Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 1. GENERAL STATE POWERS OVER WATER [100 - 540]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 368. )

CHAPTER 2. State Administration Generally [120 - 190]

  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 368. )

ARTICLE 1. Department of Water Resources [120 - 147.5]
  ( Heading of Article 1 amended by Stats. 1956, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 52. )

120.
  

There is in the Resources Agency the Department of Water Resources, which is under the control of an executive officer known as the Director of Water Resources. The director is appointed by the Governor and holds office at the pleasure of the Governor. The appointment of the director is subject to confirmation by the Senate at the next regular or special session of the Legislature, and the refusal or failure of the Senate to confirm the appointment shall create a vacancy in the office. The director shall receive an annual salary as provided for by Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 11550) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and he is a member of the Governor’s Council.

(Amended by Stats. 1961, Ch. 2037.)

122.
  

The director, in addition to being subject to removal from office by the Governor, may be removed from office by the Legislature, by concurrent resolution adopted by a majority vote of all members elected to each house, for dereliction of duty or corruption or incompetency.

(Added by renumbering Section 152 by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

123.
  

Except as provided in Section 179, the department succeeds to and is vested with all of the powers, duties, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction in matters pertaining to water or dams vested in the Department and Director of Public Works, the Division of Water Resources of the Department of Public Works, the State Engineer, the Water Project Authority of the State of California, or any officer of employee thereof. The department also succeeds to and is vested with all of the powers, duties, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction of the Department of Finance under Part 2 (commencing at Section 10500) of Division 6. The department succeeds to and is vested with all of the powers, duties, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction vested in the State Water Resources Board, except as provided in Article 2 (commencing at Section 150) of Chapter 2 of this division.

Any commission or other body heretofore or hereafter created by the Legislature to formulate a compact with a similar commission or body from another state relative to the distribution and use of the waters of any interstate streams or bodies of water, including but not limited to the California Klamath River Commission and the California-Nevada Interstate Compact Commission, shall, in formulating a provision in any such compact for the administration of the terms of the compact, provide that the Department of Water Resources shall be the representative of the State of California for the purpose of such administration.

(Added by renumbering Section 153 by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

124.
  

Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this code, the provisions of Chapter 2 (commencing at Section 11150), Part 1, Division 3, Title 2 of the Government Code shall govern and apply to the conduct of the Department of Water Resources in every respect the same as if such provisions were herein set forth at length, and whenever in that chapter the term “head of the department” or similar designation occurs, for the purposes of this section it shall mean the director.

(Added by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

125.
  

For the purpose of administration, the director shall organize the department with the approval of the Governor in the manner he deems necessary to segregate and conduct the work of the department properly. With the approval of the Governor, the director may create such divisions and subdivisions as may be necessary and change or abolish them from time to time.

The director with the approval of the Governor may establish branch offices in hydrographic or other regions of the State in order to assure the expeditious conduct of the work of the department in such region, and to assure free and rapid communication of local problems and recommendations to the department and may change or abolish any such branch offices from time to time. Any branch office so established shall be under the control of a branch office manager who, subject to the direction and control of the director, shall represent the department in all matters under the department’s jurisdiction in the region.

(Added by renumbering Section 155 by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

126.
  

There shall be one Deputy Director of Water Resources who shall be a civil executive officer and shall be appointed by the Governor and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The compensation of the deputy director shall be fixed by the director pursuant to law. The deputy director shall have such duties as shall be assigned, from time to time, by the director, and he shall be responsible to the director for the performance thereof.

(Added by renumbering Section 156 by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

127.
  

The department may employ legal counsel who shall advise the director, represent the department in connection with legal matters before other boards and agencies of the state, and may, when authorized by the Attorney General, represent the department and the state in litigation concerning affairs of the department. In any event, the legal counsel of the department may, with the approval of the director and with the consent of the court before which the action is pending, present to the court the views of the department with respect to the action. Sections 955.4, 955.6, 11041, 11042, 11043, and the first sentence of Section 11157 of the Government Code do not apply to the department.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 142, Sec. 174.)

127.5.
  

The department may utilize the program manager class series that was created for the California Bay-Delta Authority, for positions to manage vital departmental activities, including those relating to climate change mitigation and adaptation, water management, and statewide planning.

(Added by Stats. 2008, 2nd Ex. Sess., Ch. 1, Sec. 2. Effective March 1, 2009.)

128.
  

