BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    





                             SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
                         Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Chair
                             2015-2016  Regular Session


          AB 1390 (Alejo)
          Version: July 6, 2015
          Hearing Date: July 14, 2015
          Fiscal: Yes
          Urgency: No
          TH   


                                        SUBJECT
                                           
                              Groundwater: Adjudication

                                      DESCRIPTION  

          This bill would establish special procedures for comprehensive  
          adjudication actions filed in superior court to determine the  
          rights to extract groundwater from a basin.  Specifically, this  
          bill would, among other things:
           require certain defendants to be named in an adjudication  
            action;
           require the complaint to be served and published in a  
            specified manner;
           authorize specified entities to intervene in an action;
           provide a draft notice and form answer that substitutes for  
            the summons otherwise required in civil actions;
           limit the ability of the parties to disqualify judges;
           specify the initial groundwater basin boundaries;
           require parties to make specified initial disclosures;
           require parties to disclose specified information about expert  
            witnesses;
           authorize the submission of written testimony in lieu of live  
            testimony;
           authorize the appointment of a special master to report on  
            specified legal and factual issues;
           authorize the stay of an adjudication for up to one year,  
            subject to renewal, to allow the parties to develop a  
            groundwater sustainability plan; and
           authorize the court to determine if a final judgment is  
            consistent with the sustainability goal of the Sustainable  
            Groundwater Management Act.








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                                      BACKGROUND  

          Groundwater adjudications -- civil cases to determine rights to  
          groundwater in a particular area -- are among the lengthiest  
          court proceedings in California.  These cases typically involve  
          hundreds if not thousands of parties, often with conflicting  
          claims over the right to extract groundwater.  According to one  
          commenter:

            There is a joke among lawyers that working on one groundwater  
            adjudication can make your career.  The laborious court  
            process settles fights over rights to the state's increasingly  
            overtapped aquifers and sets out long-term management plans  
            for them.  And while they are crucial to resolving water  
            rights disputes, getting there is not easy.

            Case in point is an adjudication of the Antelope Valley  
            groundwater basin, which has been sitting in a trial court for  
            15 years.  The case is enormous, involving a multitude of  
            public agencies and landowners large and small who hold  
            groundwater pumping rights.  Parties include cities, farmers,  
            the federal government, and a class of 85,000 property owners  
            who hold groundwater rights but who have never pumped water.   
            There are 9,404 docket entries in the case so far and more  
            than 100 lawyers listed on the case . . .

            There are several reasons these cases take so long, and  
            attorneys agree some parts of the process could be improved to  
            speed them up.  Finding a way to expedite the service process  
            is one.  Identifying all the parties and getting them  
            personally served is "a very lengthy and expensive and not  
            very reliable process," said Thomas S. Bunn, with Lagerlof,  
            Senecal, Gosney & Kruse LLP, who is involved in the Antelope  
            Valley adjudication.  He said it took six years to serve the  
            parties in that case.

            Discovery is also a real headache because a lot of time is  
            spent trying to figure out the basic information in the case -  
            who is pumping, how much they are pumping, how much water they  
            are claiming a right to and how they use the water . . .  
            Requiring litigants to provide that information up front could  
            cut a big chunk off time and expense . . . (Fiona Smith, State  
            Looking to Speed Groundwater Lawsuits, Daily Journal (Oct. 29,  
            2014).)







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          This bill would create special procedures in adjudication  
          actions for comprehensively determining rights to extract  
          groundwater in a basin.  This bill states that the special  
          procedures established to determine groundwater rights in such  
          adjudications shall not alter groundwater rights or the law  
          concerning those rights.  The procedures established for  
          comprehensive adjudications in this bill would operate  
          separately from the development of a groundwater sustainability  
          plan under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, but would  
          authorize a court to stay an adjudication to facilitate the  
          development of a plan under that act.

