Amended in Assembly September 1, 2015

Amended in Assembly August 17, 2015

Amended in Senate May 5, 2015

Amended in Senate April 6, 2015

Senate BillNo. 226


Introduced by Senator Pavley

February 13, 2015


An act to amend Sections 10720.1, 10720.5,begin delete 10720.8, 10721,end delete begin delete10722.2, 10735, and 10735.8end deletebegin insert and 10722.2end insert of, to add Section 105.5 to, and to add Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 10737) to Part 2.74 of Division 6 of, the Water Code, relating to water.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 226, as amended, Pavley. Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: groundwater 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. 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. Existing law authorizes a court to order a reference to the State Water Resources Control Board, as referee, of any and all issues involved in the suit.

This bill would authorize the state to intervene as a matter of right in any suit brought in any court for determination of rights to water.

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.begin insert The act authorizes a local agency to request that the department revise the boundaries of a basin.end insert

begin delete

This bill would establish special procedures for certain adjudication actions determining rights to groundwater in furtherance of the objectives of the act. The bill would provide that a court shall use the procedures in the Code of Civil Procedure for these adjudication actions, except as provided by the special procedures established in the bill. The bill would authorize the court to determine all rights to groundwater in a basin whether based on appropriation, overlying right, or other basis of right. The bill would require the boundaries of the area subject to an adjudication action to be consistent with the boundaries of a basin, with specified exceptions. The bill would specify service and notice procedures and 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 adjudication action for purposes of establishing in rem jurisdiction and the comprehensive effect of the adjudication action. The bill would require a party to provide specified initial disclosures, as prescribed, and under penalty of perjury. By expanding the scope of the crime of perjury, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the court to have the authority and duty to impose a physical solution on the parties in an adjudication action where necessary and would authorize the court to adopt a stipulated judgment if the court finds that the judgment meets certain criteria. This bill would require the court to have continuing jurisdiction to modify or amend a final judgment in an adjudication action, as specified.

end delete
begin delete

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
begin delete

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

end delete
begin insert

This bill, in an adjudication action to determine rights to groundwater in a basin that is required to have a groundwater sustainability plan under the act, would require the court to manage the proceedings in a manner that minimizes interference with the timely completion and implementation of a groundwater sustainability plan, avoids redundancy and unnecessary costs in the development of technical information and a physical solution, and is consistent with the attainment of sustainable groundwater management within the timeframes established by the act. The bill would authorize an entity that is directed by the court in an adjudication action to file the request to request that the department revise the boundaries of a basin.

end insert
begin insert

The act authorizes the state board to designate certain high- and medium-priority basins as a probationary basin if prescribed criteria are met. The act authorizes the state board to develop an interim plan for a probationary basin if the state board, in consultation with the department, determines that a local agency has not remedied a deficiency that resulted in designating the basin as a probationary basin within a certain timeframe. The act also requires the department, at least every 5 years after initial submission, to review any available groundwater sustainability plan or alternative and the implementation of the corresponding groundwater sustainability program for consistency with the act, including achieving the sustainability goal. The act requires the department to issue an assessment for each basin for which a plan or alternative has been submitted that may include recommended corrective actions to address any deficiencies identified by the department.

end insert
begin insert

The bill would prohibit the provisions relating to probationary basins and interim plans from applying to a stipulated judgment approved by the court if the judgment is submitted to the department for evaluation and assessment and the department determines that the judgment satisfies the objectives of the act for the basin. The bill would require the department to submit to the court assessments and any recommended corrective actions for these judgments and would require the court, after notice and, if necessary, an evidentiary hearing, to determine whether to amend the judgment to adopt the department’s recommended corrective actions. This bill would prohibit a court from approving entry of judgment in an adjudication action for a basin required to have a groundwater sustainability plan under the act unless the court finds that the judgment will not substantially impair the ability of a groundwater sustainability agency, the board, or the department to comply with the act and to achieve sustainable groundwater management.

end insert

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: begin deleteyes end deletebegin insertnoend insert.

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

P4    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 105.5 is added to the Water Code, to
2read:

3

105.5.  

begin insert(a)end insertbegin insertend insert Notwithstanding any other law, the state may
4intervene as a matter of right in any suit brought in any court for
5determination of rights to water.

begin insert

6(b) This section does not affect substantive law.

end insert
7

SEC. 2.  

Section 10720.1 of the Water Code is amended to read:

8

10720.1.  

In enacting this part, it is the intent of the Legislature
9to do all of the following:

10(a) To provide for the sustainable management of groundwater
11basins.

12(b) To enhance local management of groundwater consistent
13with rights to use or store groundwater and Section 2 of Article X
14of the California Constitution. It is the intent of the Legislature to
15preserve the security of water rights in the state to the greatest
16extent possible consistent with the sustainable management of
17groundwater.

18(c) To establish minimum standards for sustainable groundwater
19management.

20(d) To provide local groundwater agencies with the authority
21and the technical and financial assistance necessary to sustainably
22manage groundwater.

23(e) To avoid or minimize subsidence.

24(f) To improve data collection and understanding about
25groundwater.

26(g) To increase groundwater storage and remove impediments
27to recharge.

28(h) To manage groundwater basins through the actions of local
29governmental agencies to the greatest extent feasible, while
30minimizing state intervention to only when necessary to ensure
31that local agencies manage groundwater in a sustainable manner.

32(i) To provide a more efficient and cost-effective groundwater
33adjudication process that protects water rights, ensures due process,
34prevents unnecessary delay, and furthers the objectives of this part.

35

SEC. 3.  

Section 10720.5 of the Water Code is amended to read:

P5    1

10720.5.  

(a) Groundwater management pursuant to this part
2shall be consistent with Section 2 of Article X of the California
3Constitution. Nothing in this part modifies rights or priorities to
4use or store groundwater consistent with Section 2 of Article X of
5the California Constitution, except that in basins designated
6medium- or high-priority basins by the department, no extraction
7of groundwater between January 1, 2015, and the date of adoption
8of a groundwater sustainability plan pursuant to this part or the
9approval by the department of an alternative submitted under
10Section 10733.6, whichever is sooner, may be used as evidence
11of, or to establish or defend against, any claim of prescription.

12(b) Nothing in this part, or in any groundwater management
13plan adopted pursuant to this part, determines or alters surface
14water rights or groundwater rights under common law or any
15provision of law that determines or grants surface water rights.

16(c) Water rights may be determined in an adjudication action
17pursuant tobegin delete Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 10737).end deletebegin insert Chapter
187 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 10 of Part 2 of the Code
19of Civil Procedure.end insert

begin delete
20

SEC. 4.  

Section 10720.8 of the Water Code is amended to read:

21

10720.8.  

(a) Except as provided in subdivisions (e) and (g),
22this part does not apply to the following adjudicated areas or a
23local agency that conforms to the requirements of an adjudication
24of water rights for one of the following adjudicated areas:

25(1) Beaumont Basin.

26(2) Brite Basin.

27(3) Central Basin.

28(4) Chino Basin.

29(5) Cucamonga Basin.

30(6) Cummings Basin.

31(7) Goleta Basin.

32(8) Lytle Basin.

33(9) Main San Gabriel Basin.

34(10) Mojave Basin Area.

35(11) Puente Basin.

36(12) Raymond Basin.

37(13) Rialto-Colton Basin.

38(14) Riverside Basin.

39(15) San Bernardino Basin Area.

40(16) San Jacinto Basin.

P6    1(17) Santa Margarita River Watershed.

2(18) Santa Maria Valley Basin.

3(19) Santa Paula Basin.

4(20) Scott River Stream System.

5(21) Seaside Basin.

6(22) Six Basins.

7(23) Tehachapi Basin.

8(24) Upper Los Angeles River Area.

9(25) Warren Valley Basin.

