as amended, Pavley. Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: groundwater
begin delete rights.end delete
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.end delete
This bill would
begin delete find and declare that it establishes a timely and comprehensive method for determining rights to groundwater.end delete The bill would provide that a court shall use the Code of Civil Procedure for begin delete determining rights to groundwater,end delete except as provided by the special procedures established in the bill. begin delete This bill would require the process for determining rights to groundwater to be available to any court of competent jurisdiction. The bill would provide that it applies to Indian tribes and the federal government. The bill would require the boundaries of a basin to be as identified in Bulletin 118, unless other basin boundaries are established, as specified. The bill would authorize the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to intervene in an action or proceeding if they claim an interest relating to the action or proceeding, as provided.end delete The bill would specify service and notice begin delete procedures.end delete The bill would require a party to provide specified initial begin delete disclosures to the other parties, including, among other disclosures, information relating to expert witnesses.end delete
Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program:
begin deleteno end delete.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
In enacting this part, it is the intent of the Legislature
7to do all of the following:
8(a) To provide for the sustainable management of groundwater
10(b) To enhance local management of groundwater consistent
11with rights to use or store groundwater and Section 2 of Article X
12of the California Constitution. It is the intent of the Legislature to
13preserve the security of water rights in the state to the greatest
14extent possible consistent with the sustainable management of
16(c) To establish minimum standards for sustainable groundwater
18(d) To provide local
groundwater agencies with the authority
19and the technical and financial assistance necessary to sustainably
21(e) To avoid or minimize subsidence.
22(f) To improve data collection and understanding about
P4 1(g) To increase groundwater storage and remove impediments
3(h) To manage groundwater basins through the actions of local
4governmental agencies to the greatest extent feasible, while
5minimizing state intervention to only when necessary to ensure
6that local agencies manage groundwater in a sustainable manner.
(a) Groundwater management pursuant to this part
13shall be consistent with Section 2 of Article X of the California
14Constitution. Nothing in this part modifies rights or priorities to
15use or store groundwater consistent with Section 2 of Article X of
16the California Constitution, except that in basins designated
17medium- or high-priority basins by the department, no extraction
18of groundwater between January 1, 2015, and the date of adoption
19of a groundwater sustainability plan pursuant to this
begin delete part,end delete whichever is sooner, may be used as evidence
22of, or to establish or defend against, any claim of prescription.
23(b) Nothing in this part, or in any groundwater management
24plan adopted pursuant to this part, determines or alters surface
25water rights or groundwater rights under common law or any
26provision of law that determines or grants surface water rights.
(a) Except as provided in
begin delete subdivision (e),end delete this part does not apply to the following adjudicated
32areas or a local agency that conforms to the requirements of an
33adjudication of water rights for one of the following adjudicated
35(1) Beaumont Basin.
36(2) Brite Basin.
37(3) Central Basin.
38(4) Chino Basin.
39(5) Cucamonga Basin.
40(6) Cummings Basin.
P5 1(7) Goleta Basin.
2(8) Lytle Basin.
3(9) Main San Gabriel Basin.
4(10) Mojave Basin Area.
5(11) Puente Basin.
6(12) Raymond Basin.
7(13) Rialto-Colton Basin.
8(14) Riverside Basin.
9(15) San Bernardino Basin Area.
10(16) San Jacinto Basin.
11(17) Santa Margarita River Watershed.
12(18) Santa Maria Valley Basin.
13(19) Santa Paula Basin.
14(20) Scott River Stream System.
15(21) Seaside Basin.
16(22) Six Basins.
17(23) Tehachapi Basin.
18(24) Upper Los Angeles River Area.
19(25) Warren Valley Basin.
20(26) West Coast Basin.
21(b) The Antelope Valley basin at issue in the Antelope Valley
22Groundwater Cases (Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding
23Number 4408) shall be treated as an adjudicated basin pursuant to
24this section if the superior court issues a final judgment, order, or
26(c) Any groundwater basin or portion of a groundwater basin
27in Inyo County managed pursuant to the terms of the stipulated
28judgment in City of Los Angeles v. Board of Supervisors of the
29County of Inyo, et al. (Inyo County Case No. 12908) shall be
30treated as an adjudicated area pursuant to this section.
31(d) The Los Osos Groundwater Basin at issue in Los Osos
32Community Service District v. Southern California Water Company
33[Golden State Water Company] et al. (San Luis Obispo County
34Superior Court Case No. CV 040126) shall be treated as an
35adjudicated basin pursuant to this section if the superior court
36issues a final judgment, order, or decree.