                                CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW
           
           Existing case law  recognizes a right under the common law to  
          adjudicate disputes between overlying landowners concerning  
          water for use on the land in cases where the supply is  
          insufficient for all.  Such disputes between landowners with an  
          equal right to water are to be settled by giving to each a fair  
          and just proportion.  (Katz v. Walkinshaw, 141 Cal. 116, 136  
          (Cal. 1903).)
           Existing law  , the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act,  
          requires all groundwater basins designated as basins subject to  
          critical conditions of overdraft to be managed under a  
          groundwater sustainability plan by January 31, 2020, and  
          requires all other groundwater basins designated as high- or  
          medium-priority basins by the Department of Water Resources to  
          be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan by January  
          31, 2022, except as specified.  (Wat. Code Sec. 10720 et seq.)

           Existing law  defines "undesirable result" to mean one or more of  
          the following effects caused by groundwater conditions occurring  
          throughout a groundwater basin:
           chronic lowering of groundwater levels indicating a  
            significant and unreasonable depletion of supply if continued  
            over the planning and implementation horizon, as specified;
           significant and unreasonable reduction of groundwater storage;
           significant and unreasonable seawater intrusion;
           significant and unreasonable degraded water quality, including  
            the migration of contaminant plumes that impair water  
            supplies;
           significant and unreasonable land subsidence that  
            substantially interferes with surface land uses; or
           depletions of interconnected surface water that have  







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            significant and unreasonable adverse impacts on beneficial  
            uses of the surface water. (Wat. Code Sec. 10721(w).)

           This bill  establishes special procedures to comprehensively  
          determine rights to extract groundwater in a basin, whether  
          based on appropriation, overlying right, or other basis of  
          right.  These procedures apply to an Indian tribe and the  
          federal government, to the extent authorized by federal law.   
          These procedures shall not alter groundwater rights or the law  
          concerning groundwater rights.

           This bill  states that other provisions in the Code of Civil  
          Procedure apply to procedures in a comprehensive adjudication to  
          the extent they do not conflict with the provisions of this  
          bill.

           This bill  states that a court's final judgment in a  
          comprehensive adjudication, as to the right to groundwater of  
          each party, may declare the priority, amount, purposes of use,  
          extraction location, and place of use of the water.

           This bill  specifies that a complaint in a comprehensive  
          adjudication shall name all of the following persons as  
          defendants:
           all general or special districts managing or replenishing  
            groundwater resources in the basin in whole or in part;
           the operator of a public water system that uses groundwater  
            from the basin to supply water service; and
           the operator of a state small water system that uses  
            groundwater from the basin to supply water service.

           This bill  requires, within 30 days of filing the complaint, the  
          plaintiff to serve the complaint on all named defendants and all  
          cities and counties that provide water service and overlie the  
          basin in whole or in part.  Notice of the complaint shall also  
          be published once a week for two successive weeks.

           This bill requires a court to allow a county or city identified  
          in the complaint, or a person holding fee simple ownership in a  
          parcel in the basin, to intervene in the adjudication.

           This bill  requires, after determining that the action should  
          proceed to comprehensively determine rights to extract  
          groundwater within the basin, that the court shall issue an  
          order authorizing service of notice of the complaint to  







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          landowners.

           This bill  provides a draft notice summarizing the causes of  
          action alleged in the complaint and the relief sought, as well  
          as a draft form answer to respond to the complaint, that parties  
          must lodge with the court after it issues an order authorizing  
          service of notice of the complaint to landowners.

           This bill  provides, following court approval, that the tax  
          collector or tax collectors of the county or counties in which  
          the basin to be adjudicated lies shall include the  
          court-approved notice and form answer with the next annual  
          property tax bill sent to each landowner.

           This bill requires the court-approved notice to include a  
          statement advising anyone claiming the right to use groundwater  
          within the basin to file an answer with the court within 30 days  
          after service by mail.

           This bill  additionally requires service by personal delivery or  
          by mail on any known person that pumps groundwater that would  
          not otherwise be served, as well as on named parties in the  
          complaint.

           This bill  provides that on the 60th day following completion of  
          the mailing and the fulfillment of other specified service  
          provisions, these service provisions shall be deemed 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.

           This bill  provides that failure to join the United States or an  
          Indian tribe to a comprehensive adjudication shall not deprive  
          the court of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action.

           This bill  limits each side to moving only once for the  
          disqualification of a judge hearing the comprehensive  
          adjudication action.