10(26) West Coast Basin.

11(b) The Antelope Valley basin at issue in the Antelope Valley
12Groundwater Cases (Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding
13Number 4408) shall be treated as an adjudicated basin pursuant to
14this section if the superior court issues a final judgment, order, or
15decree.

16(c) Any groundwater basin or portion of a groundwater basin
17in Inyo County managed pursuant to the terms of the stipulated
18judgment in City of Los Angeles v. Board of Supervisors of the
19County of Inyo, et al. (Inyo County Case No. 12908) shall be
20treated as an adjudicated area pursuant to this section.

21(d) The Los Osos Groundwater Basin at issue in Los Osos
22Community Service District v. Southern California Water Company
23[Golden State Water Company] et al. (San Luis Obispo County
24Superior Court Case No. CV 040126) shall be treated as an
25adjudicated basin pursuant to this section if the superior court
26issues a final judgment, order, or decree.

27(e) If an adjudication action has determined the rights to extract
28groundwater for only a portion of a basin, subdivisions (a), (b),
29(c), and (d) apply only within the area for which the adjudication
30action has determined those rights.

31(f) The watermaster or a local agency within a basin identified
32in subdivision (a) shall do all of the following:

33(1) By April 1, 2016, submit to the department a copy of a
34governing final judgment, or other judicial order or decree, and
35any amendments entered before April 1, 2016.

36(2) Within 90 days of entry by a court, submit to the department
37a copy of any amendment made and entered by the court to the
38governing final judgment or other judicial order or decree on or
39after April 1, 2016.

P7    1(3) By April 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, submit to the
2department a report containing the following information to the
3extent available for the portion of the basin subject to the
4adjudication:

5(A) Groundwater elevation data unless otherwise submitted
6pursuant to Section 10932.

7(B) Annual aggregated data identifying groundwater extraction
8for the preceding water year.

9(C) Surface water supply used for or available for use for
10groundwater recharge or in-lieu use.

11(D) Total water use.

12(E) Change in groundwater storage.

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

14(g) A court with jurisdiction over a proposed expansion of an
15adjudicated area described in subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive,
16may order that the proceeding be conducted in accordance with
17Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 10737).

18

SEC. 5.  

Section 10721 of the Water Code is amended to read:

19

10721.  

Unless the context otherwise requires, the following
20definitions govern the construction of this part:

21(a) “Adjudication action” means an action filed in the superior
22or federal district court to determine the rights to extract
23groundwater from a basin or store water within a basin, including,
24but not limited to, actions to quiet title respecting rights to extract
25or store groundwater or an action brought to impose a physical
26solution on a basin.

27(b) “Basin” means a groundwater basin or subbasin identified
28and defined in Bulletin 118 or as modified pursuant to Chapter 3
29(commencing with Section 10722).

30(c) “Bulletin 118” means the department’s report entitled
31 “California’s Groundwater: Bulletin 118” updated in 2003, as it
32may be subsequently updated or revised in accordance with Section
3312924.

34(d) “Coordination agreement” means a legal agreement adopted
35between two or more groundwater sustainability agencies that
36provides the basis for coordinating multiple agencies or
37groundwater sustainability plans within a basin pursuant to this
38part.

39(e) “De minimis extractor” means a person who extracts, for
40domestic purposes, two acre-feet or less per year.

P8    1(f) “Expert witness” means a witness qualified pursuant to
2Section 720 of the Evidence Code.

3(g) “Governing body” means the legislative body of a
4groundwater sustainability agency.

5(h) “Groundwater” means water beneath the surface of the earth
6within the zone below the water table in which the soil is
7completely saturated with water, but does not include water that
8flows in known and definite channels.

9(i) “Groundwater extraction facility” means a device or method
10for extracting groundwater from within a basin.

11(j) “Groundwater recharge” means the augmentation of
12groundwater, by natural or artificial means.

13(k) “Groundwater sustainability agency” means one or more
14local agencies that implement the provisions of this part. For
15purposes of imposing fees pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing
16with Section 10730) or taking action to enforce a groundwater
17sustainability plan, “groundwater sustainability agency” also means
18each local agency comprising the groundwater sustainability
19agency if the plan authorizes separate agency action.

20(l) “Groundwater sustainability plan” or “plan” means a plan
21of a groundwater sustainability agency proposed or adopted
22pursuant to this part.

23(m) “Groundwater sustainability program” means a coordinated
24and ongoing activity undertaken to benefit a basin, pursuant to a
25groundwater sustainability plan.

26(n) “Local agency” means a local public agency that has water
27supply, water management, or land use responsibilities within a
28groundwater basin.

29(o) “Operator” means a person operating a groundwater
30extraction facility. The owner of a groundwater extraction facility
31shall be conclusively presumed to be the operator unless a
32satisfactory showing is made to the governing body of the
33groundwater sustainability agency that the groundwater extraction
34facility actually is operated by some other person.

35(p) “Owner” means a person owning a groundwater extraction
36facility or an interest in a groundwater extraction facility other
37than a lien to secure the payment of a debt or other obligation.

38(q) “Personal information” has the same meaning as defined in
39Section 1798.3 of the Civil Code.

P9    1(r) “Planning and implementation horizon” means a 50-year
2time period over which a groundwater sustainability agency
3determines that plans and measures will be implemented in a basin
4to ensure that the basin is operated within its sustainable yield.

5(s) “Public water system” has the same meaning as defined in
6Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.

7(t) “Recharge area” means the area that supplies water to an
8aquifer in a groundwater basin.

9(u) “State small water system” has the same meaning as defined
10in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.

11(v) “Sustainability goal” means the existence and
12implementation of one or more groundwater sustainability plans
13that achieve sustainable groundwater management by identifying
14and causing the implementation of measures targeted to ensure
15that the applicable basin is operated within its sustainable yield.

16(w) “Sustainable groundwater management” means the
17management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be
18maintained during the planning and implementation horizon
19without causing undesirable results.

20(x) “Sustainable yield” means the maximum quantity of water,
21calculated over a base period representative of long-term conditions
22in the basin and including any temporary surplus, that can be
23withdrawn annually from a groundwater supply without causing
24an undesirable result.

25(y) “Undesirable result” means one or more of the following
26effects caused by groundwater conditions occurring throughout
27the basin:

28(1) Chronic lowering of groundwater levels indicating a
29significant and unreasonable depletion of supply if continued over
30the planning and implementation horizon. Overdraft during a period
31of drought is not sufficient to establish a chronic lowering of
32groundwater levels if extractions and recharge are managed as
33necessary to ensure that reductions in groundwater levels or storage
34during a period of drought are offset by increases in groundwater
35levels or storage during other periods.

36(2) Significant and unreasonable reduction of groundwater
37storage.

38(3) Significant and unreasonable seawater intrusion.

P10   1(4) Significant and unreasonable degraded water quality,
2including the migration of contaminant plumes that impair water
3supplies.

4(5) Significant and unreasonable land subsidence that
5substantially interferes with surface land uses.

6(6) Depletions of interconnected surface water that have
7significant and unreasonable adverse impacts on beneficial uses
8of the surface water.

9(z) “Water budget” means an accounting of the total
10groundwater and surface water entering and leaving a basin
11including the changes in the amount of water stored.

12(aa) “Watermaster” means a watermaster appointed by a court
13or pursuant to other law.

14(ab) “Water year” means the period from October 1 through the
15following September 30, inclusive.

16(ac)  “Wellhead protection area” means the surface and
17subsurface area surrounding a water well or well field that supplies
18a public water system through which contaminants are reasonably
19likely to migrate toward the water well or well field.

end delete
20

begin deleteSEC. 6.end delete
21begin insertSEC. 4.end insert  

Section 10722.2 of the Water Code is amended to read:

22

10722.2.  

