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AB-448 Water rights: stockponds.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/03/2019 09:00 PM
AB448:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 448


Introduced by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bigelow, Eggman, and Gallagher)

February 11, 2019


An act to amend Section 1841 of, and to add Section 1226.5 to, the Water Code, relating to water rights.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 448, as amended, Eduardo Garcia. Water rights: stockponds.
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 and that the waste or unreasonable use or unreasonable method of use of water be prevented. The Water Rights Permitting Reform Act of 1988 authorizes any person to obtain a right to appropriate water for a small domestic, small irrigation, or livestock stockpond use upon registering the use with the State Water Resources Control Board, as prescribed, payment of a registration fee, and application of the water to reasonable and beneficial use with due diligence.
Existing law generally provides that the owner of any a dam or other water impoundment structure constructed prior to before January 1, 1969, the with a capacity of which is not in excess of 10 acre-feet on January 1, 1975, and concerning which water rights litigation between private parties was not a matter of record prior to January 1, 1974, is declared to have has a valid water right for the use of the water for specified purposes relating to livestock watering use, if that person files a claim for a water right accompanied by a fee with the board not later than December 31, 1997. Existing law requires the board to issue a certificate of the validity of the water right to a claimant who establishes a water right under these provisions.
This bill would provide that the owner of a stockpond built prior to January 1, 2019, that does not have a capacity greater than 10 acre-feet has a valid water may obtain a right to appropriate water for the principal purpose of watering livestock if that person files a claim for a water right with the board accompanied by a fee not later than December 31, 2021. 2021, with certain exceptions. Upon the issuance of a certificate by the board for an appropriation of water obtained under the bill’s provisions, the bill would require the board to provide in writing conditions to which the appropriation is subject. The bill would require the board to establish reasonable general conditions to which all appropriations of water made under the bill’s provisions are to be subject and would authorize the board to revise the conditions from time to time.
Existing law authorizes the board to adopt regulations requiring measurement and reporting of water diversion and use by persons including, among others, those authorized to appropriate water under a permit, a license, a registration for small domestic, small irrigation, or livestock stockpond use, or a certification for livestock stockpond use.
This bill would require the board to assume for purposes of those measurement and reporting regulations that the capacity of a stockpond declared with a specified type of established water rights claim is the total amount of water diverted annually.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1226.5 is added to the Water Code, to read:

1226.5.
 (a) The owner of a stockpond built prior to January 1, 2019, that does not have a capacity greater than 10 acre-feet is declared to have a valid water may obtain a right to appropriate water for the principal purpose of watering livestock and incidentally for aesthetic, fire protection, recreational, or fish and wildlife purposes if that person files a claim for a water right with the board not later than December 31, 2021.
(b) An owner of a stockpond who claims a water right under this section shall have priority of right based on the date the claim is filed with the board. An owner of a livestock stockpond subject to a water right or water right application registered pursuant to Section 1228.2 that files for a water right under this section shall have priority of right based on the existing priority date a claim was made to the board for a water right pursuant to Section 1228.2. of that registration.
(c) Each claim of a water right under this section shall be accompanied by a fee in an amount determined by the board to cover the reasonable administrative costs of processing the claim, but shall not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per owner.
(d) The board may, after notice and hearing, revoke a certificate of a water right granted pursuant to this section upon a finding that the water has ceased to be used for the purposes specified in subdivision (a).
(e) A water right granted pursuant to this section shall not be made for a stockpond filled by a water supply stream determined unconditionally by the board to be fully appropriated or is likely to become fully appropriated pursuant to Section 1205.
(f) (1) The board shall establish and may from time to time revise reasonable general conditions to which all appropriations of water made pursuant to this section shall be subject. The conditions shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) The appropriation is subject to prior rights.
(B) All conditions lawfully required by the Department of Fish and Wildlife are conditions upon the appropriation.
(C) Diversion works shall be constructed and water applied to beneficial use with due diligence.
(2) The board may establish different conditions than those in paragraph (1) for a stream described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 1259.4.
(3) Immediately upon issuing a certificate for a water right pursuant to this section, the board shall provide the applicant with a written document setting forth the conditions required by this section. The perfection and exercise of rights acquired pursuant to this section shall at all times be subject to those conditions.
(g) (1) This section does not apply to those stream segments for which the Director of Fish and Wildlife establishes proposed streamflow requirements pursuant to Section 10002 of the Public Resources Code.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), this section applies to a certificate filed before the Director of Fish and Wildlife establishes proposed streamflow requirements pursuant to Section 10002 of the Public Resources Code for the source of water supply for the certificate. The board shall give notice to the holder of the water right of any conditions the Department of Fish and Wildlife determines to be necessary to protect stream-related fish and wildlife resources on a source of water supply for which the Director of Fish and Wildlife has established proposed streamflow requirements pursuant to Section 10002 of the Public Resources Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1841 of the Water Code is amended to read:

1841.
 (a) The board may adopt regulations requiring measurement and reporting of water diversion and use by either of the following:
(1) Persons authorized to appropriate water under a permit, license, registration for small domestic, small irrigation, or livestock stockpond use, or certification for livestock stockpond use. The board shall assume the declared capacity of a stockpond with a claim established in accordance with Section 1226.1 or 1226.5 is the total amount of water diverted annually.
(2) Persons required to comply with measurement and reporting regulations pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 5103.
(b) The initial regulations that the board adopts pursuant to this section shall be adopted as emergency regulations in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. The adoption of the initial regulations is an emergency and shall be considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and general welfare. Notwithstanding Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, any emergency regulations adopted under this section shall remain in effect until revised by the board.
(c) The adoption of the initial regulations pursuant to this article is exempt from Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code.