           This bill  provides that a comprehensive adjudication shall be  
          presumed to be a complex case within the meaning provided in  
          Rule 3.400 of Title 3 of the California Rules of Court.

           This bill  provides that the initial basin boundaries for a  







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          comprehensive adjudication shall be the basin boundaries  
          identified in the Department of Water Resources' report entitled  
          "California's Groundwater: Bulletin 118."

           This bill  requires, except as otherwise stipulated or ordered by  
          the court, and without awaiting a discovery request, all parties  
          to provide to the other parties, initial disclosures containing,  
          among other things:
           the name and contact information of each party;
           the quantity of any groundwater extraction from the basin by  
            the party during each of the 10 calendar years immediately  
            preceding the filing of the complaint;
           the claimed right and beneficial purpose of any use of  
            groundwater;
           the identification of all surface water rights and contracts  
            that the party claims provides the basis for its water right  
            claims in the comprehensive adjudication; and
           the quantity of any replenishment of water to the basin that  
            augmented the basin's native water supply, resulting from the  
            intentional storage of imported or non-native water in the  
            basin, managed recharge of surface water, or return flows  
            resulting from the use of imported water or non-native water  
            on lands overlying the basin by the party during each of the  
            10 calendar years immediately preceding the filing of the  
            complaint.

           This bill  states that a party shall make its initial disclosures  
          based on the information then reasonably available to it, and  
          that a party is not excused from making its disclosures because  
          it has not fully investigated the case or because it challenges  
          the sufficiency of another party's disclosures or because  
          another party has not made its disclosures.

           This bill  states that in addition to the other required  
          disclosures, a party shall disclose to the other parties the  
          identity of any expert witness it may use at trial to present  
          evidence.

           This bill  provides that, unless otherwise stipulated or ordered  
          by the court and except as provided, the disclosures pertaining  
          to expert witnesses shall be accompanied by a written report,  
          prepared and signed by the expert witness, if the expert witness  
          is retained or specially employed to provide expert testimony in  
          the case or whose duties as the party's employee regularly  
          involve giving expert testimony.







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           This bill  would specify that the report shall contain all of the  
          following:
           a complete statement of all opinions the expert witness will  
            express and the basis and reasons for them;
           the facts or data considered by the expert witness in forming  
            his or her opinions;
           any exhibits that will be used to summarize or support the  
            opinions of the expert witness;
           the expert witness' qualifications, including a list of all  
            publications authored in the previous 10 years;
           a list of all other cases in which, during the previous five  
            years, the expert witness testified as an expert at trial or  
            by deposition; and
           a statement of the compensation to be paid to the expert  
            witness for testimony in the case.

           This bill  states that a court in a comprehensive adjudication  
          may require the parties to submit written testimony of relevant  
          witnesses in the forms of affidavits or declarations under  
          penalty of perjury in lieu of presenting live testimony.

           This bill  authorizes the court to appoint a special master to  
          report on legal and factual issues designated under a specific  
          order, and sets the qualifications for individuals who may be  
          selected as special masters.  This bill also specifies certain  
          duties that may be performed by special masters.

           This bill  authorizes the court to stay a comprehensive  
          adjudication for a period of up to one year, subject to renewal  
          in the court's discretion upon a showing of good cause, in order  
          to facilitate, among other things, the timely development of a  
          groundwater sustainability plan under the Sustainable  
          Groundwater Management Act that may serve as the basis of a  
          stipulated judgment setting forth a physical solution for  
          management of the basin.  This bill states that the total time  
          period a comprehensive adjudication may be stayed shall not  
          exceed 5 years.

           This bill  provides that before the court issues a final judgment  
          in a comprehensive adjudication, a party may file a motion for  
          an order determining that the judgment is consistent with the  
          sustainability goal of the Sustainable Groundwater Management  
          Act.  If the court determines that the judgment will achieve the  
          sustainability goal for the basin established by the Sustainable  







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          Groundwater Management Act, this bill provides that the judgment  
          shall be considered an alternative to a groundwater  
          sustainability plan and shall be deemed to satisfy the  
          objectives of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

           This bill  would make legislative findings and declarations  
          related to groundwater adjudications.







