as amended, Alejo.
begin deleteGroundwater:end delete adjudication.
The California Constitution requires that the water resources of the State be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent of which they are capable. Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which applies to all groundwater basins in the state, all basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins by the Department of Water Resources as basins that are subject to critical conditions of overdraft, as specified, are required to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2020.
This bill would establish special procedures for a comprehensive adjudication, which is defined as an action filed in superior court to comprehensively determine the rights to extract groundwater in a basin. The bill would authorize the court to determine all groundwater rights of a basin,
whether based on appropriation, overlying right, or other basis of
begin delete right.end delete The bill would provide that these special procedures governing comprehensive adjudications do not apply in certain cases that do not involve a comprehensive allocation of a basin’s groundwater supply.
This bill would require
begin delete a complaint filed in an adjudication action to name certain defendants, including all general or special districts managing or replenishing groundwater resources in the basin in whole or in part, and to be served and published in a specified manner.end delete The bill would require a draft notice and draft form answer, as specified, to be lodged by the plaintiff with the court when filing the complaint. Within 30 days of the assignment of a judge by the Chairperson of the Judicial Council, the bill would require the plaintiff to file an ex parte application for approval of the draft notice and draft form answer. Following a court order approving the notice and form answer and authorizing service of landowners, as specified, the bill would require the plaintiff to identify the assessor parcel numbers and physical addresses of all real property in the basin and the names and addresses of all holders
of fee title to real property in the basin, as specified; mail the notice, complaint, and form answer to all holders of fee title to real property in the basin, as specified; and publish the notice in one or more newspapers of general circulation, as specified. The bill would require the plaintiff to file with the court a notice of the completion of the begin delete mailing, and within 60 days of the court order authorizing service of landowners, to prepare and file for recording the notice of the comprehensive adjudication in the office of the county recorder
of each county overlying the basin in whole or in part.end delete The bill, on the 60th day following completion of the mailing, as described above, would deem fulfillment of the service and publication provisions as effective service of process of the complaint and notice on all interested parties of the comprehensive adjudication for purposes of establishing in rem jurisdiction and the comprehensive effect of the comprehensive adjudication. begin delete Theend delete
bill would authorize a groundwater sustainability agency for the basin or a portion of the basin, a city, county, or city and county that
overlies the basin or a portion of the basin, certain
begin delete persons, and the stateend delete to intervene in a comprehensive adjudication.
This bill would authorize the court to convene a case management conference and would authorize the court to consider certain matters, including dividing the case into phases to resolve legal and factual issues, in the initial case management conference or as soon as practicable. In addition, the bill would require each party to serve within 6 months of appearing in the comprehensive adjudication, specified initial disclosures made under penalty of perjury to all other named parties and a special master, if one has been assigned in the action. By expanding the scope of an existing crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would authorize the court to appoint one or more special masters in a comprehensive adjudication, whose duties could include, among other things, investigating technical and legal issues, as directed by the court, and compiling a report of the findings, as specified. The bill would authorize the court to request the State Water Resources Control Board or the Department of Water Resources to recommend candidates for appointment as a special master or to review the qualifications of candidates.
This bill would authorize the court, upon a showing that the basin is in a condition of long-term overdraft, to issue a preliminary injunction that could include, among other things, a moratorium on new or increased appropriations of water. The bill would provide that a judgment in a comprehensive adjudication is binding on the parties to the action, their agents and employees, and all their successors in interest. The bill would also provide the court with continuing jurisdiction to modify or amend a final judgment in a comprehensive adjudication in specified instances.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.end delete
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.end delete
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 830) is
2added to Title 10 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to read:
(a) This chapter establishes methods and procedures for
9a comprehensive adjudication.
10(b) This chapter shall be applied and interpreted consistently
11with all of the following:
P5 1(1) Protecting water rights consistent with Section 2 of Article
2X of the California Constitution.
3(2) Conducting a comprehensive adjudication in a manner that
4promotes efficiency, reduces unnecessary delays, and provides
6(3) Encouraging the compromise and settlement of
8(4) Conducting a comprehensive adjudication in a manner that
9is consistent with the achievement of groundwater sustainability
10within the timeframes of the Sustainable Groundwater Management
12(5) Establishing procedures by which courts may conduct
13comprehensive determinations of all rights and priorities to
14groundwater in a basin.
15(6) Providing for the conduct of a comprehensive adjudication
16consistent with Winters v. United States (1908) 207 U.S. 564, the
17McCarran Amendment (codified at 43 U.S.C. Sec. 666), and any
18other federal laws regarding the determination of federal or tribal
19water rights, as applicable.
20(7) Providing notice
and due process sufficient to enable a court
21in a comprehensive adjudication conducted pursuant to this chapter
22to determine and establish the priority for unexercised water rights.
begin deleteThis chapter shall not alter groundwater rights or the law The other provisions of this code
28concerning groundwater rights. end delete
29apply to procedures in a comprehensive adjudication to the extent
30they do not conflict with the provisions of this chapter.