(a) A local agency or an entity directed by the court
23in an adjudication action to file the request may request that the
24department revise the boundaries of a basin, including the
25establishment of new subbasins. A request shall be supported by
26the following information:

27(1) Information demonstrating that the proposed adjusted basin
28can be the subject of sustainable groundwater management.

29(2) Technical information regarding the boundaries of, and
30conditions in, the proposed adjusted basin.

31(3) Information demonstrating that the entity proposing the
32basin boundary adjustment consulted with interested local agencies
33and public water systems in the affected basins before filing the
34proposal with the department.

35(4) Other information the department deems necessary to justify
36revision of the basin’s boundary.

37(b) By January 1, 2016, the department shall adopt regulations
38regarding the information required to comply with subdivision (a),
39including the methodology and criteria to be used to evaluate the
40proposed revision. The department shall adopt the regulations,
P11   1including any amendments thereto, authorized by this section as
2emergency regulations in accordance with the Administrative
3Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of
4Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). The
5 adoption of these regulations is an emergency and shall be
6considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for
7the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety,
8or general welfare. Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure
9Act, emergency regulations adopted by the department pursuant
10to this section shall not be subject to review by the Office of
11Administrative Law and shall remain in effect until revised by the
12department.

13(c) Methodology and criteria established pursuant to subdivision
14 (b) shall address all of the following:

15(1) How to assess the likelihood that the proposed basin can be
16sustainably managed.

17(2) How to assess whether the proposed basin would limit the
18sustainable management of adjacent basins.

19(3) How to assess whether there is a history of sustainable
20management of groundwater levels in the proposed basin.

21(d) Prior to adopting the regulations pursuant to subdivision (b),
22the department shall conduct three public meetings to consider
23public comments. The department shall publish the draft
24regulations on its Internet Web site at least 30 days before the
25public meetings. One meeting shall be conducted at a location in
26northern California, one meeting shall be conducted at a location
27in the central valley of California, and one meeting shall be
28conducted at a location in southern California.

29(e) The department shall provide a copy of its draft revision of
30a basin’s boundaries to the California Water Commission. The
31California Water Commission shall hear and comment on the draft
32revision within 60 days after the department provides the draft
33revision to the commission.

begin delete
34

SEC. 7.  

Section 10735 of the Water Code is amended to read:

35

10735.  

As used in this chapter and Chapter 12 (commencing
36with Section 10737), the following terms have the following
37meanings:

38(a) “Condition of long-term overdraft” means the condition of
39a groundwater basin where the average annual amount of water
40extracted for a long-term period, generally 10 years or more,
P12   1exceeds the long-term average annual supply of water to the basin,
2plus any temporary surplus. Overdraft during a period of drought
3is not sufficient to establish a condition of long-term overdraft if
4extractions and recharge are managed as necessary to ensure that
5reductions in groundwater levels or storage during a period of
6drought are offset by increases in groundwater levels or storage
7during other periods.

8(b) “Person” means any person, firm, association, organization,
9partnership, business, trust, corporation, limited liability company,
10or public agency, including any city, county, city and county,
11district, joint powers authority, state, or any agency or department
12of those entities. “Person” includes, to the extent authorized by
13federal or tribal law and subject to the limitations described in
14subdivisions (c) and (d) of Section 10720.3, the United States, a
15department, agency or instrumentality of the federal government,
16an Indian tribe, an authorized Indian tribal organization, or
17interstate body.

18(c) “Probationary basin” means a basin for which the board has
19issued a determination under Section 10735.2.

20(d) “Significant depletions of interconnected surface waters”
21means reductions in flow or levels of surface water that is
22hydrologically connected to the basin such that the reduced surface
23water flow or levels have a significant and unreasonable adverse
24impact on beneficial uses of the surface water.

25

SEC. 8.  

Section 10735.8 of the Water Code is amended to read:

26

10735.8.  

(a) The board, after notice and a public hearing, may
27adopt an interim plan for a probationary basin.

28(b) The interim plan shall include all of the following:

29(1) Identification of the actions that are necessary to correct a
30condition of long-term overdraft or a condition where groundwater
31extractions result in significant depletions of interconnected surface
32waters, including recommendations for appropriate action by any
33person.

34(2) A time schedule for the actions to be taken.

35(3) A description of the monitoring to be undertaken to
36determine effectiveness of the plan.

37(c) The interim plan may include the following:

38(1) Restrictions on groundwater extraction.

39(2) A physical solution.

P13   1(3) Principles and guidelines for the administration of rights to
2surface waters that are connected to the basin.

3(d)  Except as provided in subdivision (e), the interim plan shall
4be consistent with water right priorities, subject to Section 2 of
5Article X of the California Constitution.

6(e) The board shall include in its interim plan a groundwater
7sustainability plan, or any element of a plan, that the board finds
8complies with the sustainability goal for that portion of the basin
9or would help meet the sustainability goal for the basin. Where,
10in the judgment of the board, an adjudication action can be relied
11on as part of the interim plan, either throughout the basin or in an
12area within the basin, the board may rely on, or incorporate
13elements of, that adjudication into the interim plan adopted by the
14board.

15(f) In carrying out activities that may affect the probationary
16basin, state entities shall comply with an interim plan adopted by
17the board pursuant to this section unless otherwise directed or
18authorized by statute and the state entity shall indicate to the board
19in writing the authority for not complying with the interim plan.

20(g) (1) After the board adopts an interim plan under this section,
21the board shall determine if a groundwater sustainability plan or
22an adjudication action is adequate to eliminate the condition of
23long-term overdraft or condition where groundwater extractions
24result in significant depletions of interconnected surface waters,
25upon petition of either of the following:

26(A) A groundwater sustainability agency that has adopted a
27groundwater sustainability plan for the probationary basin or a
28portion thereof.

29(B) A person authorized to file the petition by a judicial order
30or decree entered in an adjudication action in the probationary
31basin.

32(2) The board shall act on a petition filed pursuant to paragraph
33(1) within 90 days after the petition is complete. If the board, in
34consultation with the department, determines that the groundwater
35sustainability plan or adjudication action is adequate, the board
36shall rescind the interim plan adopted by the board for the
37probationary basin, except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4).

38(3) Upon request of the petitioner, the board may amend an
39interim plan adopted under this section to eliminate portions of
P14   1the interim plan, while allowing other portions of the interim plan
2to continue in effect.

3(4) The board may decline to rescind an interim plan adopted
4pursuant to this section if the board determines that the petitioner
5has not provided adequate assurances that the groundwater
6sustainability plan or judicial order or decree will be implemented.

7(5) This subdivision is not a limitation on the authority of the
8board to stay its proceedings under this section or to rescind or
9amend an interim plan adopted pursuant to this section based on
10the progress made by a groundwater sustainability agency or in
11an adjudication action pursuant to Chapter 12 (commencing with
12Section 10737), even if the board cannot make a determination of
13adequacy in accordance with paragraph (1).

14(h) Before January 1, 2025, the state board shall not establish
15an interim plan under this section to remedy a condition where the
16groundwater extractions result in significant depletions of
17interconnected surface waters.

18(i) The board’s authority to adopt an interim plan under this
19section does not alter the law establishing water rights priorities
20or any other authority of the board.

21

SEC. 9.  

Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 10737) is added
22to Part 2.74 of Division 6 of the Water Code, to read:

23 

24Chapter  12. Determination of Rights to Groundwater
25

25 

26Article 1.  General Provisions
27

 

28

10737.  

(a) This chapter establishes a timely and comprehensive
29method for determining rights to groundwater in furtherance of
30the objectives of this part.

31(b) This chapter shall be applied and interpreted consistently
32with all of the following:

33(1) Protecting water rights consistent with Section 2 of Article
34X of the California Constitution.

