Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 6. CONSERVATION, DEVELOPMENT, AND UTILIZATION OF STATE WATER RESOURCES [10000 - 12999]

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

PART 2.74. Sustainable Groundwater Management [10720 - 10737.8]

  ( Part 2.74 added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 346, Sec. 3. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions [10720 - 10720.9]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 346, Sec. 3. )

10720.
  

This part shall be known, and may be cited, as the “Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.”

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 346, Sec. 3. (SB 1168) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10720.1.
  

In enacting this part, it is the intent of the Legislature to do all of the following:

(a) To provide for the sustainable management of groundwater basins.

(b) To enhance local management of groundwater consistent with rights to use or store groundwater and Section 2 of Article X of the California Constitution. It is the intent of the Legislature to preserve the security of water rights in the state to the greatest extent possible consistent with the sustainable management of groundwater.

(c) To establish minimum standards for sustainable groundwater management.

(d) To provide local groundwater agencies with the authority and the technical and financial assistance necessary to sustainably manage groundwater.

(e) To avoid or minimize subsidence.

(f) To improve data collection and understanding about groundwater.

(g) To increase groundwater storage and remove impediments to recharge.

(h) To manage groundwater basins through the actions of local governmental agencies to the greatest extent feasible, while minimizing state intervention to only when necessary to ensure that local agencies manage groundwater in a sustainable manner.

(i) To provide a more efficient and cost-effective groundwater adjudication process that protects water rights, ensures due process, prevents unnecessary delay, and furthers the objectives of this part.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 676, Sec. 2. (SB 226) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10720.3.
  

(a) This part applies to all groundwater basins in the state.

(b) To the extent authorized under federal or tribal law, this part applies to an Indian tribe and to the federal government, including, but not limited to, the United States Department of Defense.

(c) The federal government or any federally recognized Indian tribe, appreciating the shared interest in assuring the sustainability of groundwater resources, may voluntarily agree to participate in the preparation or administration of a groundwater sustainability plan or groundwater management plan under this part through a joint powers authority or other agreement with local agencies in the basin. A participating tribe shall be eligible to participate fully in planning, financing, and management under this part, including eligibility for grants and technical assistance, if any exercise of regulatory authority, enforcement, or imposition and collection of fees is pursuant to the tribe’s independent authority and not pursuant to authority granted to a groundwater sustainability agency under this part.

(d) In an adjudication of rights to the use of groundwater, and in the management of a groundwater basin or subbasin by a groundwater sustainability agency or by the board, federally reserved water rights to groundwater shall be respected in full. In case of conflict between federal and state law in that adjudication or management, federal law shall prevail. The voluntary or involuntary participation of a holder of rights in that adjudication or management shall not subject that holder to state law regarding other proceedings or matters not authorized by federal law. This subdivision is declaratory of existing law.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 346, Sec. 3. (SB 1168) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10720.5.
  

(a) Groundwater management pursuant to this part shall be consistent with Section 2 of Article X of the California Constitution. Nothing in this part modifies rights or priorities to use or store groundwater consistent with Section 2 of Article X of the California Constitution, except that in basins designated medium- or high-priority basins by the department, no extraction of groundwater between January 1, 2015, and the date of adoption of a groundwater sustainability plan pursuant to this part or the approval by the department of an alternative submitted under Section 10733.6, whichever is sooner, may be used as evidence of, or to establish or defend against, any claim of prescription.

(b) Nothing in this part, or in any groundwater management plan adopted pursuant to this part, determines or alters surface water rights or groundwater rights under common law or any provision of law that determines or grants surface water rights.

(c) Water rights may be determined in an adjudication action pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 10 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 676, Sec. 3. (SB 226) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10720.7.
  

(a) (1) By January 31, 2020, all basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins by the department that have been designated in Bulletin 118, as it may be updated or revised on or before January 1, 2017, as basins that are subject to critical conditions of overdraft shall be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans pursuant to this part.

(2) By January 31, 2022, all basins designated as high- or medium-priority basins by the department that are not subject to paragraph (1) shall be managed under a groundwater sustainability plan or coordinated groundwater sustainability plans pursuant to this part.

(b) The Legislature encourages and authorizes basins designated as low- and very low priority basins by the department to be managed under groundwater sustainability plans pursuant to this part. Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 10735) does not apply to a basin designated as a low- or very low priority basin.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 255, Sec. 3. (SB 13) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10720.8.
  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (e), this part does not apply to the following adjudicated areas or a local agency that conforms to the requirements of an adjudication of water rights for one of the following adjudicated areas:

(1) Beaumont Basin.

(2) Brite Basin.

(3) Central Basin.

(4) Chino Basin.

(5) Cucamonga Basin.

(6) Cummings Basin.

(7) Goleta Basin.

(8) Lytle Basin.

(9) Main San Gabriel Basin.

(10) Mojave Basin Area.

(11) Puente Basin.

(12) Raymond Basin.

(13) Rialto-Colton Basin.

(14) Riverside Basin.

(15) San Bernardino Basin Area.

(16) San Jacinto Basin.

(17) Santa Margarita River Watershed.

(18) Santa Maria Valley Basin.

(19) Santa Paula Basin.

(20) Scott River Stream System.

(21) Seaside Basin.

(22) Six Basins.

(23) Tehachapi Basin.

(24) Upper Los Angeles River Area.

(25) Warren Valley Basin.

(26) West Coast Basin.

(b) The Antelope Valley basin at issue in the Antelope Valley Groundwater Cases (Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding Number 4408) shall be treated as an adjudicated basin pursuant to this section if the superior court issues a final judgment, order, or decree.

(c) Any groundwater basin or portion of a groundwater basin in Inyo County managed pursuant to the terms of the stipulated judgment in City of Los Angeles v. Board of Supervisors of the County of Inyo, et al. (Inyo County Case No. 12908) shall be treated as an adjudicated area pursuant to this section.

(d) The Los Osos Groundwater Basin at issue in Los Osos Community Service District v. Southern California Water Company [Golden State Water Company] et al. (San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Case No. CV 040126) shall be treated as an adjudicated basin pursuant to this section if the superior court issues a final judgment, order, or decree.

(e) If an adjudication action has determined the rights to extract groundwater for only a portion of a basin, subdivisions (a), (b), (c), and (d) apply only within the area for which the adjudication action has determined those rights.

(f) The watermaster or a local agency within a basin identified in subdivision (a) shall do all of the following:

(1) By April 1, 2016, submit to the department a copy of a governing final judgment, or other judicial order or decree, and any amendments entered before April 1, 2016.

(2) Within 90 days of entry by a court, submit to the department a copy of any amendment made and entered by the court to the governing final judgment or other judicial order or decree on or after April 1, 2016.

(3) By April 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, submit to the department a report containing the following information to the extent available for the portion of the basin subject to the adjudication:

(A) Groundwater elevation data unless otherwise submitted pursuant to Section 10932.

(B) Annual aggregated data identifying groundwater extraction for the preceding water year.

(C) Surface water supply used for or available for use for groundwater recharge or in-lieu use.

(D) Total water use.

(E) Change in groundwater storage.

(F) The annual report submitted to the court.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 346, Sec. 3. (SB 1168) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10720.9.
  

All relevant state agencies, including, but not limited to, the board, the regional water quality control boards, the department, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife, shall consider the policies of this part, and any groundwater sustainability plans adopted pursuant to this part, when revising or adopting policies, regulations, or criteria, or when issuing orders or determinations, where pertinent.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 346, Sec. 3. (SB 1168) Effective January 1, 2015.)

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