(a) In times of extraordinary stress and of disaster, resulting from storms and floods, or where damage to watershed lands by forest fires has created an imminent threat of floods and damage by water, mud, or debris upon the occurrence of storms, the department may perform any work required or take any remedial measures necessary to avert, alleviate, repair, or restore damage or destruction to property having a general public and state interest and to protect the health, safety, convenience, and welfare of the general public of the state. In carrying out that work, the department may perform the work itself or through or in cooperation with any other state department or agency, the federal government, or any political subdivision, city, or district.

(b) This section is intended to supplement the emergency services of the state, and nothing in this section overrides or supersedes the authority of the Director of Emergency Services to coordinate and supervise state action, upon a declaration of a state of emergency, under the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code) or the Disaster Assistance Act (Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 8680) of that division).

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 352, Sec. 527. (AB 1317) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 543 of Ch. 352.)

130.
  

The department may prepare, publish, and issue such printed pamphlets and bulletins as the director deems necessary for the dissemination of information to the public concerning the activities of the several divisions of the department. Funds available for the support of the several divisions may, with the approval of the Department of Finance, be used to pay the cost of preparation, publication, and distribution.

(Added by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

131.
  

The department may employ such assistance as may be necessary for the proper discharge of its duties, and may purchase or rent any necessary supplies, instruments, tools, equipment, and conveniences.

(Added by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

132.
  

Where work to be performed, which would otherwise be subject to the State Contract Act, does not lend itself to the preparation of plans and specifications to enable bids to be taken on a lump sum or unit basis, the department may perform such work by the use of rented tools or equipment, either with operators furnished or unoperated. Contracts for such rentals shall not be subject to the State Contract Act, but shall be subject to all of the provisions of Section 136.5 of the Streets and Highways Code.

(Added by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

133.
  

The department may cooperate and contract with any agency of the State or of the United States in order to carry out its powers and purposes.

(Added by Stats. 1957, Ch. 947.)

134.
  

The department may expend money appropriated for the administration of the laws the enforcement of which is committed to the department. The department may expend such money for the use, support, or maintenance of any appropriate state agency within the department.

Such expenditures by the department shall be made in accordance with law in carrying on the work for which the appropriations were made.

(Added by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

134.5.
  

The Director of Finance shall administratively establish positions necessary to implement activities funded by the appropriations made in Division 33 (commencing with Section 83000).

(Added by Stats. 2008, 2nd Ex. Sess., Ch. 1, Sec. 3. Effective March 1, 2009.)

135.
  

The Water Resources Revolving Fund in the State Treasury is continued in existence. With the approval of the Department of Finance, there shall be transferred to, or deposited in, the fund all money appropriated, contributed, or made available from any source, including sources other than state appropriations, for expenditure on work within the powers and duties of the Department of Water Resources, including but not limited to services, new construction, major construction and equipment, minor construction, maintenance, improvements and equipment, hydraulic or other improvement projects, investigations, surveys, experiments, and reports, as authorized by the state agency for which such an appropriation is made or, as to funds from sources other than state appropriations, as may be authorized by written agreement between the contributor or contributors of such funds and the Department of Water Resources (or any predecessor), when approved by the Department of Finance.

Money so transferred or deposited is available for expenditure by the Department of Water Resources, for the purposes for which appropriated, contributed, or made available, without regard to fiscal years and irrespective of the provisions of Section 16304 of the Government Code. The Department of Water Resources may withdraw from the fund for use in work for other public agencies, local, state, or federal, such sums as may be necessary for such work where the money to be paid by such other agencies is not deposited in said fund in advance of the work being done.

(Amended by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1848.)

135.1.
  

All sums in the Water Resources Revolving Fund in the State Treasury, maintained pursuant to Section 135, in a sum not to exceed seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000), the source of which is attributable to the General Fund, and which are held for the purposes of a payroll reserve for vacation, leave, compensating time off, and like purposes, and which, in the judgment of the Department of Finance, are determined to be surplus to the requirements for payments for such purposes on a current basis, shall be available, during the 1968–1969 fiscal year, as follows:

(a) Not exceeding two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) for transfer to the State Water Quality Control Fund; except that any such sum shall be retransferred to the General Fund from the State Water Quality Control Fund in the 1969–1970 fiscal year.

(b) Not exceeding five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) for transfer to the General Fund.

(Added by Stats. 1968, Ch. 1039.)

136.
  

The Department of Water Resources shall file against the Water Resources Revolving Fund all claims covering expenditures incurred in connection with services, new construction, major construction and equipment, minor construction, maintenance, improvements and equipment, hydraulic or other improvement projects, investigations, surveys, experiments and reports, and the State Controller shall draw his warrant therefor against that fund.

(Added by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

137.
  