In a comprehensive adjudication of a basin required to
32have a groundwater sustainability plan under the Sustainable
33Groundwater Management Act, the court shall manage the
34proceedings in a manner that minimizes interference with the
35timely completion and implementation of a groundwater
36sustainability plan, avoids redundancy and unnecessary costs in
37the development of technical information and a physical solution,
38and is consistent with the attainment of groundwater sustainability
39within the timeframes established by the Sustainable Groundwater
For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions
6(a) “Basin” means a groundwater basin or subbasin identified
7pursuant to Section 841.
8(b) “Complaint” means a complaint filed in superior court to
9determine rights to extract groundwater and includes any
10cross-complaint that initiates a comprehensive adjudication in
11response to a plaintiff’s complaint or other cross-complaint.
12(c) “Comprehensive adjudication” means an action filed in
13superior court to comprehensively determine rights to extract
14groundwater in a basin.
15(d) “Condition of long-term overdraft” means the condition of
16a groundwater basin where the average annual amount of water
17extracted for a long-term period, generally 10 years or more,
18exceeds the long-term average annual supply of water to the basin,
19plus any temporary surplus. Overdraft during a period of drought
20is not sufficient to establish a condition of long-term overdraft if
21extractions and recharge are managed as necessary to ensure that
22reductions in groundwater levels or storage during a period of
23drought are offset by increases in groundwater levels or storage
24during other periods.
37 25(e) “Department” means the Department of Water Resources.
38 26(f) “Groundwater” means water beneath the surface of the
27within the zone below the water table in which the soil is
28completely saturated with water, but does not include water that
29flows in known and definite channels.
30(g) “Groundwater extraction facility” means a device or method
31for extracting groundwater from within a basin.
32(h) “Groundwater recharge” means the augmentation of
33groundwater, by natural or artificial means.
7 34(i) “Person” includes, but is not limited to, counties, local
35agencies, state agencies, federal agencies, tribes, business entities,
10 37(j) “Plaintiff” means the person filing the complaint initiating
38 a comprehensive adjudication and includes a cross-complainant
39who initiates a comprehensive adjudication by cross-complaint.
P7 1(k) “Public water system” has the same meaning as defined in
2Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
3(l) “State small water system” has the same meaning as defined
4in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
5(m) “Sustainable Groundwater Management Act” means the
6provisions of Part 2.74 (commencing with Section 10720) of
7Division 6 of the Water Code.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), this chapter
12applies to actions that would comprehensively determine rights to
13extract groundwater in a basin, whether based on appropriation,
14overlying right, or other basis of right.
15(b) This chapter does not apply to any of the following:
16(1) An action that concerns only
allegations that a groundwater
17extraction facility, or group of facilities, is interfering with another
18groundwater extraction facility or facilities and does not involve
19a comprehensive allocation of the basin’s groundwater supply.
20(2) An action that concerns only claims to extract, or to prevent
21interference with extractions of, a specific source of groundwater
22recharge and does not involve a comprehensive allocation of the
23basin’s groundwater supply.
24(3) An action that can be resolved among a limited number of
25parties and does not involve a comprehensive determination of
26rights to extract groundwater within the basin.
27(4) The Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases (Judicial Council
28Coordination Proceedings No. 4408).
29(c) In implementing
this chapter and applying the other
30provisions of this code in a comprehensive adjudication, the court
31should expedite resolution of the comprehensive adjudication and,
32where a groundwater sustainability plan is required pursuant to
33the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the court should
34encourage the parties to cooperatively develop a groundwater
35sustainability plan that may serve as the basis of a stipulated
36judgment setting forth a physical solution for management of the
(a) In a comprehensive adjudication conducted pursuant
4to this chapter, the court may determine all groundwater rights of
5a basin, whether based on appropriation, overlying right, or other
begin delete right.end delete
7(b) The court’s final judgment in a comprehensive adjudication,
8for the groundwater rights of each party, may declare the priority,
9amount, purposes of use, extraction location, and place of use of the water, together with
11appropriate injunctive relief, subject to terms adopted by the court
12to implement a physical solution in the comprehensive
(a) Unless a court orders otherwise for good cause, the
18complaint in a comprehensive adjudication shall name all of the
19following persons as defendants:
20(1) All general or special districts managing or replenishing
21groundwater resources in the basin in whole or in part.
22(2) The operator of a public water system that uses groundwater
23from the basin to supply water service.
24(3) The operator of a state small water system that uses
25groundwater from the basin to supply water service.
complaint in a comprehensive adjudication shall identify
27all counties or cities that provide water service and overlie the
28basin in whole or in part.
29(c) Within 30 days of the filing of the complaint, both of the
30following shall occur:
31(1) The plaintiff shall serve the complaint on all persons named
32as defendants pursuant to subdivision (a) and all counties or cities
33identified in the complaint pursuant to subdivision (b) in the
34manner prescribed by Article 3 (commencing with Section 415.10)
35of Chapter 4 of Title 5.
36(2) The plaintiff shall publish notice of the complaint pursuant
37to Section 6066 of the Government Code.
