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AB-955 Water replenishment districts: water system needs assessment program.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/19/2019 09:00 PM
AB955:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 955


Introduced by Assembly Member Gipson

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Section 13000 of the Water Code, relating to water quality. An act to add Section 60234 to the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 955, as amended, Gipson. Water quality. Water replenishment districts: water system needs assessment program.
Existing law, the Water Replenishment District Act, provides for the formation, organization, and functioning of water replenishment districts and authorizes a district to do any act necessary to replenish the groundwater of the district.
This bill would require a water replenishment district to offer to conduct a needs assessment program for water systems serving disadvantaged communities within the district, as specified. The bill would make a water system’s participation in the program voluntary. The bill would require the district, upon completion of the needs assessment, to develop and evaluate options to address the findings and recommendations in the needs assessment and prepare an implementation plan for recommendation to the water system. The bill would require the district, to the extent it receives federal or state grants that may be used for this purpose, to assist the system in implementing the plan. By imposing additional duties on water replenishment districts, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act establishes a statewide program for the control of the quality of all the waters in the state and makes related legislative findings and declarations.

This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to the legislative findings and declarations.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 60234 is added to the Water Code, to read:

60234.
 (a) A district shall offer to conduct a needs assessment program for water systems serving disadvantaged communities within the district. A water system’s participation in the program is voluntary. The program may include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Identification of public water systems, community water systems, noncommunity water systems, nontransient noncommunity water systems, state small water systems, and transient noncommunity water systems, as those terms are defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code, and private domestic wells.
(2) Collection and review of baseline data, including available data from historical and ongoing studies within the district, existing water quality and drinking water compliance reports, inspections, and monitoring schedules, and general technical assistance provided to water systems.
(3) Development of data, as necessary, to understand the scope of drinking water quality and quantity problems for private domestic wells, such as information about the distribution of private domestic wells that do not meet drinking water standards.
(4) Assessment of the technical, managerial, and financial capability for each water system that is necessary to meet critical needs, including recruitment and retention of or sharing qualified staff, conducting rate studies to determine the true cost of providing water service, and investment in and effective operation and management of physical infrastructure and other water system assets over the long term.
(5) Preparation of an inventory of water system assets and the condition of those assets.
(6) Evaluation of options to address problems by making more efficient use of resources, increasing water system capacity, and spreading costs over more ratepayers through consolidation or alternatives that preserve water system autonomy, including shared services agreements or joint use agreements.
(7) Development of data on water rates and affordability.
(b) The district shall introduce the program to each water system and develop and implement a plan for public and stakeholder outreach to provide community members with specific, relevant information about the program, including methods, metrics, and goals and objectives.
(c) Upon completion of the needs assessment pursuant to subdivision (a), the district shall, in collaboration with the participating water system, develop and evaluate options to address the findings and recommendations in the needs assessment. The district shall prepare an implementation plan for recommendation to the water system. The objective of the plan is to develop water system capacity and identify funding to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water in communities that have experienced historical underinvestment.
(d) (1) To the extent the district receives federal or state grants that may be used for this purpose, the district shall assist the system in implementing the plan prepared pursuant to subdivision (c). District assistance may include preparation of project funding solicitation proposals, planning studies, environmental documentation, engineering plans and specifications for infrastructure projects, construction documents for bidding, project cost agreements, construction management including quality assurance and monitoring, necessary regulatory permits, and oversight of project operation and management.
(2) The district may oversee initial project operation and maintenance of infrastructure constructed under this program. The district may hold and retain title to publicly funded infrastructure developed for a water corporation, as defined in Section 241 of the Public Utilities Code.
(e) The district may act jointly with or cooperate with any federal agency, state agency, including the State Water Resources Control Board, political subdivision of the state, public or private corporation, or person so that the purposes and activities of the district described in this section may be fully and economically performed.
(f) A replenishment assessment levied pursuant to this division shall not be used to pay for costs related to the needs assessment program described in this section. The district may provide in-kind services related to the needs assessment program.

SEC. 2.

  If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
SECTION 1.Section 13000 of the Water Code is amended to read:
13000.

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)The people of the state have a primary interest in the conservation, control, and utilization of the water resources of the state, and that the quality of all the waters of the state shall be protected for use and enjoyment by the people of the state.

(b)Activities and factors that may affect the quality of the waters of the state shall be regulated to attain the highest water quality that is reasonable, considering all demands being made and to be made on those waters and the total values involved, beneficial and detrimental, economic and social, tangible and intangible.

(c)The health, safety, and welfare of the people of the state requires that there be a statewide program for the control of the quality of all the waters of the state; that the state must be prepared to exercise its full power and jurisdiction to protect the quality of waters in the state from degradation originating inside or outside the boundaries of the state; that the waters of the state are increasingly influenced by interbasin water development projects and other statewide considerations; that factors of precipitation, topography, population, recreation, agriculture, industry, and economic development vary from region to region within the state; and that the statewide program for water quality control can be most effectively administered regionally, within a framework of statewide coordination and policy.