                                        COMMENT
           
           1.Stated need for the bill  

          The author writes:

            AB 1390 will streamline the process as to how a court  
            determines water rights within a groundwater basin.

            Last year the California legislature passed and the Governor  
            signed into law comprehensive groundwater management  
            legislation.  One of the issues left undone in the package of  
            the three groundwater bills was taking steps to improve our  
            groundwater adjudication system.  The Governor in his signing  
            message indicated interest in streamlining the adjudication  
            process.  Currently this process is longer and less efficient  
            than it could be if certain procedural rules are established.

            AB 1390 will:
                 Clarify the court procedures applicable to comprehensive  
               groundwater adjudications in order to reduce the time and  
               improve the efficiency of these actions.  This does not  
               mean groundwater adjudications will be fast and simple, but  
               that the process will be significantly more efficient.
                 Encourage early settlement and avoid unduly disrupting  
               local groundwater planning efforts.
                 Three of the most significant improvements are: 1) a  
               preliminary hearing to ensure that a comprehensive  
               adjudication of groundwater rights is appropriate; 2) clear  
               rules on proper service of process to all overlying  
               landowners; and 3) early disclosures of groundwater use.







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                 Other improvements address designation of adjudication  
               actions as complex, phasing of the litigation, efficient  
               identification of groundwater basin boundaries, assistance  
               to the court of a special master, among other changes.

            AB 1390 will make our groundwater rights adjudication system  
            more efficient.  The legislation will be focused on procedural  
            matters and not address any substantive principles of water  
            law or local groundwater planning under the Sustainable  
            Groundwater Management Act.

           1.Impact on Groundwater Adjudications  

          This bill would introduce a number of new procedures to common  
          law groundwater adjudications that would likely improve their  
          speed and efficiency.  Chief among these new procedures are  
          requirements that direct all parties to disclose through  
          discovery specific limited information about their claims in a  
          groundwater adjudication, as well as information about expert  
          witnesses that will provide testimony on their behalf, without  
          waiting for a discovery order from the court.  As noted in the  
          Background above, the discovery process in groundwater  
          adjudications leads to significant delays as parties wait for  
          each other to submit information about their claimed rights to  
          groundwater. The processes implemented by this bill, analogous  
          to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, would  
          require all parties to provide basic information about their  
          claimed interest in the adjudication and about the expert  
          witnesses they plan to have testify on their behalf very early  
          in the proceedings.  The provision of this information at the  
          beginning stages of an adjudication will allow the court and the  
          parties to more quickly frame the issues to be addressed, and  
          should reduce delays associated with parties strategically  
          waiting to produce discoverable evidence.

          Aside from other procedural changes, such as designating initial  
          basin boundaries, and authorizing the appointment of special  
          masters, this bill would also provide that Section 389 of the  
          Code of Civil Procedure shall not apply to any failure to join  
          an Indian tribe or the United States to a groundwater  
          adjudication.  Section 389 provides that a person who is subject  
          to service of process and whose joinder will not deprive the  
          court of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action  
          shall be joined as a party in the action if: (1) in his absence  
          complete relief cannot be accorded among those already parties;  







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          or (2) he claims an interest relating to the subject of the  
          action and is so situated that the disposition of the action in  
          his absence may (i) as a practical matter impair or impede his  
          ability to protect that interest or (ii) leave any of the  
          persons already parties subject to a substantial risk of  
          incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent  
          obligations by reason of his claimed interest.  If such a person  
          cannot be made a party, Section 389 empowers the court to  
          dismiss the action if it determines the non-joined party is  
          indispensable to resolution of the matter.  In California,  
          groundwater basins are shared by a multitude of people and  
          entities, including federally recognized Indian tribes and  
          instrumentalities of the United States.  Since these entities  
          might have a claim or interest in a groundwater basin, and since  
          California may, in some instances, be unable to compel them to  
          become a party in a groundwater adjudication, this provision of  
          the bill ensures that the non-joinder of those parties would not  
          result in the dismissal of the adjudication.