35(2) Conducting an adjudication action in a manner that promotes
36efficiency, reduces unnecessary delays, provides due process, and
37is consistent with the achievement of the sustainability goal within
38the timeframes of this part.

39(3) Encouraging the compromise and settlement of adjudication
40actions.

P15   1(4) Establishing procedures by which courts may conduct
2comprehensive determinations of all rights and priorities to
3groundwater in a basin.

4(5) Providing for the conduct of an adjudication action consistent
5with Winters v. U.S. (1908) 207 U.S. 564, the McCarran
6Amendment (codified at 43 U.S.C. Sec. 666), and any other federal
7law regarding the determination of federal or tribal water rights,
8as applicable.

9(6) Providing notice and due process sufficient to enable a court
10in an adjudication action to determine and establish the priority
11for unexercised water rights consistent with the principles
12established in In re Waters of Long Valley Creek Stream System
13(1979) 25 Cal.3d 339.

14

10737.2.  

In an adjudication action for a basin required to have
15a groundwater sustainability plan under this part, the court shall
16manage the proceedings in a manner that minimizes interference
17with the timely completion and implementation of a groundwater
18sustainability plan, avoids redundancy and unnecessary costs in
19the development of technical information and a physical solution,
20and is consistent with the attainment of the sustainability goal
21within the timeframes established by this part.

22

10737.4.  

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a court
23shall determine rights to groundwater using the procedures codified
24in the Code of Civil Procedure.
25

25 

26Article 2.  Scope of the Action
27

 

28

10738.  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), this chapter
29applies to either of the following:

30(1) An adjudication action in a high- or medium-priority basin.

31(2) Where a court considers the need for effective determination
32and administration of water rights and priorities, the purposes of
33this part, and the interest in judicial economy, and determines that
34proceedings in an adjudication action should be conducted under
35this chapter.

36(b) This chapter does not apply to any of the following
37adjudication actions:

38(1) An adjudication action that concerns only allegations that a
39groundwater extraction facility, or a group of facilities, is
40interfering with another groundwater extraction facility or facilities
P16   1and that does not require an allocation of the basin’s groundwater
2supply.

3(2) An adjudication action that concerns only claims to extract,
4or prevent interference with extractions from, water stored in a
5basin as a result of artificial recharge and does not involve an
6allocation of the basin’s groundwater supply.

7(3) An adjudication action that can be resolved among a limited
8number of parties and does not involve a comprehensive allocation
9of the basin’s groundwater supply.

10

10738.2.  

(a) The court may determine all rights to groundwater
11in an adjudication action for a basin, whether based upon
12appropriation, overlying right, or other basis of right.

13(b) As to the right to groundwater of each party, the court’s final
14judgment in an adjudication action may declare the priority,
15amount, purposes of use, extraction location, and place of use of
16the water, together with appropriate injunction relief, subject to
17terms adopted by the court to implement a physical solution in the
18adjudication action.

19

10738.4.  

(a) (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section,
20the boundaries of the area subject to an adjudication action shall
21be consistent with the boundaries of a basin.

22(2) If the department revises the boundaries of a basin under
23Section 10722.2 or subdivision (b) of Section 12924 after an
24adjudication action has been initiated, the court may revise the
25boundaries of the area subject to the adjudication action as the
26interest of justice and the objectives of this chapter require.

27(3) Upon a showing that a revision of the basin boundaries
28would further a fair and effective determination of water rights,
29the court may direct any of the following to submit a request to
30the department for revision of the basin boundaries in accordance
31with Section 10722.2:

32(A) A party to the adjudication action.

33(B) The board, if the court has made a reference under Part 3
34(commencing with Section 2000) of Division 2.

35(C) A special master, if one has been appointed.

36(b) If the court finds that including an interconnected surface
37water body or subterranean stream flowing through known and
38definite channels is necessary to the fair and effective determination
39of the rights to a basin, the court may require the joinder of persons
P17   1who claim rights to divert and use water from that surface water
2body or subterranean stream in the adjudication action.

3(c) If the court finds that claims of right to extract or divert only
4minor quantities of water, not to exceed five acre-feet per year,
5have no material effect on the rights of other parties, the court may
6exempt those claimants with respect to those claims for only minor
7quantities of water. A person exempted pursuant to this subdivision
8may elect to continue as a party to the adjudication action.

9 

10Article 3.  Selection of Judge
11

 

12

10739.  

(a) A judge of a superior court of a county within which
13a portion of the groundwater adjudication lies shall be disqualified.
14The chair of the Judicial Council shall assign a judge to preside in
15all proceedings in an adjudication action.

16(b) An adjudication action is presumed to be a complex action
17within the meaning of Rule 3.400 of the California Rules of Court
18unless a party demonstrates that the comprehensive adjudication
19is not complex.

20(c) Sections 170.6 and 394 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall
21not apply in an adjudication action.

22(d) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 10726.6, an
23action against a groundwater sustainability agency that is located
24in a basin that is being adjudicated under this chapter shall be
25subject to transfer, coordination, and consolidation with the
26adjudication action, as appropriate, if the action concerns the
27adoption, substance, or implementation of a groundwater
28sustainability plan, or the agency’s compliance with the timelines
29in this part.

30(2) The judge assigned by the Judicial Council pursuant to
31subdivision (a) shall determine whether transfer, coordination, or
32consolidation is appropriate.

33 

34Article 4.  Electronic Service
35

 

36

10739.6.  

Except for the service of a complaint pursuant to
37Article 5 (commencing with Section 10740), the service of
38pleadings and papers in an adjudication action shall occur
39electronically to the greatest extent possible. Each party shall serve
40documents by electronic mail, or other equivalent electronic means,
P18   1to the greatest extent possible. To enable electronic service of
2pleadings and papers, the attorney of record or a party representing
3themselves shall include an electronic mail address for service in
4the captions of pleadings and papers that the attorney or party files
5in the adjudication action.
6

6 

7Article 5.  Notice and Service of Complaint
8

 

9

10740.  

(a) The plaintiff shall publish notice of the complaint
10pursuant to Section 6065 of the Government Code in each county
11that overlies the basin or a portion of the basin.

12(b) (1) The plaintiff shall provide notice of the adjudication
13action to all of the following:

14(A) A groundwater sustainability agency that overlies any
15portion of the basin.

16(B) A city, county, or city and county that overlies any portion
17of the basin.

18(C) A district with authority to manage or replenish groundwater
19resources of the basin in whole or in part.

20(D) The operator of a public water system or state small water
21system that uses groundwater from the basin to supply water
22service.

23(E) A California Native American tribe that is on the contact
24list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission.

25(F) The Attorney General, the board, the department, and the
26Department of Fish and Wildlife.

27(G) A federal department or agency that manages a federal
28reservation that in any portion overlies the basin.

29(H) A person identified under subdivision (a) or (b) of Section
3010740.4 who is not a party to the action.

31(I) An owner of real property in the basin, if a person who
32 receives notice under Section 10740.2 notifies the plaintiff of the
33address of the owner of real property subject to the property tax
34bill.

35(J) A person who makes a request in writing, including
36electronic mail.

37(2) The plaintiff may provide notice required pursuant to this
38subdivision by first class mail or electronic mail.

P19   1(3) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the plaintiff
2shall provide notice required pursuant to this subdivision as
3follows:

4(i) To any person entitled to notice under subparagraphs (A) to
5(G), inclusive, of paragraph (1) within 15 days of the filing of the
6complaint.

7(ii) To any person entitled to notice under subparagraphs (H)
8to (J), inclusive, of paragraph (1) within 30 days of receipt of the
9name and address of the person entitled to notice.