(a) When the plaintiff files the complaint, the plaintiff
4shall also lodge with the court both of the following:
5(1) (A) A draft notice titled “NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT
6OF GROUNDWATER BASIN ADJUDICATION” in no less than
720-point font and the following text printed immediately below
8the draft notice title in no less than 14-point font:
9“THIS NOTICE IS IMPORTANT. ANY RIGHTS YOU CLAIM
10TO PUMP OR STORE GROUNDWATER FROM THE BASIN
11IDENTIFIED IN THIS NOTICE MAY BE AFFECTED BY A
12LAWSUIT INITIATED BY THE COMPLAINT SUMMARIZED
14A copy of the complaint may
be obtained by contacting the
15plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney identified in this notice. If you
16claim rights to pump or store groundwater within the basin, either
17now or in the future, you may become a party to this lawsuit by
18filing an answer to the lawsuit on or before the deadline specified
19in this notice. You may file an answer by completing the attached
20form answer, filing it with the court indicated in this notice, and
21sending a copy of the form answer to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s
23Failing to participate in this lawsuit could have a significant
24adverse effect on any right to pump or store groundwater that you
25may have. You may seek the advice of an attorney in relation to
26this lawsuit. Such attorney should be consulted promptly. A case
27management conference in this groundwater basin adjudication
28proceeding shall occur on the date specified in this notice. If you
29intend to participate in the groundwater adjudication proceeding
30to which this notice applies, you are advised to attend the initial
31case management conference in person or have an attorney
32represent you at the initial case management conference.
33Participation requires the production of all information regarding
34your groundwater use. You must provide this information by the
35date identified in this notice.
36A form answer is provided for your convenience. You may fill
37out the form answer and file it with the court. Should you choose
38to file the form answer, it will serve as an answer to all complaints
39and cross-complaints filed in this case.”
P11 1(B) The following information shall be provided immediately
2following the text described in subparagraph (A):
3(i) The name of the basin that is the subject of the comprehensive
4adjudication and a link to the Internet Web site address where the
5department has posted a map of the basin.
6(ii) A space to be completed with the case number assigned to
7the comprehensive adjudication, and the name and address of the
8court and department to which the action is assigned.
9(iii) The name, address, telephone number, and email address
10of the plaintiff, or plaintiff’s attorney, from
begin delete whichend delete the
11complaint may be obtained and to whom a copy of the form answer
12should be sent.
13(iv) A summary of the causes of action alleged in the complaint
14and the relief sought. The summary shall not exceed 25 lines.
15(v) A date by which persons receiving the notice must appear
16in the comprehensive adjudication.
17(2) (A) A draft form answer titled “ANSWER TO
18ADJUDICATION COMPLAINT” in no less than 20-point font
19and the following text printed immediately below the draft form
20answer title in no less than 14-point font:
21“The undersigned denies all material allegations in the complaint
22or cross-complaint in this action that seeks to adjudicate rights in
23the groundwater basin and asserts all applicable affirmative
24defenses to that complaint.”
25(B) Notwithstanding any other law, the filing of an answer in
26the form described in subparagraph (A) in a comprehensive
27adjudication is sufficient to put at issue all material allegations and
28applicable affirmative defenses to the complaint in the
29comprehensive adjudication. If a party intends to seek adjustment
30of the basin’s boundaries, it shall disclose that intention in the form
31answer described in subparagraph (A).
32(b) Within 30 days of the assignment of a judge by the
33Chairperson of the Judicial Council, the plaintiff shall file an ex
34parte application for approval of the draft notice and draft form
35answer filed pursuant to subdivision (a). The plaintiff shall provide
36notice of the ex parte application to all parties in accordance with
37 the California Rules of Court regarding ex parte hearings. Notice
38may be provided electronically. The plaintiff’s notice of the ex
39parte application shall include a copy of the draft notice and draft
40form answer filed pursuant to subdivision (a).
P12 1(c) Once the court approves the draft notice, service of that
2notice in accordance with this section shall substitute for the
3summons otherwise provided for in civil actions pursuant to
5(d) (1) Following a court order approving the notice and form
6answer and authorizing service of landowners pursuant to this
7section, the plaintiff shall do all of the following:
8(A) Identify the assessor parcel numbers and physical addresses
9of all real property in the basin and the names and addresses of all
10holders of fee title to real property in the basin using the records
11of the assessor or assessors of the county or counties in which the
12basin to be adjudicated lies. The plaintiff shall provide the court
13and all parties with notice of its acquisition of, or sufficient access
14to, this information.
15(B) Mail, by registered mail or certified mail, return receipt
16requested, the notice, complaint, and form answer to all holders
17of fee title to real property in the basin. If the physical address of
18the real property differs from the address of the holder of fee title,
19the notice, complaint, and form answer shall be mailed by
20registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the physical
21address of the real property and the address of the holder of fee
23(C) If return receipt is not received for a parcel of real property,
24the plaintiff shall post a copy of the notice, complaint, and form
25answer in a conspicuous place on the real property.
