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SB-559 California Water Commission: grant: Friant-Kern Canal.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/03/2019 09:00 PM
SB559:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  July 03, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  May 17, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 559


Introduced by Senator Hurtado
(Principal coauthor: Senator Borgeas coauthors: Senators Borgeas, Caballero, and Grove)
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Arambula, Bigelow, Fong, Mathis, Patterson, and Salas)

February 22, 2019


An act relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 559, as amended, Hurtado. Department of Water Resources: California Water Commission: grant: Friant-Kern Canal.
Under existing law, the United States Bureau of Reclamation operates the federal Central Valley Project and the Department of Water Resources operates the State Water Project to supply water to persons and entities in the state. Existing law establishes the California Water Commission, consisting of 9 members appointed by the Governor, in the department.
This bill would require the department commission to make a grant of $400,000,000 to a specified joint powers authority to restore the capacity of the Friant-Kern Canal, subject to an appropriation. The bill, among other things, would require the grant to be part of a comprehensive solution to groundwater sustainability and subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley and would require the joint powers authority to demonstrate a funding match of at least 35% from user fees, local sources, federal funding, or a combination of these sources.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(1) The Friant-Kern Canal is the main water conveyance feature on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley and also the primary delivery mechanism for water that is used for groundwater recharge.

(2)In recent years, an increase in groundwater pumping in lands that do not have surface water supply and are not served by the canal has caused massive land subsidence that has affected the canal’s ability to convey water. In some areas, the canal has dropped in elevation an average of one inch per month since 2014.

(3)

(2) The canal’s carrying capacity canal has lost about 1,200 cubic feet per second of carrying capacity through a portion of the canal that should be capable of carrying at least 3 times as much.

(4)

(3) In 2017, more than 300,000 acre-feet of water was not delivered to recharge groundwater aquifers in some of California’s most critically overdrafter overdrafted basins as a result of the loss of capacity in the canal.
(b) Subject to an appropriation in the Budget Act or another statute for this purpose, the Department of Water Resources California Water Commission shall provide a grant of four hundred million dollars ($400,000,000) to the Friant Water Authority to restore the capacity of the Friant-Kern Canal. Canal, subject to all of the following:
(1) The grant shall be part of a comprehensive solution to groundwater sustainability and subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley, developed in coordination with other entities in the region, including public, private, and academic institutions.
(2) The authority shall demonstrate that the project funded with the grant will result in groundwater recharge, water supply benefits, and transportation benefits, including replacement of existing bridges within the project area, in communities served by the canal. The authority shall provide two public briefings per year to the commission to review the progress of the project and receive public input.
(3) The authority may make investments, including in groundwater recharge facilities, to support the development of safe and reliable drinking water supplies for failing public water systems, state small water systems, and domestic wells.
(4) The grant shall be provided to the authority in increments of not more than one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) upon request by the authority.
(5) The authority shall demonstrate a match of at least 35 percent of the grant funding from user fees, local sources, federal funding, or a combination of these sources.
(6) The authority shall spend no more than 10 percent of grant funding for planning purposes, including the preparation of environmental review documents. Planning costs shall not include costs associated with the acquisition of additional rights-of-way, if required.
(7) Notwithstanding Section 16304 of the Government Code, the commission shall set encumbrance and liquidation limits on grant funding provided pursuant to this subdivision, in coordination with the Department of Finance and the authority.
(c) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Authority” means the Friant Water Authority.
(2) “Canal” means the Friant-Kern Canal.
(3) “Commission” means the California Water Commission.
(4) “Public water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
(5) “State small water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.