10(B) The plaintiff may take additional time as is reasonably
11necessary before providing notice under this subdivision if the
12plaintiff determines that additional time is necessary to identify a
13person entitled to notice under this subdivision, to confirm the
14accuracy of the name or address of that person, or to determine
15whether the conditions requiring notice have been satisfied.

16(4) The plaintiff is not required to provide notice under this
17subdivision to a person who has already been served or intervened
18in the adjudication action.

19

10740.2.  

(a) When the plaintiff files the complaint, the plaintiff
20shall lodge all of the following with the court:

21(1) (A) A draft notice titled “NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT
22OF GROUNDWATER BASIN ADJUDICATION” in no less than
2320-point font and the following text printed immediately below
24the draft notice title in no less than 14-point font:

25“THIS NOTICE IS IMPORTANT. ANY RIGHTS YOU CLAIM
26TO PUMP OR STORE GROUNDWATER FROM THE BASIN
27IDENTIFIED IN THIS NOTICE MAY BE AFFECTED BY A
28LAWSUIT INITIATED BY THE COMPLAINT SUMMARIZED
29BELOW.

30A copy of the complaint may be obtained by contacting the
31plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney identified in this notice. If you
32claim rights to pump or store groundwater within the basin, either
33now or in the future, you may become a party to this lawsuit by
34filing an answer to the lawsuit on or before the deadline specified
35in this notice. You may file an answer by completing the attached
36form answer, filing it with the court indicated in this notice, and
37sending a copy of the form answer to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s
38attorney. The form answer is provided for your convenience.
39Should you choose to file the form answer, it will serve as an
40answer to all complaints and cross-complaints filed in this case.

P20   1It is the duty of all persons who receive this notice and who
2claim rights to pump or store groundwater within the basin to
3appear in the lawsuit by the date specified below. All persons who
4claim rights to pump or store groundwater within the basin will
5be required to make proof of their claims within six months of
6their appearance in the lawsuit. Any claimant who fails to appear
7and submit proof of his or her claim shall be held to have forfeited
8all rights to pump or store groundwater. At the conclusion of the
9lawsuit, the superior court will enter a decree determining all water
10rights of the basin, whether based upon appropriation, overlying
11right, or other basis of right. You are encouraged to seek the advice
12of an attorney promptly.”

13(B) The following information shall be provided immediately
14following the text described in subparagraph (A):

15(i) The name of the basin that is the subject of the adjudication
16action and a link to the Internet Web site address where the
17department has posted a map of the basin.

18(ii) A space to be completed with the case number assigned to
19the adjudication action, and the name and address of the court and
20department to which the action is assigned.

21(iii) The name, address, telephone number, and electronic mail
22address of the plaintiff, or plaintiff’s attorney, from which the
23complaint may be obtained and to whom a copy of the form answer
24should be sent.

25(iv) A summary of the causes of action alleged in the complaint
26and the relief sought. The summary shall not exceed 25 lines.

27(v) A date by which persons receiving the notice must appear
28in the action.

29(2) (A) A draft form answer titled “ANSWER TO
30ADJUDICATION COMPLAINT” in no less than 20-point font
31and the following text printed immediately below the draft form
32answer title in no less than 14-point font:

33“The undersigned denies all material allegations in the complaint
34or cross-complaint in this action that seeks to adjudicate rights in
35the groundwater basin and asserts all applicable affirmative
36defenses to that complaint.”

37(B) Notwithstanding any other law, the filing of an answer in
38the form described in subparagraph (A) in an adjudication action
39is sufficient to put at issue all material allegations and applicable
40affirmative defenses to the complaint in the adjudication action.

P21   1(b) Within 30 days of the assignment of a judge by the Judicial
2Council, the plaintiff shall file a motion for approval of plaintiff’s
3draft notice and draft form answer filed pursuant to subdivision
4(a).

5(c) Once the court approves the draft notice, service of that
6notice in accordance with this section shall substitute for the
7summons otherwise provided for in civil actions pursuant to
8Section 412.20 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

9(d) (1) Following a court order approving the notice and form
10answer and authorizing service of landowners pursuant to this
11section, the plaintiff shall do all of the following:

12(A) Identify the assessor parcel numbers and physical addresses
13of all real property within the basin and the names and addresses
14of all holders of fee title to real property within the basin using the
15records of the assessor or assessors of the county or counties in
16which the basin to be adjudicated lies. The plaintiff shall provide
17the court and all parties with notice of its acquisition of, or
18sufficient access to, this information.

19(B) Mail, by registered mail or certified mail, return receipt
20requested, the notice, complaint, and form answer to all holders
21of fee title to real property in the basin. If the physical address of
22the real property differs from the address of the holder of fee title,
23the notice, complaint, and form answer shall be mailed by
24registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the physical
25address of the real property and the address of the holder of fee
26title.

27(C) If return receipt is not received for a parcel of real property,
28the plaintiff shall post a copy of the notice, complaint, and form
29answer in a conspicuous place on the real property.

30(D) Within 20 days of the court order, publish the notice at least
31once per week for four consecutive weeks in one or more
32newspapers of general circulation in each county overlying the
33basin in whole or in part.

34(2) Service pursuant to this subdivision is not required if the
35real property is part of a class of water users that are otherwise
36noticed in accordance with this chapter.

37(e) Upon completion of the mailing pursuant to subdivision (d),
38the plaintiff shall file with the court a notice of the completion of
39the mailing.

P22   1(f) Within 60 days after service is authorized, the plaintiff shall
2prepare and file a notice of the adjudication action in the office of
3the county recorder of each county overlying the basin in whole
4or in part. The notice shall be recorded in a manner so as to ensure
5that a person researching the title of a parcel will find the notice.

6(g) The plaintiff shall serve the court-approved notice and form
7answer by first class mail to any entity that is known, or with
8reasonable diligence can be determined, to hold title to real
9property in the basin but is exempt from property tax.

10(h) The court may authorize any other procedures it finds
11appropriate and necessary to provide notice to persons who may
12hold groundwater rights in the basin.

13(i) The court may require notice to be made available in
14languages other than English.

15(j) Within 15 days of the court’s approval of the notice and form
16answer, the plaintiff shall provide the notice and form answer to
17the department and each county and groundwater sustainability
18agency that overlies any portion of the basin. The department, and
19each county and groundwater sustainability agency that overlies
20any portion of the basin and has an Internet Web site, shall do the
21following:

22(1) Post the notice and form answer on their Internet Web site
23within 15 days of receipt.

24(2) Provide a link to the notice and form answer from their
25Internet Web site home page.

26(3) Maintain the posting and link pursuant to paragraphs (1)
27and (2) for the entire time that the adjudication action is pending.
28The plaintiff shall notify the department and each county and
29groundwater sustainability agency when the adjudication action
30is no longer pending.

31

10740.4.  

(a) (1) Within 15 days of the court’s approval of the
32notice under Section 10740.2, the plaintiff shall request from the
33following entities the names and addresses of persons reporting
34extractions within the basin under this part, or Part 5 (commencing
35with Section 4999) or Part 5.2 (commencing with Section 5200)
36of Division 2:

37(A) The board.

38(B) Any local agency designated as a board-designated local
39area that includes the basin, or a portion of the basin, under Section
405009.

P23   1(C) Any groundwater sustainability agency for the basin or a
2portion of the basin.

3(2) The entities described in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive,
4of paragraph (1) shall provide the plaintiff with the names, mailing
5addresses, and electronic mail addresses, if available, within 45
6days of the plaintiff’s request. Additionally, the board shall provide
7the mailing address and electronic mail address, if available, of
8any person known to the board who holds a permit or license
9authorizing underground storage in the basin or who claims a right
10to divert water for underground storage in the basin.