          The California Farm Bureau Federation, sponsor, writes:

            The goal of AB 1390 is to address the time sinks that occur in  
            current groundwater adjudications by clarifying the processes  
            that must be followed.  Particular challenges exist in  
            groundwater adjudications including determination of venue,  
            identification of basin boundaries, disqualification of  
            judges, notice and service of parties, discovery, and [the]  
            ability of parties to reach settlement.  This bill would  
            reform procedural rules to improve the functioning of each of  
            those areas by providing tools to the court and claimants to  
            move more efficiently through the adjudication process, such  
            as trial phasing, deadlines for disclosures of water usage and  
            submission of written testimony and expert disclosures.  All  
            of these reforms will significantly reduce costs associated  
            with the courts, claimants, and local groundwater management  
            entities.
           2.Impact to Due Process Rights  

          One of the procedural efficiencies proposed in this bill is to  
          streamline the process of notifying affected parties of a  
          groundwater adjudication.  Under this bill, notice of an action  
          calling for the comprehensive adjudication of a groundwater  
          basin would be accomplished by including a copy of the  
          complaint, along with a court approved form answer, with the  
          annual property tax bill mailed to each overlying landowner.   







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          Under this bill's streamlined notification procedure, anyone  
          receiving notice via their tax bill that claims a right to use  
          groundwater within the basin would be required to file an answer  
          with the court no later than 30 days after receiving the notice.  
                                                                        While efficient, this proposal for streamlining the process of  
          notifying landowners of a pending adjudication may not be  
          sufficient to meet constitutional due process requirements.

          According to the United States Supreme Court, "[a]n elementary  
          and fundamental requirement of due process in any proceeding  
          which is to be accorded finality is notice reasonably  
          calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise interested  
          parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an  
          opportunity to present their objections.  The notice must be of  
          such nature as reasonably to convey the required information,  
          and it must afford a reasonable time for those interested to  
          make their appearance." (Mullane v. Cent. Hanover Bank & Trust  
          Co. (1950) 339 U.S. 306, 314 [internal citations omitted].)   
          "[W]hen notice is a person's due, process which is a mere  
          gesture is not due process. The means employed must be such as  
          one desirous of actually informing the absentee might reasonably  
          adopt to accomplish it."  (Id. at 315.)

          Under existing law, notice of an adjudication is generally  
          provided by personal service of a summons and a copy of the  
          complaint to each party in the action.  (Code Civ. Proc. Sec.  
          415.10.)  Personal service has historically been the preferred  
          method of providing parties with notice of suit because it is  
          best calculated to draw attention to the importance of the  
          information being conveyed, and is highly likely to come into  
          the possession of the intended recipient.  Where a court  
          determines that a party to be served cannot with reasonable  
          diligence be served by personal service or in another manner  
          specified in the Code of Civil Procedure, existing law empowers  
          the court to order service by other means, including by  
          publication.  (Code Civ. Proc. Sec. 415.10.) Service by other  
          methods like publication is useful in giving unknown parties  
          notice of a proceeding which they may have an interest in, but  
          it is not nearly as effective as personal service for providing  
          actual notice.  (See Mullane v. Cent. Hanover Bank & Trust Co.,  
          339 U.S. 306.)

          The Rural County Representatives of California and the  
          California State Association of Counties, in opposition, have  
          questioned whether notification of an action via inserts  







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          enclosed with a property tax bill "comports with due process of  
          law."  They state:

            The assessment roll need not - and often does not - include  
            all current fee owners of real property.  For example, the tax  
            roll often lags recorded changes of ownership, sometimes by  
            over a year.  Further, the tax roll may simply list "unknown  
            owners" if the identity of the owner is not known to the  
            assessor.  Mailing notice to the address on the tax roll  
            (especially in the tax bill where people do not commonly look  
            for litigation summons) may not comply with the due process  
            standards employed by California courts . . . Additionally,  
            many landowners do not receive a property tax bill as they pay  
            their property taxes via an impound account.  Due process  
            issues may also arise if the tax bill containing the notice is  
            returned unclaimed.

          Further, landowners who set aside their annual property tax  
          bill, knowing payment is not required until some weeks or months  
          later, or knowing that it will be automatically paid by their  
          mortgage servicer, may inadvertently miss the 30 day window  
          established by this bill for filing a response to the enclosed  
          complaint.

