SB 226, as amended, Pavley. Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: groundwater rights.
Existing law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, requires all groundwater basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins by the Department of Water Resources that are designated as basins subject to critical conditions of overdraft to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2020, and requires all other groundwater basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins to be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans by January 31, 2022, except as specified.
Existing law specifies the jurisdiction of the courts. Under existing law, courts may adjudicate rights to produce groundwater and exercise other powers relating to the supervision of a groundwater basin.
This bill would
begin delete provideend delete that it establishes a timely method for determining rights to begin delete groundwater in furtherance of the objectives ofend delete the begin delete act.end delete This bill would require the process to be available to any court of competent jurisdiction. begin delete This end deletebill
would require the boundaries of a basin to be as identified in Bulletin 118, unless other basin boundaries are established, as specified.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Unless the context otherwise requires, the following
4definitions govern the construction of this part:
5(a) “Adjudication action” means an action filed in the superior
6or federal district court to determine the rights to extract
7groundwater from a basin or store water within a basin, including,
8but not limited to, actions to quiet title respecting rights to extract
9or store groundwater or an action brought to impose a physical
10solution on a basin.
11(b) “Basin” means a groundwater basin or subbasin identified
12and defined in Bulletin 118 or as modified pursuant to Chapter 3
13(commencing with Section 10722).
14(c) “Bulletin 118” means the department’s report entitled
15 “California’s Groundwater: Bulletin 118” updated in 2003, as it
16may be subsequently updated or revised in accordance with Section
18(d) “Coordination agreement” means a legal agreement adopted
19between two or more groundwater sustainability agencies that
20provides the basis for coordinating multiple agencies or
21groundwater sustainability plans within a basin pursuant to this
P3 1(e) “De minimis extractor” means a person who extracts, for
2domestic purposes, two acre-feet or less per year.
6 “Governing body” means the legislative body of a
7groundwater sustainability agency.
9 “Groundwater” means water beneath the surface of the earth
10within the zone below the water table in which the soil is
11completely saturated with water, but does not include water that
12flows in known and definite channels.
14 “Groundwater extraction facility” means a device or method
15for extracting groundwater from within a basin.
17 “Groundwater recharge” means the augmentation of
18groundwater, by natural or artificial means.
20 “Groundwater sustainability agency” means one or more
21local agencies that implement the provisions of this part. For
22purposes of imposing fees pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing
23with Section 10730) or taking action to enforce a groundwater
24sustainability plan, “groundwater sustainability agency” also means
25each local agency comprising the groundwater sustainability
26agency if the plan authorizes separate agency action.
28 “Groundwater sustainability plan” or “plan” means a plan
29of a groundwater sustainability agency proposed or adopted
30pursuant to this part.
32 “Groundwater sustainability program” means a coordinated
33and ongoing activity undertaken to benefit a basin, pursuant to a
34groundwater sustainability plan.
36 “Local agency” means a local public agency that has water
37supply, water management, or land use responsibilities within a
P4 1 “Operator” means a person operating a groundwater
2extraction facility. The owner of a groundwater extraction facility
3shall be conclusively presumed to be the operator unless a
4satisfactory showing is made to the governing body of the
5groundwater sustainability agency that the groundwater extraction
6facility actually is operated by some other person.
8 “Owner” means a person owning a groundwater extraction
9facility or an interest in a groundwater extraction facility other
10than a lien to secure the payment of a debt or other obligation.
12 “Personal information” has the same meaning as defined in
13Section 1798.3 of the Civil Code.
15 “Planning and implementation horizon” means a 50-year
16time period over which a groundwater sustainability agency
17determines that plans and measures will be implemented in a basin
18to ensure that the basin is operated within its sustainable yield.
20 “Public water system” has the same meaning as defined in
21Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
23 “Recharge area” means the area that supplies water to an
24aquifer in a groundwater basin.
26 “Sustainability goal” means the existence and
27implementation of one or more groundwater sustainability plans
28that achieve sustainable groundwater management by identifying
29and causing the implementation of measures targeted to ensure
30that the applicable basin is operated within its sustainable yield.
32 “Sustainable groundwater management” means the
33management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be
34maintained during the planning and implementation horizon
35without causing undesirable results.
37 “Sustainable yield” means the maximum quantity of water,
38calculated over a base period representative of long-term conditions
39in the basin and including any temporary surplus, that can be
P5 1withdrawn annually from a groundwater supply without causing
2an undesirable result.
4 “Undesirable result” means one or more of the
5effects caused by groundwater conditions occurring throughout
7(1) Chronic lowering of groundwater levels indicating a
8significant and unreasonable depletion of supply if continued over
9the planning and implementation horizon. Overdraft during a period
10of drought is not sufficient to establish a chronic lowering of
11groundwater levels if extractions and recharge are managed as
12necessary to ensure that reductions in groundwater levels or storage
13during a period of drought are offset by increases in groundwater
14levels or storage during other periods.
15(2) Significant and unreasonable reduction of groundwater
17(3) Significant and unreasonable seawater intrusion.
