Overview

The “Basin Setting” portion of the GSP describes characteristics of the subbasin that both change and do not change over time.  Characteristics like the geology, structure and physical characteristics of the aquifer systems, and how water moves in and through the system (such as recharge and pumping areas) generally do not change over time.  This understanding of the basin’s physical characteristics is called the Hydrogeologic Conceptual Model.  This becomes the basis for our understanding groundwater behavior and cause and effect relationships in the groundwater system.  Additional sub-sections of the Basin Setting describe characteristics of the subbasin that do change over time and will likely change in the future, such as changes in climate (affecting water supplies), land use, water demands, etc.  This includes a description of Groundwater Conditions (groundwater levels, water quality conditions, and subsidence if present) and the Water Budget.  The Water Budget is our accounting (quantitative) of the inflows and outflows of water through the surface water and groundwater systems.  Information in the Basin Setting portion of the GSP as well as the description of the Monitoring Network will support and frame future and complex discussions that will occur to define Undesirable Results and thresholds for the successful management of the subbasins through Projects and Actions.

Public Review Process and Next Steps

Summer 2020 brings the completion of the Basin Setting Project and the start of the next phase of GSP development in these subbasins.  Portions of the GSPs for the Vina, Butte and Wyandotte Creek Subbasins will soon be available for public review and comment.  Public review documents will include the draft Basin Setting chapter which includes the hydrogeologic conceptual model, groundwater conditions, and water budget information for the subbasin.  Significant portions of the Monitoring Network chapter will also be available for review.  Upon release the draft chapters will be posted to each subbasin’s website and a notice to all interested parties will inform stakeholders of the 30 day comment period.  Comments will be compiled by staff and provided along with the draft chapters to advisory boards and committees in each subbasin for discussion and potential recommendation.  The timelines and exact comment review periods will vary as the draft chapters from the different subbasins will not all be available at the same time.  They will however all have a 30 day comment period beginning upon their release. 

Although these chapters will not be considered final until they are combined with the rest of the GSP for review and public comment sometime in mid-2021, public review and comment now will provide a good foundation for moving into development of Sustainable Management Criteria (SMC) and other portions of the plans later this summer and fall.  Comments received will also help inform advisory committees and GSA Boards of significant issues that need to be considered during development of SMCs and Projects and Management Actions.

Preliminary Results Presented and Available Online

The Consultant Team for the Basin Setting Project and Department Staff presented preliminary results at a variety of public meetings (most of which were online only).  The table shows a schedule of when and what content was presented in each subbasin.  Links will direct you to the appropriate subbasin web page where meeting agendas and presentations are posted.  Please contact Christina Buck with questions.

Subbasin  Date/Time Meeting Content Location Address
Vina Feb. 18,
9:00 am
Vina SHAC Background on Basin
Setting Components
Old Muni Building,
Upper Conference
441 Main Street
Chico, CA 95928
Butte Feb. 27,
1:00 pm
Butte Advisory
GSP Timeline and
Background on Basin
Setting Components
City of Biggs
Council Chambers
3016 Sixth Street
Biggs, CA 95917
Butte Apr. 23,
1:00 pm

Butte Advisory Board Basin Setting Results for
Butte Subbasin
Online only
Vina May 19,
9:00 am
Vina SHAC Preliminary Results:
Water Budget Information and Current/
Historical Groundwater Conditions
Online only
All June 3,
1:30 pm
Water Commission

Overview of Results for All
Three Subbasins

Online only  
Vina June 9,
1:00 pm
Technical Webinar Preliminary HCM and
Water Budget Results
Online only  
Vina June 16,
9:00 am
Vina SHAC Overview and Discussion of
Basin Setting Results
Online only  
Wyandotte Creek June 23,
6:00-8:00 pm
Public Meeting Present Basin Setting Results Online only
Join the Zoom meeting by clicking

Or by phone:  (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 925 1433 2925

Butte June 25,
1:00 pm
Butte Advisory Board Update on Basin Setting Project and
Review Process
Online only  

GSP-Groundwater Sustainability Plan
SHAC- Stakeholder Advisory Committee
TAC- Butte County Technical Advisory Committee
HCM- Hydrogeologic Conceptual Model

Subbasin Websites

For upcoming meetings and updates on GSP development in each subbasin, visit the subbasin’s webpage:

Butte Subbasin https://www.buttebasingroundwater.org/
Vina Subbasin https://www.vinagsa.org/
Wyandotte Creek Subbasin https://www.wyandottecreekgsa.com/



 Contact Water

Water & Resource Conservation
Phone:    530.552.3595
Fax:          530.538.3807

View full list of staff

 Location and Hours

Water & Resource Conservation
308 Nelson Avenue
Oroville, CA 95965

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Excludes Holidays

 Upcoming Events

Water Commission Meeting
March 3, 2021
Online only

Water Commission Meeting
April 7, 2021
Online only