37(e) If an adjudication action has determined the rights to extract
38groundwater for only a portion of a basin, subdivisions (a), (b),
39(c), and (d) apply only within the area for which the adjudication
40action has determined those rights.
P6 1(f) The watermaster or a local agency within a basin identified
2in subdivision (a) shall do all of the following:
3(1) By April 1, 2016, submit to the department a copy of a
4governing final judgment, or other judicial order or decree, and
5any amendments entered before April 1, 2016.
6(2) Within 90 days of entry by a court, submit to the department
7a copy of any amendment made and entered by the court to the
8governing final judgment or other judicial order or decree on or
9after April 1, 2016.
10(3) By April 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, submit to the
11department a report containing the following information to the
12extent available for the portion of the basin subject to the
14(A) Groundwater elevation data unless otherwise submitted
15pursuant to Section 10932.
16(B) Annual aggregated data identifying groundwater extraction
17for the preceding water year.
18(C) Surface water supply used for or available for use for
19groundwater recharge or in-lieu use.
20(D) Total water use.
21(E) Change in groundwater storage.
22(F) The annual report submitted to the court.
Section 10721 of the Water Code is amended to read:
Unless the context otherwise requires, the following
30definitions govern the construction of this part:
31(a) “Adjudication action” means an action filed in the superior
32or federal district court to determine the rights to extract
33groundwater from a basin or store water within a basin, including,
34but not limited to, actions to quiet title respecting rights to extract
35or store groundwater or an action brought to impose a physical
36solution on a basin.
37(b) “Basin” means a groundwater basin or subbasin identified
38and defined in Bulletin 118 or as modified pursuant to Chapter 3
39(commencing with Section 10722).
P7 1(c) “Bulletin 118” means the department’s report entitled
2 “California’s Groundwater: Bulletin 118” updated in 2003, as it
3may be subsequently updated or revised in accordance with Section
5(d) “Coordination agreement” means a legal agreement adopted
6between two or more groundwater sustainability agencies that
7provides the basis for coordinating multiple agencies or
8groundwater sustainability plans within a basin pursuant to this
10(e) “De minimis extractor” means a person who extracts, for
11domestic purposes, two acre-feet or less per year.
12(f) “Expert witness” means a witness qualified pursuant to
13Section 720 of the Evidence Code.
14(g) “Governing body” means the legislative body of a
15groundwater sustainability agency.
16(h) “Groundwater” means water beneath the surface of the earth
17within the zone below the water table in which the soil is
18completely saturated with water, but does not include water that
19flows in known and definite channels.
20(i) “Groundwater extraction facility” means a device or method
21for extracting groundwater from within a basin.
22(j) “Groundwater recharge” means the augmentation of
23groundwater, by natural or artificial means.
24(k) “Groundwater sustainability agency” means one or more
25local agencies that implement the provisions of this part. For
26purposes of imposing fees pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing
27with Section 10730) or taking action to enforce a groundwater
28sustainability plan, “groundwater sustainability agency” also means
29each local agency comprising the groundwater sustainability
30agency if the plan authorizes separate agency action.
31(l) “Groundwater sustainability plan” or “plan” means a plan
32of a groundwater sustainability agency proposed or adopted
33pursuant to this part.
34(m) “Groundwater sustainability program” means a coordinated
35and ongoing activity undertaken to benefit a basin, pursuant to a
36groundwater sustainability plan.
37(n) “Local agency” means a local public agency that has water
38supply, water management, or land use responsibilities within a
P8 1(o) “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.
7(p) “Owner” means a person owning a groundwater extraction
8facility or an interest in a groundwater extraction facility other
9than a lien to secure the payment of a debt or other obligation.
10(q) “Personal information” has the same meaning as defined in
11Section 1798.3 of the Civil Code.
12(r) “Planning and implementation horizon” means a 50-year
13time period over which a groundwater sustainability agency
14determines that plans and measures will be implemented in a basin
15to ensure that the basin is operated within its sustainable yield.
16(s) “Public water system” has the same meaning as defined in
17Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
18(t) “Recharge area” means the area that supplies water to an
19aquifer in a groundwater basin.
23 “Sustainability goal” means the existence and
24implementation of one or more groundwater sustainability plans
25that achieve sustainable groundwater management by identifying
26and causing the implementation of measures targeted to ensure
27that the applicable basin is operated within its sustainable yield.
29 “Sustainable groundwater management” means the
30management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be
31maintained during the planning and implementation horizon
32without causing undesirable results.
34 “Sustainable yield” means the maximum quantity of water,
35calculated over a base period representative of long-term conditions
36in the basin and including any temporary surplus, that can be
37withdrawn annually from a groundwater supply without causing
38an undesirable result.
