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AB-647 Beneficial use: storing of water underground. (2015-2016)

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AB647:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 30, 2015
Amended  IN  Senate  June 19, 2015
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 05, 2015
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 15, 2015

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 647


Introduced by Assembly Member Eggman
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Olsen)
(Coauthor: Senator Berryhill)

February 24, 2015


An act to repeal and add Section 1242 of the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 647, as amended, Eggman. Beneficial use: storing of water underground.
Under existing law, the right to water or to the use of water is limited to that amount of water that may be reasonably required for the beneficial use to be served. Existing law provides for the reversion of water rights to which a person is entitled when the person fails to beneficially use the water for a period of 5 years. Existing law declares that the storing of water underground, and related diversions for that purpose, constitute a beneficial use of water if the stored water is thereafter applied to the beneficial purposes for which the appropriation for storage was made.
This bill would repeal that declaration and instead declare that the diversion of water to underground storage constitutes a beneficial use of water if the water so stored is thereafter applied to the beneficial purposes for which the appropriation for storage was made, or if the water is so stored consistent with a sustainable groundwater management plan, statutory authority to conduct groundwater recharge, or a judicial decree and is for specified purposes. This bill would require any person, regardless of an existing water right, person seeking to store water underground to first apply to the State Water Resources Control Board for a permit to appropriate water or petition the board for a change change, as specified. This bill would require the board to include specified conditions in an approved permit or petition. This bill would provide that the period for the reversion of a water right does not include any period when the water is being used in the aquifer or storage area or is being held in storage for later application to beneficial use, area, as prescribed.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1242 of the Water Code is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1242 is added to the Water Code, to read:

1242.
 (a) The diversion of water to underground storage constitutes a beneficial use of water if either of the following conditions are met:
(1) The water so stored is thereafter applied to the beneficial purposes for which the appropriation for storage was made.
(2) The water is so stored consistent with a sustainable groundwater management plan developed pursuant to Part 2.74 (commencing with Section 10720) of Division 6, statutory authority to conduct groundwater recharge, or a judicial decree and is for one of the following purposes:
(A) Protecting water quality from saline water intrusion or other contamination.
(B) Preventing or remediating significant and unreasonable land subsidence that substantially interferes with surface land uses.
(C) Preventing or remediating chronic lowering of groundwater levels indicating a significant and unreasonable depletion of supply if continued over the planning and implementation horizon of the sustainable groundwater management plan.
(b) (1) Any person, regardless of an existing water right, person seeking to use water for a purpose described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall first apply to the board for a permit to appropriate water if the person does not hold a water right or a person holding a water right subject to this division, or a pre-1914 appropriative water right, shall petition the board for a change to that water right. if the person holds a pre-1914 water right, a permit, or a license. The board shall review the application or petition pursuant to this part.
(2) An order by the board approving an application or petition described in paragraph (1) shall include conditions that prohibit the diversion of water at times when a legal user of water on the watercourse from which water is proposed for diversion is releasing previously stored water or is restricted from diverting water from that watercourse either due to requirements established by the board or a regional board to carry out water quality control plans prepared pursuant to Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) or imposed pursuant to the Fish and Game Code or the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973.
(3) In addition to the conditions described in paragraph (2), an order by the board approving an application or petition to appropriate water from a stream tributary to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as defined in Section 12220, shall include conditions that prohibit the diversion of water at either of the following times:
(A) If the delta is in “balanced water conditions,” as that term is defined by the Agreement Between the United States of America and the State of California for the Coordinated Operation of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project, dated November 24, 1986.
(B) When the Central Valley Project, the State Water Project, or other permitted storage project is making releases of previously stored water for instream purposes or delta outflow.
(4) Conditions that prohibit the diversion of water imposed pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3) shall not apply when upstream releases are made solely for compliance points upstream of the diversion.

(c)

(c) For any person holding a permit or license in which the board has authorized, on or before January 1, 2016, the underground storage of water, the diversion of water to underground storage consistent with that permit or license is presumed to meet the condition described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).
(d) The forfeiture periods in Sections 1240 and 1241 do not include any period when, consistent with this section, when the water is being used in the aquifer or storage area or is being held in storage for later application to beneficial use. pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).