In 2004, the San Juan Basin Authority developed a phased plan to maximize the use of local ground and surface water within the San Juan Creek Basin.

Phase 1 - Completed in 2004, this phase included new production wells and a desalter facility; the Groundwater Recovery Plant (GWRP). Upon the completion of the Plan, Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) is able to operate under a permit issued by the State Water Resources Control Board, granting the District the right to divert up to 8,000 acre-feet of water per year for municipal purposes.

Due to concerns regarding the potential impact of these facilities, SJBA developed a joint groundwater monitoring program with Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) and South Coast Water District (SCWD). This program is designed to satisfy mitigation recommendations and release an annual report based on the collection of surface water, groundwater, biotic and climate data gathered in the field; which is also supplemented with previously existing data from reliable sources.

Due to the conclusion of negligible impacts of Phase 1 of the Plan, the SJBA has filed two petitions with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). The petition for change was filed to amend annual monitoring of groundwater levels to periods of dryer than normal years, and to terminate annual vegetation monitoring. The petition for extension of time was filed to extend project implementation for another 15 years until 2025. Both petitions were filed with the understanding that the data has shown evidence of little to no impact on the San Juan Basin, and will continue to have no significant effects.

  2016 Adaptive Pumping Management (APM) Plan