P9 1 “Undesirable result” means one or more of the following
2effects caused by groundwater conditions occurring throughout
4(1) Chronic lowering of groundwater levels indicating a
5significant and unreasonable depletion of supply if continued over
6the planning and implementation horizon. Overdraft during a period
7of drought is not sufficient to establish a chronic lowering of
8groundwater levels if extractions and recharge are managed as
9necessary to ensure that reductions in groundwater levels or storage
10during a period of drought are offset by increases in groundwater
11levels or storage during other periods.
12(2) Significant and unreasonable reduction of groundwater
14(3) Significant and unreasonable seawater intrusion.
15(4) Significant and unreasonable degraded water quality,
16including the migration of contaminant plumes that impair water
18(5) Significant and unreasonable land subsidence that
19substantially interferes with surface land uses.
20(6) Depletions of interconnected surface water that have
21significant and unreasonable adverse impacts on beneficial uses
22of the surface water.
24 “Water budget” means an accounting of the total groundwater
25and surface water entering and leaving a basin including the
26changes in the amount of water stored.
28 “Watermaster” means a watermaster appointed by a court
29or pursuant to other law.
31 “Water year”
means the period from October 1 through
32the following September 30, inclusive.
34 “Wellhead protection area” means the surface and
35subsurface area surrounding a water well or well field that supplies
36a public water system through which contaminants are reasonably
37likely to migrate toward the water well or well field.
(a) A local agency may request that the
P10 1department revise the boundaries of a basin, including the
2establishment of new subbasins. A
begin delete local agency’send delete request shall be
3supported by the following information:
4(1) Information demonstrating that the proposed adjusted basin
5can be the subject of sustainable groundwater management.
6(2) Technical information regarding the boundaries of, and
7conditions in, the proposed adjusted basin.
8(3) Information demonstrating that the entity proposing the
9basin boundary adjustment consulted with interested local agencies
10and public water systems in the affected basins before filing the
11proposal with the department.
12(4) Other information the department deems necessary to justify
13revision of the basin’s boundary.
14(b) By January 1, 2016, the department shall adopt regulations
15regarding the information required to comply with subdivision (a),
16including the methodology and criteria to be used to evaluate the
17proposed revision. The department shall adopt the regulations,
18including any amendments thereto, authorized by this section as
19emergency regulations in accordance with the Administrative
20Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of
21Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). The
22 adoption of these regulations is an emergency and shall be
23considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for
24the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety,
25or general welfare. Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure
26Act, emergency regulations adopted by the department pursuant
27to this section shall not be subject to review by the Office of
28Administrative Law and shall remain in effect until revised by the
30(c) Methodology and criteria established pursuant to subdivision
31(b) shall address all of the following:
32(1) How to assess the likelihood that the proposed basin can be
34(2) How to assess whether the proposed basin would limit the
35sustainable management of adjacent basins.
to assess whether there is a history of sustainable
37management of groundwater levels in the proposed basin.
38(d) Prior to adopting
begin delete and finalizing the regulations,end delete the department shall
40conduct three public meetings to consider public comments. The
P11 1department shall publish the draft regulations on its Internet Web
2site at least 30 days before the public meetings. One meeting shall
3be conducted at a location in northern California, one meeting
4shall be conducted at a location in the central valley of California,
5and one meeting shall be conducted at a location in southern
7(e) The department shall provide a copy of its draft revision of
8a basin’s boundaries to the California Water Commission. The
9California Water Commission shall hear and comment on the draft
10revision within 60 days after the department provides the draft
11revision to the commission.
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following
16(a) “Condition of long-term overdraft” means the condition of
17a groundwater basin where the average annual amount of water
18extracted for a long-term period, generally 10 years or more,
19exceeds the long-term average annual supply of water to the basin,
20plus any temporary surplus. Overdraft during a period of drought
21is not sufficient to establish a condition of long-term overdraft if
22extractions and recharge are managed as necessary to ensure that
23reductions in groundwater levels or storage during a period of
24drought are offset by increases in groundwater levels or storage
25during other periods.
26(b) “Person” means any person, firm, association, organization,
27partnership, business, trust, corporation, limited liability company,
28or public agency, including any city, county, city and county,
29district, joint powers authority, state, or any agency or department
30of those entities. “Person” includes, to the extent authorized by
31federal or tribal law and subject to the limitations described in
32subdivisions (c) and (d) of Section 10720.3, the United States, a
33department, agency or instrumentality of the federal government,
34an Indian tribe, an authorized Indian tribal organization, or
36(c) “Probationary basin” means a basin for which the board has
37issued a determination under Section 10735.2.
