BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 359|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 359
          Author:   Huffman (D)
          Amended:  6/30/11 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE NATURAL RES. AND WATER COMMITTEE :  5-2, 6/28/11
          AYES:  Pavley, Kehoe, Padilla, Simitian, Wolk
          NOES:  La Malfa, Fuller
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Cannella, Evans

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  6-3, 8/25/11
          AYES:  Kehoe, Alquist, Lieu, Pavley, Price, Steinberg
          NOES:  Walters, Emmerson, Runner
           
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  74-1, 6/1/11 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Groundwater management plans

           SOURCE  :     California Groundwater Coalition 
                      Groundwater Resources Association 


           DIGEST  :    This bill places additional requirements on 
          local water agencies that opt to develop groundwater 
          management plans, and requires the Department of Water 
          Resources to make related information available on the 
          internet.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law: 

          1. Encourages local agencies to work cooperatively to 
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             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 Department of Water Resources 
             (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.

          This bill: 

          1. Requires groundwater management plans to include a map 
             that specifies areas for groundwater recharge.  A local 
             agency would be required to provide the map of 
             groundwater recharge areas to local planning agencies, 
             once the groundwater management plan was adopted. 

          2. Requires local agencies that are preparing groundwater 
             management plans to make certain information about the 
             proposed plan available to the public.

          3. Requires the DWR to post information on its Web site 
             regarding a groundwater management plans.

          4.              Allows local agencies to request state 
             funds for the mapping of groundwater recharge areas, to 
             the extent that such a request is consistent with 
             existing eligibility requirements for those funds.

          5. Provides that local agencies may request state funds for 
             mapping groundwater recharge areas.
           
          Background
           
          Groundwater is one of California's most important natural 

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          resources and our reliance on it continues to grow.  
          Periodically, DWR produces a report on California's 
          groundwater entitled Bulletin 118.  In the most recent 
          version of Bulletin 118, produced in 2003, 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 percent of all the groundwater 
          extracted in the entire United States.  Bulletin 118 
          estimated that 43 percent of all Californians obtain their 
          drinking water from groundwater.  Yet, despite California's 
          heavy reliance on groundwater, basic information for many 
          of the groundwater basins is lacking. 

          Groundwater overdraft is defined as the condition of a 
          groundwater basin or subbasin in which the amount of water 
          withdrawn by pumping exceeds the amount of water that 
          recharges the basin over a period of years.  By requiring 
          the mapping of recharge areas, this bill simply provides an 
          informational tool that is shared by local agencies 
          developing groundwater management plans and local planning 
          agencies.  This bill does not mandate any specific actions 
          to protect or enhance groundwater recharge or require land 
          use changes.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes   
          Local:  No

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

                         Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions      2011-12     2012-13     2013-14     Fund  

          Publishing information        Minor and absorbableGeneral

          Cost pressure on bond         Unknown cost pressures, 
          potentially         Bond*
          funds               in the millions

          * Proposition 84

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/23/11)

          California Groundwater Coalition (co-source)

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          Groundwater Resources Association (co-source)
          Association of California Water Agencies
          California Coastkeeper Alliance
          California Trout
          Central Basin Municipal Water District
          Clean Water Action
          Community Alliance with Family Farmers
          Community Water Center
          East Bay Municipal Utility District
          Inland Empire Utilities Agency
          Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
          Natural Resources Defense Council
          Northern California Water Association
          Planning and Conservation League
          Sierra Club California
          The Nature Conservancy
          Three Valleys Municipal Water District
          Trout Unlimited
          Water Replenishment District of Southern California

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The author's office quotes the 
          DWR's "  California Groundwater  ," Bulletin 118, issued in 
          2003: 
           
            "Groundwater recharge areas, and the human activities 
            that can render them unusable, are an example of the need 
            to coordinate land use activities to protect both 
            groundwater quality and quantity.  Protection of recharge 
            areas, whether natural or man-made, is necessary if the 
            quantity and quality of groundwater in the aquifer are to 
            be maintained."

          According to the author, "There is currently no requirement 
          for local agencies to identify and map groundwater recharge 
          areas.  Without this information the ability to effectively 
          manage a groundwater basin is seriously limited.  AB 359 
          promotes the management and protection of the state's 
          groundwater supplies by requiring, as a condition of 
          receiving a state grant or loan, local water agencies to 
          map the recharge areas that substantially contribute to the 
          replenishment of the groundwater basin, and submit this 
          information to local planning agencies,"



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           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  74-1, 6/1/11
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, 
            Bill Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford, 
            Brownley, Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, 
            Carter, Cedillo, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, 
            Donnelly, Eng, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, 
            Beth Gaines, Galgiani, Gatto, Gordon, Grove, Hagman, 
            Hall, Harkey, Hayashi, Roger Hernández, Hill, Huber, 
            Hueso, Huffman, Jones, Knight, Lara, Logue, Bonnie 
            Lowenthal, Ma, Mansoor, Mendoza, Miller, Mitchell, 
            Monning, Morrell, Nestande, Norby, Olsen, Pan, Perea, 
            Portantino, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Swanson, 
            Torres, Valadao, Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, 
            John A. Pérez
          NOES:  Nielsen
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Garrick, Gorell, Halderman, Jeffries, V. 
            Manuel Pérez


          CTW:kc  8/26/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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