26(D) Within 20 days of the court order, publish the notice at least
27once per week for four consecutive weeks in one or more
28newspapers of general circulation in each county overlying the
29basin in whole or in part.
30(2) Service pursuant to this subdivision is not required if the
31real property is owned by a class of water users that
32are otherwise noticed in accordance with this chapter.
35(e) After completing the mailing pursuant to subdivision (d),
36the plaintiff shall file with the court a notice of the completion of
38(f) Within 60 days of the court order authorizing service of
39landowners pursuant to this section, the plaintiff shall prepare and
40file for recording the notice of the comprehensive adjudication in
P13 1the office of the county recorder of each county overlying the basin
2in whole or in part. The notice shall be recorded in a manner so
3that anyone researching the title of a parcel will find the notice.
11(g) Following a court order authorizing service of landowners
12pursuant to this section, the plaintiff shall serve any known person
13that pumps groundwater who would not otherwise be served
14pursuant to subdivision (d) of this section or noticed pursuant to
15paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 835. Service pursuant
16to this subdivision
begin delete mayend delete be by personal delivery or by mail
17in the manner prescribed by Article 3 (commencing with Section
18415.10) of Chapter 4 of Title 5.
19(h) Service on the United States shall be made in accordance
20with Section 666 of Title 43 of the United States Code.
24 30(i)end delete
31 The court may authorize any other procedures it finds
32appropriate and necessary to provide notice to persons who may
33hold groundwater rights in the basin.
27 34(j)end delete
35 On the 60th day following completion of the mailing, as set
36forth in this section, and notwithstanding any other law, the
37fulfillment of the service provisions of this section, the publication
begin delete paragraph (2) of subdivision (c)end delete
39Section 835, and the remaining service and notice provisions of
40this chapter shall be deemed effective service of process of the
P14 1complaint and notice on all interested parties of the comprehensive
2adjudication for purposes of establishing in rem jurisdiction and
3the comprehensive effect of the comprehensive adjudication.
36 4(k)end delete
5 The court may require notice to be made available in
6languages other than English.
7(l) The plaintiff shall provide the notice, complaint, and form
8answer to the department. The department shall post the notice,
9complaint, and form answer on the department’s Internet Web site
10within 15 days of receipt.
11(m) Section 389 shall not apply to a failure to join the United
12States or an Indian tribe to a comprehensive adjudication.
(a) A groundwater sustainability agency for the basin or
20a portion of the basin may intervene in a comprehensive
21adjudication conducted pursuant to this chapter.
22(b) A city, county, or city and county that overlies the basin or
23a portion of the basin may intervene in a comprehensive
24adjudication conducted pursuant to this chapter.
25(c) The court shall allow any person to intervene in a
26comprehensive adjudication conducted pursuant to this chapter
27upon an ex parte application that demonstrates that the person
28holds fee simple ownership in a parcel in the basin, or extracts or
29stores water in the basin. A person filing an ex parte application
30pursuant to this subdivision shall give notice to the plaintiff
31consistent with the California Rules of Court.
32(d) Upon timely motion, the court shall permit the state to
33intervene in a comprehensive adjudication conducted pursuant to
34this chapter if the state claims an interest relating to the
35comprehensive adjudication and the state is so situated that
36disposing of the comprehensive adjudication may, as a practical
37matter, impair or impede the state’s ability to protect its interest.
(a) In a comprehensive adjudication conducted pursuant
4to this chapter, a judge of a superior court of a county that overlies
5the basin or any portion of the basin shall be disqualified. The
6Chairperson of the Judicial Council shall assign a judge to preside
7in all proceedings in the comprehensive adjudication.
8(b) A comprehensive adjudication is presumed to be a complex
9action within the meaning of Rule 3.400 of the California Rules
10of Court unless a party demonstrates that the comprehensive
11adjudication is not complex.
12(c) Sections 170.6 and 394 shall not apply in a comprehensive
14(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section
begin delete 10726.2end delete
15 of the Water Code, an action against a groundwater sustainability
16agency that is located in a basin that is being adjudicated pursuant
17to this chapter shall be subject to transfer, coordination, and
18consolidation with the comprehensive adjudication, as appropriate,
19if the action concerns the adoption, substance, or implementation
20of a groundwater sustainability plan, or the groundwater
21sustainability agency’s compliance with the timelines in the
22Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
23(e) The judge assigned by the Chairperson of the Judicial
24Council pursuant to subdivision (a) shall determine if transfer,
25coordination, or consolidation is appropriate.
Service of pleadings and papers in a comprehensive
30adjudication, other than the complaint initiating a comprehensive
31adjudication, shall occur electronically to the greatest extent
32possible. The court may provide, or authorize the use of, an
33electronic service system. If an electronic service system is not
34provided or authorized by the court, the court and the parties shall
35serve documents by email or other equivalent electronic means to
36the greatest extent possible. To enable electronic service of
37pleadings and papers, the attorneys of record or parties representing
38themselves shall include an email address for service in the captions
39of all pleadings they file in the comprehensive adjudication.