The Department of Water Resources shall keep a record of all expenditures chargeable against each specific portion of the revolving fund, and any unused balance in any portion of the fund shall on approval by the Department of Finance be withdrawn from the revolving fund and transferred to the credit of the appropriation from which it was transferred or, as to funds from other than state appropriations, be paid out or refunded as provided in the agreement relating to the contributions.

(Added by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

138.
  

The director may authorize the refund of moneys received or collected by the department in payment of fees, licenses, permits, tolls, or for rentals, property or services, wherein the license, permit, rental, property or service cannot lawfully be issued, furnished, or transferred to the person making the payment, or in cases where the payment in whole or in part represents overpayment or payment in duplicate.

(Added by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932.)

138.10.
  

(a) On or before January 1, 2006, the director, in collaboration with the Secretary of Interior or his or her designee, shall prepare a plan to meet the existing permit and license conditions for which the department has an obligation, as described in the State Water Resources Control Board Decision No. 1641.

(b) The plan shall be designed to achieve compliance with the permit and license conditions described in subdivision (a). The director shall prepare the plan, and submit copies of the plan to the board and the California Bay-Delta Authority, prior to increasing the existing permitted diversion rate at the State Water Project’s Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant.

(c) Nothing in this section limits or restricts the department in its operation of the State Water Project due to failure of other water rights permittees or licensees to meet water quality conditions of their respective permits or licenses.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 612, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)

138.12.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in a general obligation bond act, the maximum amount that may be allocated for administrative expenses shall not exceed 5 percent of the total amount of funds that the department is required to administer and that are derived from a general obligation bond act that is approved on or after January 1, 2007.

(b) The maximum amount that may be allocated for administrative expenses shall not exceed 5 percent of the total amount of funds that result from the sale of revenue bonds by the department.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 831, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2007.)

139.2.
  

The department shall evaluate the potential impacts on water supplies derived from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta based on 50-, 100-, and 200-year projections for each of the following possible impacts on the delta:

(1) Subsidence.

(2) Earthquakes.

(3) Floods.

(4) Changes in precipitation, temperature, and ocean levels.

(5) A combination of the impacts specified in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 573, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2006.)

139.4.
  

(a) The department and the Department of Fish and Game shall determine the principal options for the delta.

(b) The department shall evaluate and comparatively rate each option determined in subdivision (a) for its ability to do the following:

(1) Prevent the disruption of water supplies derived from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

(2) Improve the quality of drinking water supplies derived from the delta.

(3) Reduce the amount of salts contained in delta water and delivered to, and often retained in, our agricultural areas.

(4) Maintain delta water quality for delta users.

(5) Assist in preserving delta lands.

(6) Protect water rights of the “area of origin” and protect the environments of the Sacramento-San Joaquin river systems.

(7) Protect highways, utility facilities, and other infrastructure located within the delta.

(8) Preserve, protect, and improve delta levees.

(c) The Department of Fish and Game shall evaluate and comparatively rate each option determined in subdivision (a) for its ability to restore salmon and other fisheries that use the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary.

(d) On or before January 1, 2008, the department and the Department of Fish and Game shall jointly report to the Legislature and Governor, in writing, with regard to the results of the evaluation required by Section 139.2 and the comparative ratings required by subdivisions (b) and (c).

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 573, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2006.)

140.
  

(a) Upon appropriation by the Legislature, which shall not exceed seven million dollars ($7,000,000), the department shall provide funding for a project that substantially conforms to the project description for the Reverse Flow Pump-back Facilities on the Friant-Kern Canal Restoration Project set forth by the draft investment strategy released by the San Joaquin River Restoration Program in December 2014 if the project satisfies the conditions described in subdivision (c).

(b) Funding pursuant to this section shall not exceed 80 percent of the total cost of the project.

(c) The project identified in this section shall not be eligible for funding pursuant to subdivision (a) until all of the following requirements are met:

(1) All feasibility studies are complete and draft environmental impact reports are available for public review.

(2) The director receives commitments for not less than 75 percent of the nonstate cost-share requirement of the project.

(d) A project funded pursuant to this section shall comply with any other applicable provisions of state and federal law.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 601, Sec. 1. (AB 935) Effective January 1, 2017.)

141.
  

(a) The department may establish a program to authorize private entities to lease space above or adjacent to appropriate conveyance facilities of the State Water Project for the purpose of installing solar photovoltaic panels and systems for generating electricity from those panels and transferring electricity through the related systems. Upon request, the department shall evaluate proposals for installing solar photovoltaic panels and related systems for the generation and transfer of electricity. A proposal submitted to the department for evaluation shall include, but need not be limited to, an engineering study of the proposed solar photovoltaic panels and related systems and an evaluation of the effect the solar photovoltaic panels and related systems may have on water supply, water quality, worker safety, and liability considerations. The costs of the engineering study and the department’s evaluation shall be paid by the person or entity making the request.

