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SB-252 Water wells.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 10/06/2017 09:00 PM
SB252:v89#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 252
CHAPTER 538

An act to add and repeal Article 5 (commencing with Section 13807) of Chapter 10 of Division 7 of the Water Code, relating to groundwater.

[ Approved by Governor  October 06, 2017. Filed with Secretary of State  October 06, 2017. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 252, Dodd. Water wells.
(1) Existing law requires the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt a model water well, cathodic protection well, and monitoring well drilling and abandonment ordinance implementing certain standards for water well construction, maintenance, and abandonment and requires each county, city, or water agency, where appropriate, not later than January 15, 1990, to adopt a water well, cathodic protection well, and monitoring well drilling and abandonment ordinance that meets or exceeds certain standards. Under existing law, if a county, city, or water agency, where appropriate, fails to adopt an ordinance establishing water well, cathodic protection well, and monitoring well drilling and abandonment standards, the model ordinance adopted by the state board is required to take effect on February 15, 1990, and is required to be enforced by the county or city and have the same force and effect as if adopted as a county or city ordinance.
This bill, until January 30, 2020, would require a city or county overlying a critically overdrafted basin, as defined, to request estimates of certain information from an applicant for a new well located within a critically overdrafted basin as part of an application for a well permit. The bill would require a city or county that receives an application for a well permit in a critically overdrafted basin to make the information about the new well included in the application for a well permit available to both the public and to groundwater sustainability agencies and easily accessible. The bill would authorize a city or county to issue a new well permit within a critically overdrafted basin when these requirements have been met. By increasing the duties of cities and counties, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2)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.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Article 5 (commencing with Section 13807) is added to Chapter 10 of Division 7 of the Water Code, to read:
Article  5. Wells in Critically Overdrafted Groundwater Basins

13807.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) According to the Department of Water Resources, among the 512 basins throughout the state, 21 are deemed critically overdrafted.
(b) In 2014, California adopted landmark legislation, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (Part 2.74 (commencing with Section 10720) of Division 6), to sustainably manage groundwater resources. The act will not be fully implemented for several years, allowing groundwater overdraft to continue in some regions.
(c) The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was a critical step toward achieving sustainability in the management of groundwater.
(d) Consistent with Section 113 and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, this article supports groundwater management by local agencies and is not a limitation on the authority of local agencies or the state under any other law.
(e) Greater transparency is needed to provide existing pumpers and water users in critically overdrafted basins with important information about the use of shared groundwater resources, specifically regarding applications for new well permits.

13807.5.
 As used in this article:
(a) “Basin” has the meaning provided in Section 10721.
(b) “Critically overdrafted basin” means a basin designated by the department as subject to critical conditions of overdraft pursuant to Section 12924.
(c) “De minimis extractor” has the meaning provided in Section 10721.
(d) “Groundwater sustainability agency” has the meaning provided in Section 10721.
(e) “Groundwater sustainability plan” has the meaning provided in Section 10721.
(f) “High-priority basin” and “medium-priority basin” have the same meaning as the categorization of a basin by the department pursuant to Section 10722.4.
(g) “Undesirable results” has the meaning provided in Section 10721.

13808.
 (a) Except as specified in Section 13808.4, every city or county overlying a critically overdrafted basin shall request estimates of the following information, to the extent that it can be reasonably known, from an applicant for a new well located within a critically overdrafted basin, or the applicant’s agent, as part of an application for a well permit:
(1) A map of the location, as well as information including, but not limited to, global positioning system coordinates and elevation of the proposed well.
(2) The depth.
(3) The proposed capacity, estimated pumping rate, anticipated pumping schedule, and estimated annual extraction volume.
(4) The geologic siting information, including, but not limited to, water table depth, seasonal fluctuations, recharge area and rate, if known, and location to flood plain.
(5) The distance from any potential sources of pollution onsite and on adjacent properties, including, but not limited to, existing or proposed septic systems, wells, animal or fowl enclosures, transmission lines, or sewer lines.
(6) The distance from ponds, lakes, and streams within 300 feet.
(7) Any existing wells on the property, including well use, depth, diameter, screen interval, pumping rate, estimated or measured annual extraction volume, and, if available, information on specific capacity or other pumping tests completed.
(8) For a well below Corcoran clay, a map showing the location of canals, ditches, pipelines, utility corridors, and roads within two miles.
(9) The estimated cumulative extraction volume before January 1, 2020.
(10) The size in acres of the area to be served by the well.
(11) The planned category of water use, such as irrigation, stock, domestic, municipal, industrial, or other.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not require a city or county to amend or update an existing ordinance.

13808.2.
 A city or county that receives an application for a well permit in a critically overdrafted basin shall make the information provided pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 13808 for a pending well application easily accessible and available to both the public and to groundwater sustainability agencies located within the basin where the new well is located. Methods of making the information publicly available and easily accessible, include, but are not limited to, posting the information on the city’s or county’s Internet Web site or providing the availability of an email mailing list management system for all interested parties.

13808.4.
 (a) A city or county may issue a new well permit within a critically overdrafted basin when the requirements of Section 13808 have been met, in addition to any requirements set forth in an ordinance adopted by the city or county or the standards adopted by a regional board for an area under the jurisdiction of the city or county pursuant to Section 13805, as applicable.
(b) This article does not apply to any of the following:
(1) An applicant for a new water well who would be a de minimis extractor.
(2) An applicant for a replacement water well that would not increase the amount of extractions above the amount of water extracted from the existing well.
(3) A city or county with a process for the issuance of a well permit that substantially complies with the requirements of this article. In order for this article to not apply to such a city or county, the city or county shall make a public finding certifying that the city or county has an ordinance in effect that substantially complies with the requirements of this article.
(4) An applicant for a new water well that is not located within a critically overdrafted basin.
(5) An applicant for a new water well located within an area subject to a groundwater sustainability plan adopted in accordance with Section 10728.4.
(6) A public agency that substantially meets or exceeds the requirements of this article through another requirement of law. In order to be exempt, the applicant shall document the laws that substantially meet or exceed the requirements of this article and how the requirements of those laws were met.
(7) A city or county municipal well to provide water supply solely for residents of the city or county.

13808.6.
 This article does not, in any manner, alter, change, affect, modify, or enlarge the authority of the city or county to deny, condition, or otherwise modify the proposed well, nor the standards, measurements, or criteria applicable to the approval of the proposed well permit, under an ordinance adopted by the city or county or under the standards adopted by a regional board for an area under the jurisdiction of the city or county pursuant to Section 13805.

13808.8.
 This article shall become inoperative on January 30, 2020, and, as of January 1, 2021, is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.