(a) In managing a comprehensive adjudication, the court
4shall convene a case management conference as provided by the
5California Rules of Court.
6(b) In an initial case management conference, or as soon as
7practicable, the court may consider the following in addition to
9(1) Determining whether to seek adjustment of the basin
10boundaries pursuant to Section 841.
11(2) Staying the action pursuant to Section 848.
12(3) Appointing a special master pursuant to Section 845.
13(4) Scheduling a hearing on a preliminary injunction pursuant
14to Section 847.
15(5) Dividing the case into phases to resolve legal and factual
17(6) Issuing orders to ensure that issues resolved in one phase
18are not relitigated in another phase.
19(7) Limiting discovery to correspond to the phases.
20(8) Scheduling early resolution of claims to prescriptive rights.
21(9) Forming a class or classes of overlying groundwater rights
22holders pursuant to the criteria specified in Section 382.
(a) (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the
27boundaries of the area subject to a comprehensive adjudication
28shall be consistent with the boundaries of a basin.
29(2) If the department revises the boundaries of a basin pursuant
30to Section 10722.2, or subdivision (b) of Section 12924, of the
31Water Code after a comprehensive adjudication has been initiated,
32the court may revise the boundaries of the area subject to the
33comprehensive adjudication as the interests of justice and the
34objectives of this chapter require.
35(3) Upon a showing that a revision of the basin boundaries
36would further a fair and effective determination of water rights,
37the court may direct any of the following to submit a request to
38the department pursuant to Section 10722.2 of the Water Code to
39revise the basin boundaries:
40(A) A party to the comprehensive adjudication.
P18 1(B) The State Water Resources Control Board, if the court has
2made a reference pursuant to Part 3 (commencing with Section
32000) of Division 2 of the Water Code.
4(C) A special master, if one has been appointed.
5(4) The court shall consider the department’s response to a
6request submitted pursuant to paragraph (3) and establish the area
7subject to a comprehensive adjudication as the interests of justice
8 and the objective of this chapter require. The department shall
9revise the basin boundaries to conform to the comprehensive
11(b) If the court finds that including an interconnected surface
12water body or subterranean stream flowing through known and
13definite channels is necessary for the fair and effective
14determination of the groundwater rights in a basin, the court may
15require the joinder of persons who claim rights to divert and use
16water from that surface water body or subterranean stream in a
17comprehensive adjudication conducted pursuant to this chapter.
18(c) If the court finds that claims of right to extract or divert only
19minor quantities of water, not to exceed five acre-feet of water per
20year, would not have a material effect on the groundwater rights
21of other parties, the court may exempt those claimants with respect
22to those claims for only minor quantities of water, but a person
23who is exempted may elect to continue as a party to the
(a) Except as otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered
29by the court, within six months of appearing in a comprehensive
30adjudication, a party shall serve on the other parties and the special
31master, if one is appointed, an initial disclosure that includes all
32of the following information:
33(1) The name, address, telephone number, and email address of
34the party and, if applicable, the party’s attorney.
35(2) The quantity of any groundwater extracted from the basin
36by the party and the method of measurement used by the party or
37the party’s predecessor in interest for each of the previous five
38years preceding the filing of the complaint.
39(3) The type of water right or rights claimed by the party for
40the extraction of groundwater.
P19 1(4) A general description of the purpose to which the
2groundwater has been put.
3(5) The location of each well or other source through which
4groundwater has been extracted.
5(6) The area in which the groundwater has been used.
6(7) Any claims for increased or future use of groundwater.
7(8) The quantity of any beneficial use of any alternative water
8use that the party claims as its use of groundwater under any
9applicable law, including, but not limited to, Section 1005.1,
101005.2, or 1005.4 of the Water Code.
11(9) Identification of all surface water rights and contracts that
12the party claims provides the basis for its water right claims in the
13 comprehensive adjudication.
14(10) The quantity of any replenishment of water to the basin
15that augmented the basin’s native water supply, resulting from the
16intentional storage of imported or non-native water in the basin,
17managed recharge of surface water, or return flows resulting from
18the use of imported water or non-native water on lands overlying
19the basin by the party, or the party’s representative or agent, during
20each of the 10 calendar years immediately preceding the filing of
22(11) The names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email
23addresses of all persons possessing information that supports the
25(12) Any other facts that tend to prove the
party’s claimed water
27(b) The Judicial Council may develop a form for initial
28disclosures made pursuant to subdivision (a) to facilitate the
29consistent, independent, impartial, and accessible administration
30of comprehensive adjudications. The Judicial Council may
31coordinate with the department in developing the form.
