BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 359
                                                                  Page  1

          AB 359 (Huffman)
          As Amended  May 27, 2011
          Majority vote 

           WATER, PARKS & WILDLIFE    7-0  LOCAL GOVERNMENT    5-3         
          |Ayes:|Huffman, Blumenfield,     |Ayes:|Bradford, Campos, Davis,  |
          |     |Fong, Gatto, Hueso, Lara, |     |Gordon, Hueso             |
          |     |Yamada                    |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |     |                          |Nays:|Smyth, Knight, Norby      |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           APPROPRIATIONS              11-6                                
          |Ayes:|Fuentes, Blumenfield,     |     |                          |
          |     |Bradford, Charles         |     |                          |
          |     |Calderon, Campos, Davis,  |     |                          |
          |     |Gatto, Hall, Hill, Lara,  |     |                          |
          |     |Solorio                   |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |Nays:|Harkey, Donnelly,         |     |                          |
          |     |Mitchell, Nielsen, Norby, |     |                          |
          |     |Wagner                    |     |                          |
          SUMMARY  :  Adds additional notification and mapping requirements 
          when a local agency is drafting a groundwater management plan.  
          Specifically,  this bill:
          1)Requires a local agency that develops a groundwater management 
            plan and drafts a resolution to adopt a plan, to provide a 
            copy of a resolution of intention to the Department of Water 
            Resources (DWR) within 30 days of the date of adoption.

          2)Requires the local agency, upon written request, to provide a 
            copy of the proposed groundwater management plan to an 
            interested person or entity and to notify those interested 
            persons or entities at least 30 days prior to the commencement 


                                                                  AB 359
                                                                  Page  2

            of the second hearing to determine whether to adopt the plan.

          3)Requires DWR to post on its Internet Web site the information 
            DWR possesses regarding the local agencies that have 
            jurisdiction to develop groundwater management plans and maps, 
            including agencies who have submitted resolutions of intention 
            to adopt groundwater management plans or agencies that have 
            opted to assume groundwater basin level monitoring functions.

          4)Requires, commencing January 1, 2013, that a groundwater 
            management plan include a map identifying recharge areas, as 
            defined, for the groundwater basin.

          5)Requires, after adoption of the groundwater management plan 
            that the map of recharge area is provided to local planning 
            agencies and landowner and agricultural organizations.

          6)Allows a local agency to request state funds to map 
            groundwater recharge areas if eligible funding is available.

          EXISTING LAW :

          1)Encourages local agencies to work cooperatively to manage 
            groundwater resources within their jurisdictions and, if not 
            otherwise required by law, to voluntarily adopt groundwater 
            management plans.

          2)Requires a groundwater plan contain components related to 
            funding, management, and monitoring in order for a local 
            agency to be eligible for groundwater project funds 
            administered by DWR.

          3)Allows a groundwater plan to voluntarily contain additional 
            listed components.

          4)Requires all of the groundwater basins identified in DWR's 
            Bulletin 118 to be regularly and systematically monitored and 
            the information to be readily and widely available.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations 

          1)Minor, absorbable costs to DWR to accept copies of resolutions 


                                                                  AB 359
                                                                  Page  3

            of intent, post information online and review funding 

          2)There could also be cost pressures of an unknown amount, but 
            potentially in the millions of dollars, to DWR or other state 
            agencies to fund local water agency efforts to map groundwater 
            recharge areas (Bond funds or special funds). 

           COMMENTS  :  Groundwater is one of California's most important 
          natural resources and our reliance on it continues to grow.  
          According to DWR's 2003 groundwater report entitled Bulletin 
          118,  California was not only the single largest user of 
          groundwater in the nation, extracting 14.5 million acre-feet 
          annually, but that use represented 20% of all the groundwater 
          extracted in the entire United States.  Bulletin 118 estimated 
          that 43% of all Californians obtain their drinking water from 

          Supporters of this bill point out that, despite California's 
          heavy reliance on groundwater, basic information for many of the 
          groundwater basins is lacking.  By requiring the mapping of 
          recharge areas, this bill provides an informational tool that is 
          shared by local agencies developing groundwater management plans 
          and local planning agencies.  Supporters note that this bill 
          does not mandate any specific actions to protect or enhance 
          groundwater recharge or require land use changes.  

          Opponents of this bill are concerned that mapping of groundwater 
          recharge areas could eventually lead to land use changes or 
          restrictions in the areas of recharge.

          Amendments were adopted in Assembly Appropriations Committee to 
          address opponents concerns by requiring copies of plans and 
          recharge area maps be provided to landowners and other 
          interested entities. 

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Tina Cannon Leahy / W., P. & W. / (916) 



                                                                  AB 359
                                                                  Page  4