18(4) Significant and unreasonable degraded water quality,
19including the migration of contaminant plumes that impair water
21(5) Significant and unreasonable land subsidence that
22substantially interferes with surface land uses.
23(6) Depletions of interconnected surface water that have
24significant and unreasonable adverse impacts on beneficial uses
25of the surface water.
27 “Water budget” means an accounting of the total
28groundwater and surface water entering and leaving a basin
29including the changes in the amount of water stored.
31 “Watermaster” means a watermaster appointed by a court
32or pursuant to other law.
34 “Water year” means the period from October 1 through
35the following September 30, inclusive.
37 “Wellhead protection area” means the surface and
38subsurface area surrounding a water well or well field that supplies
39a public water system through which contaminants are reasonably
40likely to migrate toward the water well or well field.
(a) The board, after notice and a public hearing, may
3adopt an interim plan for a probationary basin.
4(b) The interim plan shall include all of the following:
5(1) Identification of the actions that are necessary to correct a
6condition of long-term overdraft or a condition where groundwater
7extractions result in significant depletions of interconnected surface
8waters, including recommendations for appropriate action by any
10(2) A time schedule for the actions to be taken.
11(3) A description of the monitoring to be undertaken to
12determine effectiveness of the plan.
13(c) The interim plan may include the following:
14(1) Restrictions on groundwater extraction.
15(2) A physical solution.
16(3) Principles and guidelines for the administration of rights to
17surface waters that are connected to the basin.
18(d) Except as provided in subdivision (e), the interim plan shall
19be consistent with water right priorities, subject to Section 2 of
20Article X of the California Constitution.
21(e) The board shall include in its interim plan a groundwater
22sustainability plan, or any element of a plan, that the board finds
23complies with the sustainability goal for that portion of the basin
24or would help meet the sustainability goal for the basin. Where,
25in the judgment of the board, an adjudication action can be relied
26on as part of the interim plan, either throughout the basin or in an
27area within the basin, the board may rely on, or incorporate
28elements of, that adjudication into the interim plan adopted by the
30(f) In carrying out activities that may affect the probationary
31basin, state entities shall comply with an interim plan adopted by
32the board pursuant to this section unless otherwise directed or
33authorized by statute and the state entity shall indicate to the board
34in writing the authority for not complying with the interim plan.
35(g) (1) After the board adopts an interim plan under this section,
36the board shall determine if a groundwater sustainability plan or
37an adjudication action is adequate to eliminate the condition of
38long-term overdraft or condition where groundwater extractions
39result in significant depletions of interconnected surface waters,
40upon petition of either of the following:
P7 1(A) A groundwater sustainability agency that has adopted a
2groundwater sustainability plan for the probationary basin or a
4(B) A person authorized to file the petition by a judicial order
5or decree entered in an adjudication action in the probationary
7(2) The board shall act on a petition filed pursuant to paragraph
8(1) within 90 days after the petition is complete. If the board, in
9consultation with the department, determines that the groundwater
10sustainability plan or adjudication action is adequate, the board
11shall rescind the interim plan adopted by the board for the
12probationary basin, except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4).
13(3) Upon request of the petitioner, the board may amend an
14interim plan adopted under this section to eliminate portions of
15the interim plan, while allowing other portions of the interim plan
16to continue in effect.
17(4) The board may decline to rescind an interim plan adopted
18pursuant to this section if the board determines that the petitioner
19has not provided adequate assurances that the groundwater
20sustainability plan or judicial order or decree will be implemented.
21(5) This subdivision is not a limitation on the authority of the
22board to stay its proceedings under this section or to rescind or
23amend an interim plan adopted pursuant to this section based on
24the progress made by a groundwater sustainability agency or in
begin delete action,end delete even if the board cannot make a determination
27of adequacy in accordance with paragraph (1).
28(h) Before January 1, 2025, the state board shall not establish
29an interim plan under this section to remedy a condition where the
30groundwater extractions result in significant depletions of
31interconnected surface waters.
32(i) The board’s authority to adopt an interim plan under this
33section does not alter the law establishing water rights priorities
34or any other authority of the board.
Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 10737) is added
37to Part 2.74 of Division 6 of the Water Code, to read:
begin deleteThis end delete
6chapter establishes a timely method for
7determining rights to groundwater in furtherance of the objectives
8of this part.
9(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to subsequently amend this
10chapter to address all of the following:
11(1) Basin boundaries pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with
13(2) Notice and service.end delete
14(3) Provision of expert information and science.end delete
15(4) Fairness and balance under the law.end delete
16(5) Consistency with Winters v. United States (207 U.S. 564
17(1908)), the McCarran Amendment (codified at 43 U.S.C. Sec.
18666), and any other federal laws regarding the determination of
19federal or tribal water rights, as applicable.
The process defined in this chapter shall be available
31to any court of competent jurisdiction.
Unless other basin boundaries are established pursuant
7to Section 10722.2 or subdivision (b) of Section 12924, the
8boundaries of a basin shall be as identified in Bulletin 118.
Text--Pages 5, 8, and 11.
Corrected 4-9-15—See last page. 98