32(c) A party shall make its initial disclosures based on the
33information then reasonably available to it. A party is not excused
34from making its initial disclosures because it has not fully
35investigated the case, because it challenges the sufficiency of
36another party’s disclosures, or because another party has not made
38(d) A party that has made its initial disclosures, as described in
39subdivision (a), or that has responded to another party’s discovery
P20 1request, shall supplement or correct a disclosure or response in all
2of the following situations:
3(1) In a timely manner if the party learns that in some material
4respect the disclosure or response is incomplete or incorrect and
5the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been
6made known to the other parties during the disclosure or discovery
8(2) If the party extracts groundwater from the basin after the
9complaint is filed. A supplement filed pursuant to this paragraph
10shall report the quantity of water extracted and be filed within 90
11days after the end of the calendar year.
12(3) As ordered by the court.
13(e) To the greatest extent possible, a party shall serve his or her
14initial disclosures electronically. If it is not possible for the party
15to serve his or her disclosures electronically, he or she shall serve
16the disclosures in an electronic format saved on a portable storage
17media device such as a compact disc or flash drive.
18(f) A party’s obligations under this section may be enforced by
19a court on its own motion or the motion of a party to compel
21(g) A party’s disclosures under this section shall be verified
22under penalty of perjury as being true and correct to the best of
23the party’s knowledge.
(a) In addition to all other disclosures required by this
28chapter, a party shall disclose to the other parties the identity of
29any expert witness it may use at trial to present evidence. For
30purposes of this chapter, “expert witness” means a witness qualified
31pursuant to Section 720 of the Evidence Code.
32(b) Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered by the
33court, the disclosure made pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be
34accompanied by a written report prepared and signed by the expert
35witness if the witness is retained or specially employed by the
36party offering the expert witness to testify as an expert in the action,
37or if the expert witness’s duties as the party’s employee regularly
38involves giving expert testimony. The report shall include all of
P21 1(1) A complete statement of all opinions the witness will express
2and the basis and reasons for those opinions.
3(2) The facts or data considered by the witness in forming his
4or her opinions.
5(3) Any exhibits the witness will use to summarize or support
6his or her opinions.
7(4) The witness’s qualifications, including a list of all
8publications authored by the witness in the previous 10 years.
9(5) A list of all other cases in which the witness testified as an
10expert at trial or by deposition in the last five years.
11(6) A statement of the compensation to be paid for the witness’s
12work and testimony in the comprehensive adjudication.
13(c) If subdivision (b) does not apply to an expert witness because
14of a stipulation by the parties or an order of the court, the witness’s
15disclosure shall include both of the following:
16(1) The subject matter on which the witness is expected to
18(2) A summary of the witness’s opinions, and the facts or data
19considered by the witness in forming his or her opinions.
20(d) Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties, a party shall make
21the disclosures of any expert witness it intends to present at trial,
22except for an expert witness presented solely for purposes of
23impeachment or rebuttal, at the times and in the sequence ordered
24by the court. If there is no stipulation or court order, the disclosures
25of an expert witness shall be made as follows:
26(1) At least 30 days after the court’s entry of an order
27establishing the scope of the relevant phase of the comprehensive
29(2) Except for a supplemental expert witness described in
30paragraph (3), at least 60 days before the date set for trial of the
31relevant phase of the comprehensive adjudication.
32(3) For a supplemental expert witness who will express an
33opinion on a subject to be covered by another expert witness
34designated by an adverse party that was not among the subjects
35covered by an expert witness initially disclosed by the party
36offering the supplemental expert witness, no more than 20 days
37after the initial expert witness disclosure date.
38(e) The court may modify the disclosure requirements of
39 subdivisions (b) to (d), inclusive, for expert witnesses presented
40solely for purposes of impeachment or rebuttal. In modifying the
P22 1disclosure requirements, the court shall adopt disclosure
2requirements that expedite the court’s consideration of the issues
3presented and shall ensure that expert testimony presented solely
4for purposes of impeachment or rebuttal is strictly limited to the
5scope of the testimony that it intends to impeach or rebut.
6(f) (1) A party whose expert witness has made a disclosure
7pursuant to this section shall promptly supplement or correct the
8expert witness’s disclosure in either of the following instances:
9(A) In a timely manner if the party learns that in some material
10respect the disclosure is incomplete or incorrect, if the additional
11or corrective information has not otherwise been made known to
12the other parties during the disclosure or discovery process.
13(B) As ordered by the court.
14(2) A party’s duty to supplement or correct its expert witness’s
15disclosure includes the information included in the report and the
16information given during the expert witness’s deposition. Unless
17otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered by the court, any
18supplementation or correction shall occur at least 14 days before
19trial of the applicable phase of the comprehensive adjudication.
20(3) The court may authorize a supplemental deposition of an
21expert witness based on a supplemental disclosure made pursuant
22to this subdivision. The court shall appropriately condition the
23authorization of a supplemental deposition of an expert witness to
24ensure the expeditious completion of the applicable phase of the
25comprehensive adjudication. The court may require the party whose
26expert makes the supplemental disclosure to pay some or all of
27the costs associated with the supplemental deposition.
28(g) To the greatest extent possible, the parties shall serve expert
29witness disclosures electronically through an electronic service
30system, an electronic document repository, email, or another
31method of electronic transmission. If it is not possible for the party
32to serve his or her expert witness disclosures electronically, he or
33she shall serve the expert witness disclosures in an electronic
34format saved on a portable storage media device such as a compact
35disc or flash drive.
