Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 2. WATER [1000 - 5976]

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

PART 2. APPROPRIATION OF WATER [1200 - 1851]

  ( 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 - 1815]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 918, Sec. 2. )

1810.
  

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.)

1811.
  

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.)

1812.
  

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.)

1813.
  

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.)

1814.
  

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

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

1815.
  

(a) Notwithstanding Section 1810, a transferor of water shall not use a water conveyance facility that has unused capacity to transfer water from a groundwater basin underlying desert lands that is in the vicinity of a national monument, a national preserve, a national park, a state or federal wilderness area, or state lands to outside of the groundwater basin unless the State Lands Commission, in consultation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the department, finds, upon receipt of an application pursuant to subdivision (b), that the transfer of the water will not adversely affect the natural or cultural resources, including groundwater resources or habitat, of those federal or state lands.

(b) (1) Before using a water conveyance facility that has unused capacity to transfer water from a groundwater basin underlying desert lands, a transferor of water shall submit an application to the State Lands Commission for review of the proposed transfer. The application shall include, at a minimum, both of the following:

(A) The names of the transferor and the owner of the water conveyance facility.

(B) Data and reports pertinent to making the finding described in this section.

(2) (A) The State Lands Commission shall review an application submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) and, within 15 months of receipt of the application and in consultation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the department, shall make a written finding, available to the public, on whether the proposed transfer will not adversely affect the natural or cultural resources, including groundwater resources or habitat, of the federal or state lands described in subdivision (a).

(B) If the State Lands Commission, in consultation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the department, determines that it cannot make a finding pursuant to subparagraph (A) within 15 months, the commission may extend the date by which the commission is required to make the finding to no later than 24 months from the date of receipt of the application. If it determines an extension pursuant to this subparagraph is needed, the commission shall make its justifications for the extension and an approximate timeline for the duration of the extension available to the public.

(c) In making the finding described in this section, the State Lands Commission shall review all available scientific information, including peer-reviewed and published studies, in consultation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the department.

(d) If the State Lands Commission finds that a proposed transfer of water underlying desert lands will not adversely affect the natural or cultural resources of state or federal lands, the commission shall require the transferor of water to report, on an annual basis, to the commission information, as the commission may define, on the condition of the groundwater basin.

(e) For purposes of this section, “desert lands” means the portion of California located within the following area:

Beginning at Interstate 15 and the intersection of the range line between Ranges 5 and 6 East, Township 11 North, San Bernardino Baseline and Meridian, southerly along those range lines to the intersection with Interstate 40 in Township 8 North, San Bernardino Baseline and Meridian;

Thence easterly along Interstate 40 to the intersection of Interstate 40 and the range lines between Ranges 12 and 13 East, Township 7 North, San Bernardino Baseline and Meridian;

Thence southerly along the range lines between Ranges 12 and 13 East to the intersection with State Highway Route 62 in Township 1 South, San Bernardino Baseline and Meridian;

Thence easterly along State Highway Route 62 to the intersection with United States Highway 95;

Thence northerly along United States Highway 95 to the California-Nevada boundary;

Thence northerly along the California-Nevada boundary to Interstate 15;

Thence westerly along Interstate 15 to the point of beginning.

(Added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 169, Sec. 2. (SB 307) Effective January 1, 2020.)

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