          Given the significant due process problems that could arise by  
          serving notice of a groundwater adjudication through a property  
          owner's annual tax bill, the Committee may wish to explore other  
          alternatives to streamlining the process for serving notice.   
          Potential amendments to this part of the bill would include,  
          instead of providing notice through annual tax bills,  
          authorizing a waiver of personal service through a mechanism  
          analogous to Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or  
          creating a notice procedure that incorporates the process  
          established for statutory stream adjudications in Water Code  
          Section 2527.

             Suggested Amendments  :
                 strike provisions related to service of landowners  
               through annual property tax bills;
                 authorize waiver of personal service; and
                 authorize service by a combination of methods, including  
               by certified mail, that together are reasonably calculated  
               to provide actual notice of an adjudication.

           1.Impact to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act  







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          In a common law adjudication, groundwater basins are managed  
          according to the concept of "safe yield," and overlying  
          appropriators are limited when total basin groundwater  
          extraction exceeds the basin's safe yield, leading to basin  
          overdraft.  The safe yield of a groundwater basin is "the  
          maximum amount of water that could be extracted annually, year  
          after year, without eventually depleting the underground basin.   
          Safe yield is generally calculated as the net of inflows less  
          subsurface and surface outflows." (City of Santa Maria v. Adam (  
          2012), 211 Cal.App.4th 266, 279.)

          The management goal of achieving a safe yield in a common law  
          groundwater adjudication differs from that in the Sustainable  
          Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which instead seeks to  
          achieve a "sustainable yield."  A sustainable yield is one in  
          which the maximum quantity of water, calculated over a base  
          period representative of long-term conditions in the basin and  
          including any temporary surplus, that can be withdrawn annually  
          from a groundwater supply without causing an undesirable result.  
           (Wat. Code Sec. 10721(v).)  In general, an undesirable result  
          under SGMA is one that results in any of the following: the  
          chronic lowering of groundwater levels; significant and  
          unreasonable reduction of groundwater storage; significant and  
          unreasonable seawater intrusion; significant and unreasonable  
          degraded water quality; significant and unreasonable land  
          subsidence that substantially interferes with surface land uses;  
          or depletions of interconnected surface water that have  
          significant and unreasonable adverse impacts on beneficial uses  
          of surface water.  (Wat. Code Sec. 10721(w).)

          Since the concept of "safe yield" used in groundwater  
          adjudications could allow parties to extract more groundwater  
          than would be permitted under a groundwater management plan  
          crafted under SGMA, it is possible that improving the speed and  
          efficiency of groundwater adjudications could lead parties not  
          inclined to participate in the SGMA process to use adjudications  
          as a way to circumvent that process.  Clean Water Action, in  
          opposition, states:

            We need to ensure that adjudications, even expedited ones, do  
            not delay implementation of SGMA's goal of sustainable  
            management of groundwater.  [This] bill needs to allow for  
            State Water Board, local groundwater sustainability agency  
            (GSA), Department of Water Resources, and Department of Fish  







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            and Wildlife intervention, particularly when a medium- or  
            high-priority basin, which is required to implement a  
            groundwater sustainability plan (GSP), is adjudicated.  This  
            will ensure that there is proper communication and  
            coordination between all parties to the adjudication and those  
            who would be consulted or in charge of a GSP.  In addition, it  
            assures that beneficial uses in a basin that are not directly  
            represented in the adjudication process -- for instance  
            beneficial uses in groundwater-dependent streams -- will have  
            the protection of the appropriate regulatory agency.  Finally,  
            if a GSP needs to be created, even an interim one by the State  
            Board, all parties will have participated in proper  
            information sharing, expediting implementation of a GSP.

            Adjudications should not be used as an avenue to subvert [the]  
            goals and requirements of SGMA.  Safeguards need to be created  
            to prevent parties from using an adjudication solely to avoid  
            the creation of a GSP.

