Amended in Senate March 9, 2016

Amended in Senate February 11, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 938


Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez

February 26, 2015


begin deleteAn act to amend Section 10722.4 of the Water Code, relating to groundwater. end deletebegin insertAn act to amend Section 10720.8 of the Water Code, relating to groundwaterend insertbegin insert, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.end insert

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 938, as amended, Rodriguez. begin deleteGroundwater: basin reprioritization: establishment of groundwater sustainability agency. end deletebegin insertSustainable Groundwater Management Act: adjudicated basins.end insert

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Existing law specifies the jurisdiction of the courts. Under existing law, courts may adjudicate rights to produce groundwater and exercise other powers relating to the supervision of a groundwater basin.

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Existing law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, requires all groundwater basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins by the Department of Water Resources that are designated as basins subject to critical overdraft to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2020, and requires all other basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2022, except as specified. Under existing law, the provisions of the act do not apply to an adjudicated groundwater basin, as specified, or to a local agency that conforms to the requirements of an adjudication of water rights for an adjudicated groundwater basin.

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This bill would authorize the watermaster or local agency administering an adjudicated basin to elect that the adjudicated basin be subject to the provisions of the act. The bill would authorize the court with jurisdiction over the adjudicated basin to issue an order setting a hearing to determine whether the adjudicated basin shall be subject to the act, as prescribed. The bill would require the watermaster or local agency to provide written notice to the department that the adjudicated basin is subject to the act, and would require the department to post that notice to its Internet Web site within 15 days.

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This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

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Existing law requires the Department of Water Resources to identify the extent of monitoring of groundwater elevations that is being undertaken within each groundwater basin or subbasin and to prioritize basins or subbasins as high, medium, low, or very low priority and requires the initial priority for each basin to be established no later than January 31, 2015. Existing law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, requires all groundwater basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins by the department that are designated as basins subject to critical conditions of overdraft to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2020, and requires all other groundwater basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2022, except as specified. The act requires, any time the department changes these basin priorities and elevates a basin to a medium- or high-priority basin after January 31, 2015, a local agency or combination of local agencies overlying a groundwater basin to either establish a groundwater sustainability agency within 2 years of reprioritization and adopt a groundwater sustainability plan within 5 years of reprioritization, or to submit an alternative to the department that the local agency believes satisfies the objectives of these provisions within 2 years of reprioritization.

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This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to these groundwater basin provisions.

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Vote: begin deletemajority end deletebegin insert23end insert. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: begin deleteno end deletebegin insertyesend insert. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P3    1begin insert

begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 10720.8 of the end insertbegin insertWater Codeend insertbegin insert is amended
2to read:end insert

3

10720.8.  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (e), this part
4does not apply to the following adjudicated areas or a local agency
5that conforms to the requirements of an adjudication of water rights
6for one of the following adjudicated areas:

7(1) Beaumont Basin.

8(2) Brite Basin.

9(3) Central Basin.

10(4) Chino Basin.

11(5) Cucamonga Basin.

12(6) Cummings Basin.

13(7) Goleta Basin.

14(8) Lytle Basin.

15(9) Main San Gabriel Basin.

16(10) Mojave Basin Area.

17(11) Puente Basin.

18(12) Raymond Basin.

19(13) Rialto-Colton Basin.

20(14) Riverside Basin.

21(15) San Bernardino Basin Area.

22(16) San Jacinto Basin.

23(17) Santa Margarita River Watershed.

24(18) Santa Maria Valley Basin.

25(19) Santa Paula Basin.

26(20) Scott River Stream System.

27(21) Seaside Basin.

28(22) Six Basins.

29(23) Tehachapi Basin.

30(24) Upper Los Angeles River Area.

31(25) Warren Valley Basin.

32(26) West Coast Basin.

33(b) The Antelope Valley basin at issue in the Antelope Valley
34Groundwater Cases (Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding
35Number 4408) shall be treated as an adjudicated basin pursuant to
36this section if the superior court issues a final judgment, order, or
37decree.

P4    1(c) Any groundwater basin or portion of a groundwater basin
2in Inyo County managed pursuant to the terms of the stipulated
3judgment in City of Los Angeles v. Board of Supervisors of the
4County of Inyo, et al. (Inyo County Case No. 12908) shall be
5treated as an adjudicated area pursuant to this section.

6(d) The Los Osos Groundwater Basin at issue in Los Osos
7Community Service District v. Southern California Water Company
8[Golden State Water Company] et al. (San Luis Obispo County
9Superior Court Case No. CV 040126) shall be treated as an
10adjudicated basin pursuant to this section if the superior court
11issues a final judgment, order, or decree.

12(e) If an adjudication action has determined the rights to extract
13groundwater for only a portion of a basin, subdivisions (a), (b),
14(c), and (d) apply only within the area for which the adjudication
15action has determined those rights.