(b) After approval of a proposal as described in subdivision (a), the department may negotiate any level of compensation for an agreement for the installation of solar photovoltaic panels and related systems that is equal to, or greater than, the cost to the department of meeting its obligations under the agreement. These costs shall include, but are not limited to, the costs of operating and maintaining State Water Project facilities and lease administration that are directly related to the lease and use of the conveyance facilities.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 368, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2006.)

141.5.
  

The department shall proceed with the construction of the South Delta Improvements Program, but shall not commence the operational phase of the program until the director certifies, in writing, to the Legislature that the department has completed the operational studies of the project and that the environmental review required by the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) includes a comparison between the implementation of the program and the maintenance of current operations.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 77, Sec. 59. Effective July 18, 2006.)

142.
  

(a) In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with water and energy usage, on and after January 1, 2008, the department shall do all of the following:

(1) Comply with the same greenhouse gas emissions performance standards adopted pursuant to Section 8341 of the Public Utilities Code for a local publicly owned electric utility for new electricity contracts.

(2) Use reasonable, feasible, and cost-effective efforts to use energy efficiently, and to increase use of renewable energy in the department’s water operations and in the renegotiation of existing electricity contracts entered into pursuant to Division 27 (commencing with Section 80000).

(b) On or before March 1, 2008, and at least once every year thereafter until December 31, 2015, the department shall report to the Legislature and the Governor on the implementation of this section, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(1) The status of any contracts it has for fossil fuel generated electricity and its efforts to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels.

(2) Changes to the portfolio of existing energy contracts entered into pursuant to Division 27 (commencing with Section 80000) that have occurred, or are expected to occur, that will alter the contracts’ costs, term, or quantity, or the composition of resources used to deliver power under the contracts.

(Added by Stats. 2007, Ch. 178, Sec. 19. Effective August 24, 2007.)

147.
  

(a) On or before January 10, 2010, and annually thereafter, the department shall prepare and submit to the chairpersons of the fiscal committees of the Legislature a report with regard to the budget for the State Water Resources Development System.

(b) The department shall include in the report all of the following information:

(1) A description of the expenditures made, or projected to be made, as applicable, on behalf of the State Water Resources Development System, by program and fund, and of the total revenues expended, or projected to be expended, as applicable, for that system, including each fund source.

(2) A description of the positions within the department that carry out functions related to the State Water Resources Development System, and the total number of those positions.

(3) A description of any funds, other than funds generated by the State Water Resources Development System, that are expended, or projected to be expended, as applicable, for the State Water Resources Development System, including those funds used for cost-sharing purposes.

(4) An itemization of all contracts related to the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan financed, or projected to be financed, as applicable, in full or in part with funds generated by the State Water Resources Development System, including the dollar amount of those contracts and a brief description of the purposes of those contracts.

(c) The department shall include in each report information relating to three fiscal years that include the two completed fiscal years that immediately precede the year in which the report is due, along with applicable information for the fiscal year in which the report is due. The department shall prepare the first report required under subdivision (a) for the 2007–08, 2008–09, and 2009–10 fiscal years.

(Added by Stats. 2009, 4th Ex. Sess., Ch. 11, Sec. 27. Effective July 28, 2009.)

147.3.
  

(a) (1) The department shall conduct a voluntary statewide survey of local regional water supply projects and post the results of the survey on the department’s Internet Web site by July 1, 2015.

(2) For purposes of complying with paragraph (1), the department may use any other survey that it conducted in conjunction with other agencies or third parties.

(b) The survey information posted on the department’s Internet Web site pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) The projected date for a project to complete the permit process and subsequently commence operations.

(2) The cost of the project.

(3) The projected additional acre feet of water realized on an annual basis.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 838, Sec. 1. (SB 1120) Effective January 1, 2015.)

147.5.
  

At least 60 days prior to the final approval of the renewal or extension of a long-term water supply contract between the department and a state water project contractor, the department shall present at an informational hearing before the Legislature the details of the terms and conditions of the contract and how they serve as a template for the remaining long-term water supply contracts. This presentation shall be made to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and relevant policy and fiscal committees of both houses, as determined by the Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Committee on Rules. The department shall submit a copy of one long-term contract to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee no less than 30 days prior to the scheduled hearing.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 39, Sec. 114. (SB 1018) Effective June 27, 2012.)

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