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AB-321 Groundwater sustainability agencies.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/27/2017 09:00 PM
AB321:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 27, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 321


Introduced by Assembly Member Mathis
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Cristina Garcia)
(Coauthor: Senator Berryhill)

February 07, 2017


An act to amend Section 10727.8 10723.2 of the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 321, as amended, Mathis. Groundwater sustainability plans. agencies.
Existing law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, requires that all groundwater basins 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. The act authorizes any local agency or combination of local agencies overlying a groundwater basin to decide to become a groundwater sustainability agency for that basin, as prescribed. The act requires that, prior to initiating the development of a groundwater sustainability plan, the groundwater sustainability agency make available to the public and the Department of Water Resources a written statement describing the manner in which interested parties may participate in the development and implementation of the groundwater sustainability plan, and requires the groundwater sustainability agency to encourage the active involvement of diverse social, cultural, and economic elements of the population within the groundwater basin prior to and during the development and implementation of the plan. The act requires a groundwater sustainability agency to consider the interests of all beneficial uses and users of groundwater, as well as those responsible for implementing groundwater sustainability plans, including, among other interests, holders of overlying groundwater rights, including agricultural users and domestic well owners.
This bill would additionally require the groundwater sustainability agency to solicit the participation of farmers, ranchers, and other qualified professionals within the groundwater basin prior to and during the development and implementation of the plan. specifically include farmers, ranchers, and dairy professionals in the agricultural users whose interests a groundwater sustainability agency is required to consider.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 10723.2 of the Water Code is amended to read:

10723.2.
 The groundwater sustainability agency shall consider the interests of all beneficial uses and users of groundwater, as well as those responsible for implementing groundwater sustainability plans. These interests include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(a) Holders of overlying groundwater rights, including:
(1) Agricultural users. users, including farmers, ranchers, and dairy professionals.
(2) Domestic well owners.
(b) Municipal well operators.
(c) Public water systems.
(d) Local land use planning agencies.
(e) Environmental users of groundwater.
(f) Surface water users, if there is a hydrologic connection between surface and groundwater bodies.
(g) The federal government, including, but not limited to, the military and managers of federal lands.
(h) California Native American tribes.
(i) Disadvantaged communities, including, but not limited to, those served by private domestic wells or small community water systems.
(j) Entities listed in Section 10927 that are monitoring and reporting groundwater elevations in all or a part of a groundwater basin managed by the groundwater sustainability agency.

SECTION 1.Section 10727.8 of the Water Code is amended to read:
10727.8.

(a)Prior to initiating the development of a groundwater sustainability plan, the groundwater sustainability agency shall make available to the public and the department a written statement describing the manner in which interested parties may participate in the development and implementation of the groundwater sustainability plan. The groundwater sustainability agency shall provide the written statement to the legislative body of any city, county, or city and county located within the geographic area to be covered by the plan. The groundwater sustainability agency may appoint and consult with an advisory committee consisting of interested parties for the purposes of developing and implementing a groundwater sustainability plan. The groundwater sustainability agency shall encourage the active involvement of diverse social, cultural, and economic elements of the population, and solicit the participation of farmers, ranchers, and other qualified professionals, within the groundwater basin prior to and during the development and implementation of the groundwater sustainability plan. If the geographic area to be covered by the plan includes a public water system regulated by the Public Utilities Commission, the groundwater sustainability agency shall provide the written statement to the commission.

(b)For purposes of this section, interested parties include entities listed in Section 10927 that are monitoring and reporting groundwater elevations in all or a part of a groundwater basin managed by the groundwater sustainability agency.