          Similarly, sections of this bill that authorize a court to  
          determine that a final judgment issued in a comprehensive  
          adjudication is consistent with the sustainability goal of the  
          Sustainable Groundwater Management Act could encourage parties  
          to redirect resources from the SGMA planning process to an  
          adjudication.  The Sierra Club of California, in opposition,  
          states:

            The effect of this provision to supersede existing planning  
            efforts by GSAs and the public would be a lack of adequate  
            environmental input in the decision making process.  The  
            resulting judicial order that would serve as a GSP alternative  
            would be made by a judge or through stipulated judgments by  
            parties, neither guaranteeing that environmental concerns are  
            considered.  AB 1390 has no mandatory requirement that a party  
            with technical expertise on water supply and environmental  
            needs be included to assist with the sustainability  
            determination.  It is likely that if water supply in a future  
            adjudication is so scarce, that all parties to the case would  
            likely be adverse to curtailment of over pumping of  
            groundwater likely required by SGMA's sustainability goals.   
            This could lead to a situation where, without proper  
            oversight, environmental concerns will not be adequately  
            addressed.

           2.Other Stakeholder Concerns







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          Page 15 of ? 

           
          Community Water Center states, "[w]hile we appreciate the  
          author's previous and ongoing work to address drinking water  
          barriers for small communities and support the intent of the  
          bill, the proposed streamlined adjudication process outlined in  
          AB 1390 does not adequately protect the interests of  
          underrepresented and disadvantaged communities."  To better  
          represent these communities and enhance their ability to  
          participate in adjudications under this bill, these stakeholders  
          suggest that the bill be amended to allow for the awarding of  
          attorney's fees and costs to those beneficial users who can  
          prove significant financial hardship, and to require notices  
          related to an adjudication to be translated in any and all  
          languages spoken by 10 percent or more of the population  
          residing in a basin, as well as any other languages as  
          appropriate.

          One individual, writing in opposition, states "[a] bill  
          streamlining litigation of groundwater rights must be simple to  
          implement, consistent with current procedural laws, retain the  
          scientific and legal integrity necessary to evaluate a  
          groundwater basin . . . and protect the rights of those who  
          depend on groundwater.  AB 1390 is far too complicated, is  
          inconsistent with current procedural laws, eliminates meaningful  
          and unbiased scientific review of a groundwater basin, fails to  
          equally protect the rights of all classes of groundwater users,  
          and is inconsistent with groundwater case law and statutes."


           Support  :  Agricultural Council of California; Almond Hullers and  
          Processors Association; Association of California Egg Farmers;  
          California Association of Wheat Growers; California Bean  
          Shippers Association; California Cattlemen's Association;  
          California Chamber of Commerce; California Citrus Mutual;  
          California Cotton Ginners Association; California Cotton  
          Grower's Association; California Dairies Inc.; California Fresh  
          Fruit Association; California Grain and Feed Association;  
          California Pear Growers Association; California Seed  
          Association; California Tomato Growers Association; Pacific Egg  
          and Poultry Association; Western Agricultural Processors  
          Association; Western Growers Association

           Opposition  :  California League of Conservation Voters;  
          California State Association of Counties; Clean Water Action;  
          Community Water Center; Rural County Representatives of  







          AB 1390 (Alejo)
          Page 16 of ? 

          California; Sierra Club of California; one individual

                                        HISTORY
           
           Source  :  California Farm Bureau Federation

           Related Pending Legislation  :  SB 226 (Pavley, 2015) would  
          establish special procedures for courts use in determining  
          rights to groundwater under the Sustainable Groundwater  
          Management Act (SGMA). This bill would specify procedures for,  
          among other things, making determinations of rights to  
          groundwater under SGMA, for serving notice to unknown parties,  
          for providing initial disclosure of discoverable information,  
          including information pertaining to expert witnesses, and for  
          intervention by the Department of Water Resources and the  
          Department of Fish and Wildlife.  This bill is pending in the  
          Assembly Judiciary Committee.

           Prior Legislation  :  None Known

           Prior Vote  :

          Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee (Ayes 8, Noes 0)
          Assembly Floor (Ayes 76, Noes 0)
          Assembly Appropriations Committee (Ayes 17, Noes 0)
          Assembly Judiciary Committee (Ayes 10, Noes 0)
          Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee (Ayes 14, Noes 0)

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