(a) A court may require the parties in a comprehensive
40adjudication to submit written testimony of relevant witnesses in
P23 1the forms of affidavits or declarations under penalty of perjury in
2lieu of presenting live testimony. The required written testimony
3may include, but is not limited to, expert witness opinions and
4testimony that authenticates documentary evidence. The court may
5order that the written testimony constitutes the entirety of the
6witness’s direct testimony, require the written testimony to include
7any exhibits offered in support of the written testimony, and, in
8the case of written testimony of an expert witness, require a
9statement of the witness’s qualifications.
10(b) If the court requires the submission of written testimony
11 pursuant to subdivision (a), a complete copy of the direct testimony
12shall be served at least 21 days before trial. A complete copy of
13any rebuttal testimony shall be served no later than the first day
15(c) If the contents of the written testimony would have been
16admissible if the witness testified orally, the written testimony
17shall be received by the court as a documentary exhibit if the
18witness whose written testimony is being offered is made available
19for cross-examination by all parties.
(a) The court may appoint one or more special masters
24whose duties may include the following:
25(1) Investigating technical and legal issues, as directed by the
26court. The special master shall compile a report of findings in
27accordance with Section 846.
28(2) Conducting joint factfinding with the parties, their designees,
30(3) Investigating the need for, and developing a proposal for, a
31preliminary injunction pursuant to Article 13 (commencing with
33(4) Performing other tasks the court may deem appropriate.
34(b) The court shall fix the special master’s compensation on the
35basis and terms stated in the appointing order, and the court may
36set a new basis and new terms after giving the parties notice and
37an opportunity to be heard. The court shall allocate payment of
38the special master’s compensation among the parties in an amount
39and a manner that the court deems equitable. The court may waive
P24 1a party’s obligations to pay the special master’s compensation
2upon a showing of good cause.
3(c) The court may request the State Water Resources Control
4Board or the department to recommend candidates for appointment
5as a special master or to review the qualifications of candidates.
section does not limit the authority of the court to make
7a reference pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 2000)
8of Part 3 of Division 2 of the Water Code.
9(e) This section does not limit the authority to appoint a
10watermaster pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section
114050) of Part 4 of Division 2 of the Water Code or any other law.
(a) The special master shall make a draft report available
13to the parties and provide at least 60 days for the parties to submit
14written objections to the draft report.
15(b) An objection to the draft report shall identify the specific
16grounds and evidence on which the objection is based.
17(c) The special master may notice and hold hearings, as he or
18she deems appropriate, to gather information or address issues
19raised in the objections to the draft report.
20(d) The special master shall consider the objections to the draft
21report and develop a final report that shall be filed with the court,
22together with supporting evidence.
(a) Upon a showing that the basin is in a condition of
27long-term overdraft, the court may, upon notice and hearing, issue
28a preliminary injunction.
29(b) Bulletins and other reports of the department,
begin delete orend delete a report of
30a special master indicating that a condition of long-term overdraft
31exists in the basin,
32 shall be admissible and shall constitute prima facie evidence of a
33condition of long-term overdraft.
34(c) The preliminary injunction may include any of the following
36(1) A moratorium on new or increased appropriations of water.
37(2) A limitation on, or reduction in, the diversion or extraction
P25 1(3) An allocation among the parties establishing amounts of
2extraction allowed during the pendency of the comprehensive
4(4) Procedures for voluntary transfers.
5(d) The court shall issue a preliminary injunction upon
6determining all of the following:
7(1) The basin is in a condition of long-term overdraft.
8(2) The basin has been designated as a probationary basin or
9the planning deadlines in subdivision (a) of Section 10720.7 of
10the Water Code are not being complied with.
11(3) There is no interim plan in effect under Section 10735.8 of
12the Water Code.
13(e) The court may provide a schedule for further reductions in
14extractions over a period of years if it finds that doing so appears
15reasonably necessary to achieve groundwater sustainability within
16the timelines provided in subdivision (b) of Section 10727.2 of
17the Water Code.
18(f) The terms of a preliminary injunction shall not determine
19the rights in a final judgment of the comprehensive adjudication.
20(g) A bond or undertaking shall not be required for the issuance
21of a preliminary injunction pursuant to this section.
22(h) The court may appoint a watermaster to oversee enforcement
23of the preliminary injunction.
(a) Upon the motion of any party to a comprehensive
28adjudication, a court may stay a comprehensive adjudication for
29a period of up to one year, subject to renewal in the court’s
30discretion upon a showing of good cause, in order to facilitate any
31of the following:
32(1) Adoption of a groundwater sustainability plan that provides
33for a physical solution or otherwise addresses issues in the
35(2) The development of technical studies that may be useful to
36the parties in the comprehensive adjudication.
37(3) Voluntary mediation
or participation in a settlement
38conference on all, or a portion of, the subject matters or legal
39questions identified in the comprehensive adjudication.