38(d) “Significant depletions of interconnected surface waters”
39means reductions in flow or levels of surface water that is
40hydrologically connected to the basin such that the reduced surface
P12 1water flow or levels have a significant and unreasonable adverse
2impact on beneficial uses of the surface water.
Section 10735.8 of the Water Code is amended to read:
(a) The board, after notice and a public hearing, may
6adopt an interim plan for a probationary basin.
7(b) The interim plan shall include all of the following:
8(1) Identification of the actions that are necessary to correct a
9condition of long-term overdraft or a condition where groundwater
10extractions result in significant depletions of interconnected surface
11waters, including recommendations for appropriate action by any
13(2) A time schedule for the actions to be taken.
14(3) A description of the
monitoring to be undertaken to
15determine effectiveness of the plan.
16(c) The interim plan may include the following:
17(1) Restrictions on groundwater extraction.
18(2) A physical solution.
19(3) Principles and guidelines for the administration of rights to
20surface waters that are connected to the basin.
21(d) Except as provided in subdivision (e), the interim plan shall
22be consistent with water right priorities, subject to Section 2 of
23Article X of the California Constitution.
24(e) The board shall include in its interim plan a groundwater
25sustainability plan, or any element of a plan, that the board finds
26complies with the sustainability goal for that portion of the basin
27or would help meet the sustainability goal for the basin. Where,
28in the judgment of the board, an adjudication action can be relied
29on as part of the interim plan, either throughout the basin or in an
30area within the basin, the board may rely on, or incorporate
31elements of, that adjudication into the interim plan adopted by the
33(f) In carrying out activities that may affect the probationary
34basin, state entities shall comply with an interim plan adopted by
35the board pursuant to this section unless otherwise directed or
36authorized by statute and the state entity shall indicate to the board
37in writing the authority for not complying with the interim plan.
38(g) (1) After the board adopts an interim plan under this section,
39the board shall determine if a groundwater sustainability plan or
40an adjudication action is adequate to eliminate the condition of
P13 1long-term overdraft or condition where groundwater extractions
2result in significant depletions of interconnected surface waters,
3upon petition of either of the following:
4(A) A groundwater sustainability agency that has adopted a
5groundwater sustainability plan for the probationary basin or a
7(B) A person authorized to file the petition by a judicial order
8or decree entered in an adjudication action in the probationary
10(2) The board shall act on a petition filed
pursuant to paragraph
11(1) within 90 days after the petition is complete. If the board, in
12consultation with the department, determines that the groundwater
13sustainability plan or adjudication action is adequate, the board
14shall rescind the interim plan adopted by the board for the
15probationary basin, except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4).
16(3) Upon request of the petitioner, the board may amend an
17interim plan adopted under this section to eliminate portions of
18the interim plan, while allowing other portions of the interim plan
19to continue in effect.
20(4) The board may decline to rescind an interim plan adopted
21pursuant to this section if the board determines that the petitioner
22has not provided adequate assurances that the groundwater
23sustainability plan or judicial order or decree will be implemented.
24(5) This subdivision is not a limitation on the authority of the
25board to stay its proceedings under this section or to rescind or
26amend an interim plan adopted pursuant to this section based on
27the progress made by a groundwater sustainability agency or in
28an adjudication action pursuant to Chapter 12 (commencing with
29Section 10737), even if the board cannot make a determination of
30adequacy in accordance with paragraph (1).
31(h) Before January 1, 2025, the state board shall not establish
32an interim plan under this section to remedy a condition where the
33groundwater extractions result in significant depletions of
34interconnected surface waters.
35(i) The board’s authority to adopt an interim plan
36section does not alter the law establishing water rights priorities
37or any other authority of the board.
Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 10737) is added
40to Part 2.74 of Division 6 of the Water Code, to read:
begin deleteThe Legislature finds and declares that this end delete
6chapter establishes a timely and comprehensive method for
7determining rights to groundwater in furtherance of the objectives
8of this part.
9(b) This chapter establishes special procedures for court use in
10determining rights to groundwater. Unless otherwise provided in
11this chapter, a court shall determine rights to groundwater using
12the procedures codified in the Code of Civil Procedure.
13(c) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be deemed to repeal
14or preclude an action to determine rights to groundwater in
15accordance with the common law.
In making its determination of rights to groundwater,
2a court shall avoid an undesirable result as defined in Section
The process defined in this chapter shall be available
19to any court of competent jurisdiction.
(a) Consistent with subdivision (b) of Section
2110720.3, this chapter applies to an Indian tribe and to the federal
22government, to the extent authorized under federal law.
23(b) Section 389 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall not apply
24to any failure to join an Indian tribe or the United States to an
25action or proceeding brought under this chapter.
