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 10. State Evaluation and Assessment [10733 - 10733.8]
  ( Chapter 10 added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 18. )

10733.
  

(a) The department shall periodically review the groundwater sustainability plans developed by groundwater sustainability agencies pursuant to this part to evaluate whether a plan conforms with Sections 10727.2 and 10727.4 and is likely to achieve the sustainability goal for the basin covered by the groundwater sustainability plan.

(b) If a groundwater sustainability agency develops multiple groundwater sustainability plans for a basin, the department shall evaluate whether the plans conform with Sections 10727.2, 10727.4, and 10727.6 and are together likely to achieve the sustainability goal for the basin covered by the groundwater sustainability plans.

(c) The department shall evaluate whether a groundwater sustainability plan adversely affects the ability of an adjacent basin to implement their groundwater sustainability plan or impedes achievement of sustainability goals in an adjacent basin.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 18. Effective January 1, 2015.)

10733.2.
  

(a) (1) By June 1, 2016, the department shall adopt regulations for evaluating groundwater sustainability plans, the implementation of groundwater sustainability plans, and coordination agreements pursuant to this chapter.

(2) The regulations shall identify the necessary plan components specified in Sections 10727.2, 10727.4, and 10727.6 and other information that will assist local agencies in developing and implementing groundwater sustainability plans and coordination agreements.

(b) (1) The department may update the regulations, including to incorporate the best management practices identified pursuant to Section 10729.

(2) The regulations adopted pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall identify appropriate methodologies and assumptions for baseline conditions concerning hydrology, water demand, regulatory restrictions that affect the availability of surface water, and unreliability of, or reductions in, surface water deliveries to the agency or water users in the basin, and the impact of those conditions on achieving sustainability. The baseline for measuring unreliability and reductions shall include the historic average reliability and deliveries of surface water to the agency or water users in the basin.

(c) By June 1, 2016, the department shall adopt regulations for evaluating alternatives submitted pursuant to Section 10733.6.

(d) The department shall adopt the regulations, including any amendments thereto, authorized by this section as emergency regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). The adoption of these regulations is an emergency and shall be considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare. Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure Act, emergency regulations adopted by the department pursuant to this section shall not be subject to review by the Office of Administrative Law and shall remain in effect until revised by the department.

(e) Before adopting the regulations pursuant to this section, the department shall conduct three public meetings to consider public comments. The department shall publish the draft regulations on its Internet Web site at least 30 days before the public meetings. One meeting shall be conducted at a location in northern California, one meeting shall be conducted at a location in the central valley of California, and one meeting shall be conducted at a location in southern California.

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

10733.4.
  

(a) Upon adoption of a groundwater sustainability plan, a groundwater sustainability agency shall submit the groundwater sustainability plan to the department for review pursuant to this chapter.

(b) If groundwater sustainability agencies develop multiple groundwater sustainability plans for a basin, the submission required by subdivision (a) shall not occur until the entire basin is covered by groundwater sustainability plans. When the entire basin is covered by groundwater sustainability plans, the groundwater sustainability agencies shall jointly submit to the department all of the following:

(1) The groundwater sustainability plans.

(2) An explanation of how the groundwater sustainability plans implemented together satisfy Sections 10727.2, 10727.4, and 10727.6 for the entire basin.

(3) A copy of the coordination agreement between the groundwater sustainability agencies to ensure the coordinated implementation of the groundwater sustainability plans for the entire basin.

(c) Upon receipt of a groundwater sustainability plan, the department shall post the plan on the department’s Internet Web site and provide 60 days for persons to submit comments to the department about the plan.

(d) The department shall evaluate the groundwater sustainability plan within two years of its submission by a groundwater sustainability agency and issue an assessment of the plan. The assessment may include recommended corrective actions to address any deficiencies identified by the department.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a groundwater sustainability agency from implementing a groundwater sustainability plan prior to evaluation and assessment of the groundwater sustainability plan by the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 666, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2016.)

10733.6.
  

(a) If a local agency believes that an alternative described in subdivision (b) satisfies the objectives of this part, the local agency may submit the alternative to the department for evaluation and assessment of whether the alternative satisfies the objectives of this part for the basin.

(b) An alternative is any of the following:

(1) A plan developed pursuant to Part 2.75 (commencing with Section 10750) or other law authorizing groundwater management.

(2) Management pursuant to an adjudication action.

(3) An analysis of basin conditions that demonstrates that the basin has operated within its sustainable yield over a period of at least 10 years. The submission of an alternative described by this paragraph shall include a report prepared by a registered professional engineer or geologist who is licensed by the state and submitted under that engineer’s or geologist’s seal.

(c) A local agency shall submit an alternative pursuant to this section no later than January 1, 2017, and every five years thereafter.

(d) The assessment required by subdivision (a) shall include an assessment of whether the alternative is within a basin that is in compliance with Part 2.11 (commencing with Section 10920). If the alternative is within a basin that is not in compliance with Part 2.11 (commencing with Section 10920), the department shall find the alternative does not satisfy the objectives of this part.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 18. Effective January 1, 2015.)

10733.8.
  

At least every five years after initial submission of a plan pursuant to Section 10733.4, the department shall review any available groundwater sustainability plan or alternative submitted in accordance with Section 10733.6, and the implementation of the corresponding groundwater sustainability program for consistency with this part, including achieving the sustainability goal. The department shall issue an assessment for each basin for which a plan or alternative has been submitted in accordance with this chapter, with an emphasis on assessing progress in achieving the sustainability goal within the basin. The assessment may include recommended corrective actions to address any deficiencies identified by the department.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 18. Effective January 1, 2015.)

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