Code Section

Water Code - WAT


  ( Heading of Division 6 amended by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932. )


  ( Part 9 added by Stats. 1973, Ch. 717. )

(a) Local agencies maintaining project or nonproject levees shall be eligible for reimbursement pursuant to this part upon submission to and approval by the board of plans for the maintenance and improvement of the project or nonproject levees, including plans for the annual routine maintenance of the levees, in accordance with the criteria adopted by the board.

(b) The nonproject plans shall also be compatible with the plan for improvement of the delta levees as set forth in Bulletin No. 192-82 of the department, dated December 1982, and as approved in Section 12225. Both project and nonproject plans shall include provisions to acquire easements along levees that allow for the control and reversal of subsidence in areas where the department determines that such an easement is desirable to maintain structural stability of the levee. The easement shall (1) restrict the use of the land to open-space uses, nontillable crops, the propagation of wildlife habitat, and other compatible uses, (2) provide full access to the local agency for levee maintenance and improvement purposes, and (3) allow the owner to retain reasonable rights of ingress and egress as well as reasonable rights of access to the waterways for water supply and drainage. The local agency cost of acquisition of the easements shall be reimbursable by the department from moneys appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 12300, or any other sources appropriated by the Legislature for purposes of this part.

(c) The plans shall also include provision for protection of the fish and wildlife habitat determined to be necessary by the Department of Fish and Game and not injurious to the integrity of the levee. The Department of Fish and Game shall consider the value of the riparian and fisheries habitat and the need to provide safe levees in preparing its requirements. The Department of Fish and Game shall not approve any plan which calls for the use of channel islands or berms with significant riparian communities as borrow sites for levee repair material, unless fully mitigated, or any plans which will result in a net long-term loss of riparian, fisheries, or wildlife habitat.

(d) After the memorandum of understanding required pursuant to Section 12307 is amended as required by Section 78543, the Department of Fish and Game shall also make a written determination as part of its review and approval of a plan or project pursuant to Section 12314 and this section that the proposed expenditures are consistent with a net long-term habitat improvement program and have a net benefit for aquatic species in the delta. The memorandum of understanding in effect prior to the amendments required by Section 78543 shall remain in effect with regard to levee projects and plans until the memorandum of understanding is amended.

(e) The plans shall also take into account the most recently updated Delta Master Recreation Plan prepared by the Resources Agency.

(f) Upon approval of the plans by the board, the local agencies shall enter into an agreement with the board to perform the maintenance and improvement work, including the annual routine maintenance work, specified in the plans. If applications for state funding in any year exceed the state funds available, the board shall apportion the funds among those levees or levee segments that are identified by the department as most critical and beneficial, considering the needs of flood control, water quality, recreation, navigation, habitat improvements, and fish and wildlife.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 601, Sec. 15. Effective January 1, 1997.)