P26 1(4) Compromise and settlement of the comprehensive
2adjudication or issues in the comprehensive adjudication.
3(b) If a party opposes an extension of a stay, a stay may only
4be granted after a showing that there is good progress being made
5on the issues that were identified as the reasons for the stay and
6that no rights or interest would be impaired by the stay.
7(c) A stay pursuant to this section shall not stay, or otherwise
8delay, the parties’ obligations to provide initial disclosures pursuant
9to Section 842 unless the court determines the initial disclosures
10will not benefit resolution of the comprehensive adjudication.
(a) The court shall have the authority and the duty to
15impose a physical solution on the parties in a comprehensive
16adjudication where necessary and consistent with Article 2 of
17Section X of the California Constitution.
18(b) Before adopting a physical solution presented by a party, or
19considered on the court’s own motion, the court shall consider
20whether the elements of any existing groundwater sustainability
21plan should be incorporated into the court’s physical solution.
begin deleteIf a party or group of parties submits a proposed judgment if the court finds that
26stipulated judgment, the court may adopt the stipulated end delete
begin delete itend delete
28all of the following criteria:
29(1) It furthers the interests of the state in ensuring that the water
30resources of the state are put to beneficial use to the fullest extent
31that they are capable, as required by Section 2 of Article X of the
33(2) It is consistent with
begin delete allend delete water right priorities in the basin.
35(3) It treats all objecting parties and any persons who have
36claims that are exempted pursuant to Section 841 equitably as
37compared to the stipulating parties.
38(b) If a party or group of parties submits a proposed stipulated
39judgment that is supported by more than 50 percent of all
40groundwater extractors in the basin and groundwater extractors
P27 1responsible for at least 75 percent of the groundwater extracted in
2the basin during the five calendar years before the filing of the
3complaint, the court may adopt the proposed stipulated judgment,
4as applied to the stipulating parties, if the proposed stipulated
5judgment meets the criteria described in subdivision (a). A party
6objecting to a proposed stipulated judgment shall demonstrate, by
7a preponderance of evidence, that the proposed stipulated judgment
8does not satisfy one or more criteria described in subdivision (a)
9or that it substantially violates the water rights of the objecting
10party. If the objecting party is unable to make this showing, the
11court may impose the proposed stipulated judgment on the
12objecting party. An objecting party may be subject to a preliminary
13injunction issued pursuant to Section 847 while his or her
14objections are being resolved.
15(c) A party may object to a stipulated judgment proposed
16pursuant to this section on the basis that it does not satisfy the
17criteria described in subdivision (a).
begin delete The stipulated judgment may
18be in effect while any objections are being resolved.end delete
The judgment in a comprehensive adjudication conducted
23pursuant to this chapter shall be binding on the parties to the action
24and all their successors in interest, including, but not limited to,
25heirs, executors, administrators, assigns, lessees, licensees, the
26agents and employees of the parties to the action and all their
27successors in interest, and all landowners or other persons claiming
28rights to extract groundwater from the basin.
begin delete(a)end delete begin delete end deleteThe court shall have continuing jurisdiction to modify
33or amend a final judgment in a comprehensive adjudication in
34response to new information, changed circumstances, the interests
35of justice, or to ensure that the criteria of subdivision (a) of Section
36850 are met. When feasible, the judge who heard the original action
37shall preside over actions or motions to modify or amend the
39(b) If the court has approved a stipulated judgment pursuant to
40subdivision (b) of Section 850, the department shall submit to the
P28 1court the assessments and any recommended corrective actions
2the department issues pursuant to Section 10733.8 of the Water
3Code. The court, after notice and hearing, shall determine whether
4to amend the judgment or adopt the department’s recommended
(a) Before the court issues a final judgment in the
7comprehensive adjudication, a party may file a motion for an order
8determining that the judgment is consistent with groundwater
9sustainability, as established by the Sustainable Groundwater
11(b) For any basin required to develop a
12sustainability plan under the Sustainable Groundwater Management
13Act, the department shall provide a report to the court evaluating
14if the judgment is consistent with groundwater sustainability, as
15established by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
16(c) If the court determines that the judgment will achieve
17groundwater sustainability for the basin, as established by the
18Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the judgment shall be
19considered an alternative to a groundwater sustainability plan and
20shall be deemed to satisfy the objectives of the Sustainable
21Groundwater Management Act.
22(d) The court shall have sole jurisdiction to determine if the
23judgment complies with the Sustainable Groundwater Management
25(e) The court may consider a motion made pursuant to
26subdivision (a) for a proposed judgment before the court enters
28(f) For purposes of this section, “judgment” means a judgment,
29settlement, or other final order concluding proceedings in the
30comprehensive adjudication in the superior court.
31(g) Nothing in this section is intended to
undermine the goals
32and outcomes of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
33to the extent water rights, as determined by the court, are not
The court may appoint a groundwater sustainability agency
36to serve as the watermaster in any judgment entered in a
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
39Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
40the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
P29 1district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
2infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
3for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
4the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
5the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California