11(b) If extractions in the basin or a portion of the basin are not
12subject to reporting requirements under this part, or Part 5
13(commencing with Section 4999) or Part 5.2 (commencing with
14Section 5200) of Division 2, the plaintiff shall request the names
15and addresses of all customers in the area who are supplied power
16to operate groundwater extraction facilities in the basin, as reflected
17in the utility records, from any investor-owned utility or municipal
18utility that provides electrical power in the area. The utility shall
19provide the plaintiffs with the names, mailing addresses, and
20electronic mail addresses, if available, within 45 days of the
21plaintiff’s request.

22(c) Upon request, the plaintiff shall provide reimbursement for
23the reasonable costs incurred under this section to an entity
24described in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, of paragraph (1)
25of subdivision (a) or a utility described in subdivision (b). The
26entity or utility shall incur no civil liability by reason of its
27compliance with this section.

28

10740.6.  

(a) The plaintiff shall serve the complaint on any
29person known to extract groundwater within the basin. Service
30may be by personal service or by other method as provided by
31Article 3 (commencing with Section 415.10) of Chapter 4 of Title
325 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

33(b) The plaintiff shall serve the complaint on any person known
34to own real property that overlies the basin and that has not been
35sent the court-approved notice and form answer. Service shall be
36by first class mail.

37(c) Service on the United States shall be made in accordance
38with Section 666 of Title 43 of the United States Code.

P24   1(d) Section 389 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall not apply
2to a failure to join the United States or an Indian tribe to a
3comprehensive adjudication.

4

10740.8.  

(a) Whenever proceedings are instituted to determine
5rights to water under this chapter, it is the duty of all claimants
6interested in the proceedings and having notice of the proceedings
7pursuant to this chapter to appear in the proceedings and to submit
8proof of their claims at the time, and in the manner, required by
9this chapter.

10(b) The fulfillment of the notice and service provisions of this
11chapter shall be deemed effective service of process of the
12complaint and notice on all interested parties of the adjudication
13action for purposes of establishing in rem jurisdiction and the
14comprehensive effect of the adjudication action.

15 

16Article 6.  Intervention
17

 

18

10741.  

Any of the following may intervene in an adjudication
19action under this chapter:

20(a) The groundwater sustainability agency for the basin or
21portion of the basin.

22(b) Any city, county, or city and county, that overlies any portion
23of the basin.

24(c) Any person upon an ex parte application that demonstrates
25that the person holds fee simple ownership in a parcel in the basin
26or extracts or stores water in the basin. A person filing an ex parte
27application pursuant to this subdivision shall give notice to the
28plaintiff consistent with the California Rules of Court.

29 

30Article 7.  Initial Disclosure
31

 

32

10741.5.  

(a) Except as otherwise ordered by the court, a party
33shall serve on the other parties and the special master, if one is
34appointed, an initial disclosure within six months of appearing in
35the adjudication action that includes all of the following
36information:

37(1) The name, address, telephone number, and electronic mail
38address of the party and, if applicable, of the party’s attorney.

39(2) The quantity of groundwater extracted from the basin by
40the party and the method of measurement used by the party or the
P25   1party’s predecessor in interest for each of the previous five calendar
2years preceding the filing of the complaint.

3(3) A general description of the purpose to which the water has
4been put.

5(4) The area in which the water has been used.

6(5) The location of each well or other source through which
7groundwater has been extracted.

8(6) The type of water right or rights claimed by the party for
9the extraction of groundwater.

10(7) Any claims for increased or future use of groundwater.

11(8) The quantity of any beneficial use of any alternative water
12use that the party claims as its use of groundwater under any
13applicable law, including, but not limited to, Sections 1005.1,
141005.2, 1005.4, 1010, or 1011.

15(9) Identification of all surface water rights and contracts that
16the party claims provides the basis for its water right claims in the
17adjudication action.

18(10) The quantity of any replenishment of water to the basin
19that augmented the basin’s native water supply, resulting from the
20intentional storage of imported or nonnative water in the basin,
21managed recharge of surface water, or return flows resulting from
22the use of imported water or nonnative water on lands overlying
23the basin by the party, or the party’s representative or agent, during
24each of the five calendar years immediately preceding the filing
25of the complaint.

26(11) The names, addresses, telephone numbers, and electronic
27mail addresses of all persons possessing information that supports
28the party’s disclosures.

29(12) Any other facts that tend to prove the party’s claimed water
30right.

31(b) A party shall make its initial disclosures based on the
32information then reasonably available to it. A party is not excused
33from making its initial disclosures because it has not fully
34investigated the case, because it challenges the sufficiency of
35another party’s disclosures, or because another party has not made
36its disclosures.

37(c) A party that has made its initial disclosures, as described in
38subdivision (a), or that has responded to another party’s discovery
39request, shall supplement or correct a disclosure or response in all
40of the following situations:

P26   1(1) In a timely manner if the party learns that in some material
2respect the disclosure or response is incomplete or incorrect and
3the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been
4made known to the other parties during the disclosure or discovery
5process.

6(2) If the party extracts groundwater from the basin after the
7complaint is filed. The supplement filed under this paragraph shall
8report the quantity of water involved and be filed within 90 days
9of the end of the calendar year.

10(3) As ordered by the court.

11(d) To the greatest extent possible, a party shall serve its initial
12disclosures electronically. If it is not possible for the party to serve
13its disclosures electronically, the party shall serve the disclosures
14in an electronic format saved on a portable storage media device
15such as a compact disc or flash drive.

16(e) A party’s obligations under this section may be enforced by
17a court on its own motion or the motion of a party to compel
18disclosure.

19(f) A party’s disclosures under this section shall be verified
20under penalty of perjury as being true and correct to the best of
21the party’s knowledge.

22 

23Article 8.  Case Management
24

 

25

10742.  

(a) In managing an adjudication action, the court shall
26convene a case management conference as provided by the
27California Rules of Court.

28(b) In an initial case management conference, or as soon as
29practicable, the court should consider the following, in addition
30to other matters:

31(1) Determining whether to seek adjustment of the basin
32boundaries pursuant to Section 10738.4.

33(2) Staying the action pursuant to Article 9 (commencing with
34Section 10742.5).

35(3) Appointing a special master pursuant to Article 10
36(commencing with Section 10743).

37(4) Scheduling a hearing on a preliminary injunction pursuant
38to Article 11 (commencing with Section 10743.5).

39(5) Dividing the case into phases to resolve legal and factual
40issues.

P27   1(6) Issuing orders to ensure that issues resolved in one phase
2are not relitigated in another.

3(7) Limiting discovery to correspond to the phases.

4(8) Scheduling early resolution of claims to prescriptive rights.

5(9) Formation of a class or classes of an overlying groundwater
6rights holder pursuant to the criteria specified in Section 382 of
7the Code of Civil Procedure.

8 

9Article 9.  Stay
10

 

11

10742.5.  

(a) Upon the motion of any party to an adjudication
12action, a court may stay an adjudication action for a period of up
13to one year, subject to renewal in the court’s discretion upon a
14showing of good cause, in order to facilitate any of the following:

15(1) The adoption of a groundwater sustainability plan that
16provides for a physical solution or may otherwise address issues
17in the adjudication action.

18(2) The development of technical studies that may be useful to
19the parties in the adjudication action.

20(3) The voluntary mediation or participation in a settlement
21conference on all, or a portion of, the subject matters or legal
22questions identified in the adjudication action.

23(4) The compromise and settlement of the adjudication action
24or issues in the adjudication action.

25(b) A stay pursuant to this section shall not stay, or otherwise
26delay, the parties’ obligations to provide initial disclosures pursuant
27to Article 7 (commencing with Section 10741.5) unless the court
28determines the initial disclosures will not benefit resolution of the
29comprehensive adjudication.

30 

31Article 10.  Special Master
32

 

33

10743.  