An action requesting a court to determine water rights
27under this chapter shall be deemed provisionally complex within
28the meaning provided in Rule 3.400 of Title 3 of the California
29Rules of Court.
Unless other basin boundaries are established pursuant
34to Section 10722.2 or subdivision (b) of Section 12924, the
35boundaries of a basin shall be as identified in Bulletin 118.
Upon timely motion, the court shall permit the
40department or the Department of Fish and Wildlife, or both, to
P16 1intervene in an action or proceeding brought under this chapter if
2the movant claims an interest relating to the action or proceeding
3and is so situated that disposing of the action or proceeding may,
4as a practical matter, impair or impede the movant’s ability to
5protect its interest.
(a) All known defendants shall be served in the manner
10provided in Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 413.10) of Title
115 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
12(b) (1) All unknown defendants shall be served by publication
13as provided in Section 415.50 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
14(2) In addition to other requirements of Section 415.50 of the
15Code of Civil Procedure, the publication shall describe the
16groundwater basin that is the subject of the action. The publication
17shall describe the groundwater basin as identified pursuant to
18Section 10739, the Internet address for a map depicting the basin,
19and any other identifying information that the court deems
(a) Except as otherwise stipulated or ordered by the
25court, a party shall, without awaiting a discovery request, provide
26to the other parties all of the following:
27(1) The name and, if known, the address and telephone number
28of each individual likely to have discoverable information, along
29with the subjects of that information, who the disclosing party may
30use to support its claims or defenses, unless the use would be solely
32(2) A copy or a description by category and location, of all
33documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things
34that the disclosing party has in its possession, custody, or control
35that it may use to support its claims or defenses, unless the use
36would be solely for impeachment.
37(3) A quantification of claims to water in the basin by the
38disclosing party. The disclosing party shall also make available
39for inspection and copying any documents or other evidentiary
40material, unless privileged or protected from disclosure, on which
P17 1each claim is based, including materials bearing on the nature and
2extent of those claims.
3(b) A party shall make all disclosures required by this article at
4or within 14 days after the parties’ initial case management
5conference unless a different time is set by stipulation or court
6order, or unless a party objects during the conference that initial
7disclosures are not appropriate in this action and states the objection
8in a proposed discovery plan. In ruling on the objection, the court
9shall determine what disclosures, if any, are to be made and shall
10set the time for disclosure.
11(c) A party that is first served or otherwise joined after the initial
12case management conference shall make its initial disclosures
13within 30 days after being served or joined, unless a different time
14is set by stipulation or court order.
15(d) A party shall make its initial disclosures based on the
16information then reasonably available to it. A party is not excused
17from making its disclosures because it has not fully investigated
18the case or because it challenges the sufficiency of another party’s
19disclosures or because another party has not made its disclosures.
(a) In addition to the other disclosures required by this
31chapter, a party shall disclose to the other parties the identity of
32any expert witness it may use at trial to present evidence.
33(b) Unless otherwise
begin delete stipulated orend delete ordered by the court, this
34disclosure shall be accompanied by a written report, prepared and
35signed by the expert witness, if the expert witness is retained or
begin delete to provide expert testimony in the case or duties as the party’s
39employee regularly involve giving expert testimony. The report
40shall contain all of the following:
P32 1(1) A complete statement of all opinions the expert witness will
2express and the basis and reasons for
begin delete them.end delete
3(2) The facts or data considered by the expert witness in forming
4his or her opinions.
5(3) Any exhibits
begin delete that will be used to summarize or support the
6opinions of the expert witness.end delete
8(4) The expert
begin delete witness’end delete qualifications, including a list
9of all publications authored in the previous
11(5) A list of all other cases in
begin delete which, during the previous four the expert witness
begin delete testifiedend delete
as an expert at
13trial or by
begin deletedeposition.end delete
14(6) A statement of the compensation to be paid
begin delete to the expert
15witness for the study and testimony in the case.end delete
begin deleteUnless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, if the disclosure
18expert witness is not required to provide a written report, the end delete
begin delete stateend delete both of the following:
21(1) The subject matter on which the expert witness is expected
22to present evidence.
23(2) A summary of the
begin delete facts and opinions to which theend delete expert
begin delete witness is expected to testify.end delete
26(d) A party shall make the required disclosures at the times and
27in the sequence that the court orders. Absent a stipulation or a court
28order, the disclosures shall be made at either of the following times:
29(1) At least 90 days before the date set for trial or for the case
30to be ready for trial.
31(2) If the evidence is intended solely to contradict or rebut
32evidence on the same subject matter identified by another party,
33within 30 days after the other party’s disclosure.