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16(f) A watermaster or local agency administering an adjudicated
17basin may elect that the adjudicated basin be subject to the
18provisions of this part as follows:

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19(1) The watermaster or local agency shall provide written notice
20of the proposed election to the court with jurisdiction over the
21adjudicated basin and to all parties over which the court has
22continuing jurisdiction in connection with the adjudication decree
23adopted by the court for that adjudicated basin.

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24(2) The court with jurisdiction over the adjudicated basin may
25order a hearing to determine whether the adjudicated basin shall
26be subject to this part. If, on its own motion, the court determines
27that a hearing on the request is appropriate, the court shall issue
28an order setting a hearing within 60 days of the date on which the
29court receives notice pursuant to paragraph (1). If a party that
30receives notice pursuant to paragraph (1) wishes the court to hold
31a hearing on the request, the party shall file a motion with the
32court requesting a hearing within 30 days of the date of the notice
33and the court may issue an order either setting a hearing or
34denying the request for a hearing within 60 days of the date of the
35notice.

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36(3) After a hearing held pursuant to paragraph (2), the court
37shall issue an order that states whether the adjudicated basin shall
38be subject to this part.

end insert
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P5    1(4) If the court does not issue an order setting a hearing within
2the time limits described in paragraph (2), the adjudicated basin
3shall be subject to this part.

end insert
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4(5) The court shall maintain continuing jurisdiction over the
5watermaster’s or local agency’s administration of the adjudicated
6basin.

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7(6) If the adjudicated basin is determined to be subject to the
8requirements of this part pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4), the
9watermaster or local agency administering the adjudicated basin
10shall provide written notice to the department that the adjudicated
11basin is subject to this part. The department shall post all notices
12it receives pursuant to this paragraph on its Internet Web site
13within 15 days.

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14(7) Nothing in this part shall be construed in a manner that
15would do either of the following:

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16(A) Require the watermaster or local agency that administers
17an adjudicated basin to violate the adjudication decree.

end insert
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18(B) Deprive a court with jurisdiction over an adjudicated basin
19of its authority to enforce compliance with the adjudication decree.

end insert
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20(f)

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21begin insert(g)end insert The watermaster or a local agency within a basin identified
22in subdivision (a) shall do all of the following:

23(1) By April 1, 2016, submit to the department a copy of a
24governing final judgment, or other judicial order or decree, and
25any amendments entered before April 1, 2016.

26(2) Within 90 days of entry by a court, submit to the department
27a copy of any amendment made and entered by the court to the
28governing final judgment or other judicial order or decree on or
29after April 1, 2016.

30(3) By April 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, submit to the
31department a report containing the following information to the
32extent available for the portion of the basin subject to the
33adjudication:

34(A) Groundwater elevation data unless otherwise submitted
35pursuant to Section 10932.

36(B) Annual aggregated data identifying groundwater extraction
37for the preceding water year.

38(C) Surface water supply used for or available for use for
39groundwater recharge or in-lieu use.

40(D) Total water use.

P6    1(E) Change in groundwater storage.

2(F) The annual report submitted to the court.

3begin insert

begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

end insert
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This act is an urgency statute necessary for the
4immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within
5the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into
6immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:

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7In order to permit groundwater sustainability agencies to include
8entities representing adjudicated basins to meet organizational
9deadlines of the act and to respond to emergency conditions caused
10by declining groundwater tables caused by the prolonged drought,
11it is necessary that the act take effect immediately.

end insert
begin delete
12

SECTION 1.  

Section 10722.4 of the Water Code is amended
13to read:

14

10722.4.  

(a) Pursuant to Section 10933, for purposes of this
15part, the department shall categorize each basin as one of the
16following priorities:

17(1) High priority.

18(2) Medium priority.

19(3) Low priority.

20(4) Very low priority.

21(b) The initial priority for each basin shall be established by the
22department pursuant to Section 10933 no later than January 31,
232015.

24(c) Any time the department updates Bulletin 118 boundaries
25pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 12924, the department shall
26reassess the prioritization pursuant to Section 10933.

27(d) If the department changes priorities pursuant to Section
2810933 to elevate a basin from a low- or very low priority basin to
29a medium- or high-priority basin after January 31, 2015, the agency
30formation and planning deadlines of this part shall be extended as
31follows:

32(1) A local agency, or combination of local agencies overlying
33a groundwater basin, shall have two years from the date of
34reprioritization to either establish a groundwater sustainability
35agency pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 10723)
36or two years to satisfy the requirements of Section 10733.6.

37(2) A groundwater sustainability agency shall have five years
38from the date of reprioritization to meet the requirements of
39subdivision (a) of Section 10720.7, except that if the reprioritization
40occurs before January 31, 2017, a groundwater sustainability
P7    1agency subject to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section
210720.7 shall have until January 31, 2022.

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