(a) The court may appoint one or more special masters,
34whose duties may include the following:

35(1) Investigating technical and legal issues, as directed by the
36court. The special master shall compile a report of findings in
37accordance with Section 10743.2.

38(2) Conducting joint factfinding with the parties, their designees,
39or both.

P28   1(3) Investigating the need for, and developing the proposal for,
2a preliminary injunction pursuant to Article 11 (commencing with
3Section 10743.5).

4(4) Performing other tasks the court may deem appropriate.

5(b) The court shall fix a special master’s compensation on the
6basis and terms stated in the appointing order. The court may set
7a new basis and terms for the special master after giving notice
8and an opportunity to be heard. The court shall allocate payment
9for the cost of the special master among the parties in an amount
10and a manner that the court deems equitable. The court may waive
11a party’s payment obligation upon a showing of good cause.

12(c) The court may request that the board or department
13recommend candidates for appointment as special master or review
14the qualifications of candidates.

15(d) This section does not limit the authority of the court to make
16a reference pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 2000)
17of Part 3 of Division 2.

18(e) This section does not limit the authority to appoint a
19watermaster pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section
204050) of Part 4 of Division 2 or any other law.

21

10743.2.  

(a) The special master shall make available a draft
22report and provide at least 60 days for the parties to submit written
23objections to the draft report.

24(b) An objection to the draft report shall identify the specific
25grounds and evidence on which the objection is based.

26(c) The special master may notice and hold hearings, as the
27special master deems appropriate, to gather information or address
28issues raised in the objections to the draft report.

29(d) The special master shall consider the objections to the draft
30report and prepare a final report that shall be filed with the court.

31 

32Article 11.  Preliminary Injunction
33

 

34

10743.5.  

(a) Upon a showing that the basin is in a condition
35of long-term overdraft, the court may, upon notice and a hearing,
36issue a preliminary injunction.

37(b) The following information shall be admissible and shall
38constitute prima facie evidence of a condition of long-term
39overdraft:

40(1) Bulletins and other reports of the department.

P29   1(2) A report of a special master indicating that a condition of
2long-term overdraft exists.

3(c) A preliminary injunction may include, but is not limited to,
4any of the following:

5(1) A moratorium on new or increased appropriations of water.

6(2) A limitation on or reduction in the diversion or extraction
7of water.

8(3) An allocation among the parties establishing amounts of
9extraction allowed during the pendency of the action.

10(4) Procedures for voluntary transfers.

11(d) The court shall issue a preliminary injunction upon a
12determination of all of the following:

13(1) The basin is in a condition of long-term overdraft.

14(2) The basin is a probationary basin or is not in compliance
15with the planning deadlines in subdivision (a) of Section 10720.7.

16(3) There is no interim plan in effect for the basin pursuant to
17Section 10735.8.

18(e) The court may provide a schedule for further reductions in
19extractions over a period of years if the court finds that doing so
20appears reasonably necessary to meet the sustainability goal within
21the timelines provided in subdivision (b) of Section 10727.2.

22(f) The terms of a preliminary injunction shall not determine
23the rights in the final judgment of the action.

24(g) No bond or undertaking shall be required for the issuance
25of a preliminary injunction.

26(h) The court may appoint a watermaster to oversee the
27enforcement of a preliminary injunction.

28 

29Article 12.  Expert Witnesses
30

 

31

10744.  

(a) In addition to the other disclosures required by this
32chapter, a party shall disclose to the other parties the identity of
33any expert witness it may use at trial to present evidence.

34(b) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, this disclosure shall
35be accompanied by a written report, prepared and signed by the
36expert witness, if the expert witness is retained or specially
37employed by the party offering the expert witness to testify as an
38expert in the action, or if the expert witness’s duties as the party’s
39employee regularly involve giving expert testimony. The report
40shall contain all of the following:

P30   1(1) A complete statement of all opinions the expert witness will
2express and the basis and reasons for those opinions.

3(2) The facts or data considered by the expert witness in forming
4his or her opinions.

5(3) Any exhibits the expert witness will use to summarize or
6support his or her opinion.

7(4) The expert witness’s qualifications, including a list of all
8publications authored by the expert witness in the previous 10
9years.

10(5) A list of all other cases in which the expert witness testified,
11 as an expert at trial or by deposition, in the last five years.

12(6) A statement of the compensation to be paid for the witness’s
13work and testimony in the adjudication action.

14(c) If subdivision (b) does not apply to an expert, the witness’s
15disclosure shall include both of the following:

16(1) The subject matter on which the expert witness is expected
17to present evidence.

18(2) A summary of the expert witness’s opinions and the facts
19or data considered by the expert witness in forming his or her
20opinion.

21(d) Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties, a party shall make
22the disclosures of any expert witness it intends to present at trial,
23except for an expert witness presented solely for purposes of
24impeachment or rebuttal, at the times and in the sequence ordered
25by the court. If there is no stipulation or court order, the disclosures
26of an expert witness shall be made as follows:

27(1) No sooner than 30 days after the court’s entry of an order
28establishing the scope of the relevant phase of the adjudication
29action.

30(2) Except for a supplemental expert witness described in
31paragraph (3), no later than 60 days before the date set for trial for
32the relevant phase of the adjudication action.

33(3) For a supplemental expert witness who will express an
34opinion on a subject to be covered by another expert witness
35designated by an adverse party that was not among the subjects
36covered by an expert witness initially disclosed by the party
37offering the supplemental expert witness, no more than 20 days
38after the initial expert witness disclosure date.

39(e) The court may modify the disclosure requirements of
40subdivisions (b) through (d), inclusive, for expert witnesses
P31   1presented solely for purposes of impeachment or rebuttal. In
2modifying the disclosure requirements, the court shall adopt
3disclosure requirements that expedite the court’s consideration of
4the issues presented and shall ensure that expert testimony
5presented solely for the purposes of impeachment or rebuttal is
6strictly limited to the scope of the testimony that it intends to
7impeach or rebut.

8(f) (1)  A party whose expert witness has made a disclosure
9pursuant to this section shall promptly supplement or correct the
10expert witness’s disclosure in either of the following instances:

11(A) In a timely manner if the party learns that in some material
12respect the disclosure is incomplete or incorrect, if the additional
13or corrective information has not otherwise been made known to
14the other parties during the disclosure or discovery process.

15(B) As ordered by the court.

16(2) A party’s duty to supplement or correct its expert witness’s
17disclosure includes the information included in the report and the
18information given during the expert witness’s deposition. Unless
19otherwise stipulated by the parties or ordered by the court, any
20supplementation or correction shall occur at least 14 days before
21trial of the applicable phase of the adjudication action.

22(3) The court may authorize a supplemental deposition of an
23expert witness based on a supplemental disclosure made pursuant
24to this subdivision. The court shall appropriately condition the
25authorization of a supplemental deposition of an expert witness to
26ensure the expeditious completion of the applicable phase of the
27adjudication action. The court may require the party whose expert
28makes the supplemental disclosure to pay some or all of the costs
29associated with the supplemental deposition.

30(g) If a party or its expert witness fails to comply with this
31section, the court may, upon notice and hearing, exclude the expert
32witness’s testimony from trial, authorize additional depositions of
33the expert witness at the party’s expense, or take other appropriate
34action.

35 

36Article 13.  Written Testimony
37

 

38

10744.5.  

(a) A court in an adjudication action may require the
39parties to submit written testimony of witnesses in the forms of
40affidavits or declarations under penalty of perjury in lieu of
P32   1presenting live testimony. The required written testimony may
2include, but is not limited to, expert witness opinions and testimony
3that authenticates documentary evidence. The court may order that
4the written testimony constitutes the entirety of the witness’s direct
5testimony, require the written testimony to include any exhibits
6offered in support of the written testimony, and, in the case of
7written testimony of an expert witness, require a statement of the
8witness’s qualifications.

