BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 359
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          AB 359 (Huffman)
          As Amended  June 30, 2011
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |74-1 |(June 1, 2011)  |SENATE: |26-10|(August 30,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2011)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    W.,P. & W.  

           SUMMARY  :  Requires expanded public notification, groundwater 
          recharge mapping, and coordination with local planning agencies 
          in the groundwater management planning process.

           The Senate amendments  :

          1)Clarify that:

             a)   Groundwater planning statutes do not authorize a local 
               agency to manage groundwater within the jurisdiction of 
               another local agency;

             b)   The process for adopting a new or revised groundwater 
               management (GMP) is the same unless otherwise specified; 

             c)   A previously-adopted GMP remains in effect if a revised 
               GMP is not adopted; and,

             d)   A GMP cannot be invalidated or delayed on the grounds it 
               has failed to comply with public notice provisions if it 
               has substantially complied with those provisions.

          2)Harmonize notification requirements by:

             a)   Specifying that organizations are included in the 
               definition of interested persons;

             b)   Eliminating two potentially conflicting notification 
               periods and instead requiring that interested persons are 
               notified when notice of the hearing is made to the general 
               public; and,

             c)   Requiring that all interested persons, including 


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               organizations, are notified when the groundwater recharge 
               maps are provided to local planners instead of just 
               specific named organizations.

           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 GMPs.

          2)Requires that a GMP contain minimum components related to 
            funding, management, and monitoring in order for a local 
            agency to be eligible for groundwater project funds 
            administered by the Department of Water Resources (DWR).

          3)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.

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill required a local agency 
          preparing a GMP to include, among the minimum components that 
          make it eligible for state funds, a map of those areas that 
          substantially contribute to the recharge of the groundwater 
          basin.  This bill allowed state funds to be used to do the 
          mapping.  This bill expanded public participation and 
          notification provisions by requiring the local agency preparing 
          the GMP to keep a list of interested persons and to notify those 
          interested regarding meetings and plan documents and also 
          requiring DWR to post on its Internet Web site information 
          provided by local agencies regarding GMPs being prepared or 
          adopted.  This bill specified that once the GMP was adopted, the 
          local agency adopting the GMP must provide a copy of the 
          groundwater recharge map to local planning agencies and notify, 
          at a minimum, specific named organizations that the map was 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriation 
          Committee, there will be minor, absorbable costs to DWR to 
          accept copies of resolutions of intent, post information online 
          and review funding requests.  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.) 


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           COMMENTS  :  The Senate amendments made technical clarifying 
          changes and reorganized the Assembly-approved provisions of this 
          bill into a more logical order.  The Senate amendments specify 
          that any interested person, including a landowner or landowner 
          organization, may be placed on a list to be notified regarding 
          draft documents and meetings and also to be notified when the 
          groundwater recharge map is provided to local planning agencies. 
           This amendment simplified notification for both local agencies 
          and interested persons by designating one list.  

          This bill has no known opposition.

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

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