Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 2. WATER [1000 - 5976]

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


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

CHAPTER 11. Joint Use and Development [1750 - 1814]

  ( Chapter 11 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 368. )

ARTICLE 4. Joint Use of Capacity in Water Conveyance Facilities [1810 - 1814]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 918, Sec. 2. )


Notwithstanding any other provision of law, neither the state, nor any regional or local public agency may deny a bona fide transferor of water the use of a water conveyance facility which has unused capacity, for the period of time for which that capacity is available, if fair compensation is paid for that use, subject to the following:

(a) Any person or public agency that has a long-term water service contract with or the right to receive water from the owner of the conveyance facility shall have the right to use any unused capacity prior to any bona fide transferor.

(b) The commingling of transferred water does not result in a diminution of the beneficial uses or quality of the water in the facility, except that the transferor may, at the transferor’s own expense, provide for treatment to prevent the diminution, and the transferred water is of substantially the same quality as the water in the facility.

(c) Any person or public agency that has a water service contract with or the right to receive water from the owner of the conveyance facility who has an emergency need may utilize the unused capacity that was made available pursuant to this section for the duration of the emergency.

(d) This use of a water conveyance facility is to be made without injuring any legal user of water and without unreasonably affecting fish, wildlife, or other instream beneficial uses and without unreasonably affecting the overall economy or the environment of the county from which the water is being transferred.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 918, Sec. 2.)


As used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) “Bona fide transferor” means a person or public agency as defined in Section 20009 of the Government Code with a contract for sale of water that may be conditioned upon the acquisition of conveyance facility capacity to convey the water that is the subject of the contract.

(b) “Emergency” means a sudden occurrence such as a storm, flood, fire, or an unexpected equipment outage impairing the ability of a person or public agency to make water deliveries.

(c) “Fair compensation” means the reasonable charges incurred by the owner of the conveyance system, including capital, operation, maintenance, and replacement costs, increased costs from any necessitated purchase of supplemental power, and including reasonable credit for any offsetting benefits for the use of the conveyance system.

(d) “Replacement costs” mean the reasonable portion of costs associated with material acquisition for the correction of irreparable wear or other deterioration of conveyance facility parts that have an anticipated life that is less than the conveyance facility repayment period and which costs are attributable to the proposed use.

(e) “Unused capacity” means space that is available within the operational limits of the conveyance system and that the owner is not using during the period for which the transfer is proposed and which space is sufficient to convey the quantity of water proposed to be transferred.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 485, Sec. 161. Effective January 1, 1999.)


The state, regional, or local public agency owning the water conveyance facility shall in a timely manner determine the following:

(a) The amount and availability of unused capacity.

(b) The terms and conditions, including operation and maintenance requirements and scheduling, quality requirements, term or use, priorities, and fair compensation.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 918, Sec. 2.)


In making the determinations required by this article, the respective public agency shall act in a reasonable manner consistent with the requirements of law to facilitate the voluntary sale, lease, or exchange of water and shall support its determinations by written findings. In any judicial action challenging any determination made under this article the court shall consider all relevant evidence, and the court shall give due consideration to the purposes and policies of this article. In any such case the court shall sustain the determination of the public agency if it finds that the determination is supported by substantial evidence.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 918, Sec. 2.)


This article shall apply to only 70 percent of the unused capacity.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 918, Sec. 2.)

WATWater Code - WAT4