9(b) If the court requires the submission of written testimony
10pursuant to subdivision (a), a complete copy of the direct testimony
11shall be served at least 21 days before trial. A complete copy of
12any rebuttal testimony shall be served no later than the first day
13of trial.

14(c) If the contents of the written testimony would have been
15admissible if the witness testified orally, the written testimony
16shall be received by the court as a documentary exhibit provided
17that the witness whose written testimony is being offered is made
18available for cross-examination by all parties.

19 

20Article 14.  Physical Solution
21

 

22

10745.  

(a) The court shall have the authority and the duty to
23impose a physical solution on the parties in an adjudication action,
24consistent with Section 2 of Article X of the California
25Constitution, where necessary.

26(b) Prior to adopting a physical solution presented by a party
27or considered on the court’s own motion, the court shall determine
28whether a physical solution is required to prevent waste and
29unreasonable use by Section 2 of Article X of the California
30Constitution after considering any existing groundwater
31sustainability plan or program.

32 

33Article 15.  Stipulated Judgment
34

 

35

10746.  

(a) If a party, or a group of parties, submits a proposed
36stipulated judgment, the court may adopt the proposed stipulated
37judgment if the court finds that it meets all of the following criteria:

38(1) It is consistent with Section 2 of Article X of the California
39Constitution.

P33   1(2) It treats objecting parties and any persons who have claims
2that are exempted under Section 10738.4 equitably as compared
3to the stipulating parties.

4(3) It will not substantially impair the ability of a groundwater
5sustainability agency, the board, or the department to comply with
6this part and to achieve the sustainability goal.

7(b) (1) The court may adopt a proposed stipulated judgment,
8as applied to the stipulating parties, if the stipulation meets the
9criteria described in subdivision (a) and it is submitted by a party,
10or a group of parties, and supported by either of the following:

11(A) More than 50 percent of all named parties in the adjudication
12action.

13(B) Groundwater extractors responsible for at least 75 percent
14of the groundwater production in the basin during the past five
15calendar years.

16(2) A party objecting to a proposed stipulated judgment pursuant
17to this subdivision shall demonstrate, by a preponderance of the
18evidence, that the proposed stipulated judgment does not satisfy
19one or more criteria described in subdivision (a) or that it
20 substantially violates the party’s water rights. If the objecting party
21is unable to make this showing, the court may impose the proposed
22stipulated judgment on the objecting party. The objecting party
23may be subject to a preliminary injunction under Article 11
24(commencing with Section 10743.5) while the party’s objections
25remain unresolved.

26

10746.2.  

Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 10735) shall
27not apply to a stipulated judgment approved by the court pursuant
28to Section 10746 if all of the following apply:

29(a) The proposed stipulated judgment meets the criteria of
30subdivision (a) of Section 10746.

31(b) All groundwater sustainability agencies within the basin
32support the proposed stipulated judgment.

33(c) A local agency has submitted the proposed stipulated
34judgment to the department for evaluation and assessment pursuant
35to Section 10733.4 or paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section
3610733.6. Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 10733.6, a
37proposed stipulated judgment may be submitted to the department
38after January 1, 2017.

39(d) The department determines that the proposed stipulated
40judgment satisfies the objectives of this part for the basin.

 

P34   1Article 16.  Judgment Binding on Successors
2

 

3

10747.  

The judgment in an adjudication action under this
4chapter shall be binding on the parties to the action, each party’s
5successors in interest, including, but not limited to, heirs, executors,
6administrators, assigns, lessees, licensees, and upon the agents and
7employees of all these persons, and upon all landowners or other
8persons claiming rights to extract groundwater from within the
9basin.
10

10 

11Article 17.  Continuing Jurisdiction
12

 

13

10748.  

(a) The court shall have continuing jurisdiction to
14modify or amend a final judgment in an adjudication action as
15follows:

16(1) In response to new information or changed circumstances.

17(2) In the interests of justice.

18(3) To ensure that the criteria of subdivision (a) of Section 10746
19are met.

20(b) When feasible, the judge who heard the original adjudication
21action should preside over subsequent actions or motions to modify
22or amend the judgment.

23(c) If the court has approved a stipulated judgment not subject
24to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 10735) in accordance
25with Section 10746.2, the department shall submit to the court the
26assessments and any recommended corrective actions that the
27department issues pursuant to Section 10733.8. The court, after
28notice and a hearing, shall determine whether to amend the
29judgment to adopt the department’s recommended corrective
30actions.

31

SEC. 10.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
32Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
33the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
34district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
35infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
36for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
37the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
38the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
39Constitution.

end delete
P35   1begin insert

begin insertSEC. 5.end insert  

end insert

begin insertChapter 12 (commencing with Section 10737) is added
2to Part 2.74 of Division 6 of the end insert
begin insertWater Codeend insertbegin insert, to read:end insert

begin insert

3 

4Chapter  begin insert12.end insert Determination of Rights to Groundwater
5

 

6

begin insert10737.end insert  

Except as provided in this chapter, an adjudication
7action to determine rights to groundwater in a basin shall be
8conducted in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure,
9including pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 830)
10of Title 10 of Part 2 of that code.

11

begin insert10737.2.end insert  

In an adjudication action for a basin required to have
12a groundwater sustainability plan under this part, the court shall
13manage the proceedings in a manner that minimizes interference
14with the timely completion and implementation of a groundwater
15sustainability plan, avoids redundancy and unnecessary costs in
16the development of technical information and a physical solution,
17and is consistent with the attainment of sustainable groundwater
18management within the timeframes established by this part.

19

begin insert10737.4.end insert  

(a) Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 10735)
20shall not apply to a stipulated judgment approved by the court
21pursuant to Section 850 of the Code of Civil Procedure if both of
22the following apply:

23(1) A local agency or a party directed by the court to file the
24submission submits the judgment to the department for evaluation
25and assessment pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of
26Section 10733.6.

27(2) The department determines that the judgment satisfies the
28objectives of this part for the basin.

29(b) A party or group of parties proposing a stipulated judgment
30pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 850 of the Code of Civil
31Procedure may submit the proposed stipulated judgment to the
32department for evaluation and assessment pursuant to paragraph
33(2) of subdivision (b) of Section 10733.6.

34(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 10733.6, a
35judgment or proposed stipulated judgment pursuant to this section
36may be submitted to the department after January 1, 2017.

37(d) A determination of the department on a submission pursuant
38to this section is subject to judicial review pursuant to Section
391085 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Venue shall be in the court
P36   1with jurisdiction over the adjudication action and the case shall
2be coordinated with the adjudication action.

3

begin insert10737.6.end insert  

If the department determines that a judgment satisfies
4the objectives of this part in accordance with paragraph (2) of
5subdivision (a) of Section 10737.4, the department shall submit to
6the court the assessments and any recommended corrective actions
7that the department issues pursuant to Section 10733.8. The court,
8after notice and, if necessary, an evidentiary hearing, shall
9determine whether to amend the judgment pursuant to Section 852
10of the Code of Civil Procedure to adopt the department’s
11recommended corrective actions.

12

begin insert10737.8.end insert  

In addition to making any findings required by
13subdivision (a) of Section 850 of the Code of Civil Procedure or
14any other law, the court shall not approve entry of judgment in an
15adjudication action for a basin required to have a groundwater
16sustainability plan under this part unless the court finds that the
17judgment will not substantially impair the ability of a groundwater
18sustainability agency, the board, or the department to comply with
19this part and to achieve sustainable groundwater management.

end insert
20begin insert

begin insertSEC. 6.end insert  

end insert

begin insertThis act shall only become operative if Assembly Bill
211390 of the 2015-16 Regular Session is enacted and becomes
22effective. end insert



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