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 11. State Intervention [10735 - 10736.6]
  ( Chapter 11 added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 19. )

10735.
  

As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “Condition of long-term overdraft” means the condition of a groundwater basin where the average annual amount of water extracted for a long-term period, generally 10 years or more, exceeds the long-term average annual supply of water to the basin, plus any temporary surplus. Overdraft during a period of drought is not sufficient to establish a condition of long-term overdraft if extractions and recharge are managed as necessary to ensure that reductions in groundwater levels or storage during a period of drought are offset by increases in groundwater levels or storage during other periods.

(b) “Person” means any person, firm, association, organization, partnership, business, trust, corporation, limited liability company, or public agency, including any city, county, city and county, district, joint powers authority, state, or any agency or department of those entities. “Person” includes, to the extent authorized by federal or tribal law and subject to the limitations described in subdivisions (c) and (d) of Section 10720.3, the United States, a department, agency or instrumentality of the federal government, an Indian tribe, an authorized Indian tribal organization, or interstate body.

(c) “Probationary basin” means a basin for which the board has issued a determination under Section 10735.2.

(d) “Significant depletions of interconnected surface waters” means reductions in flow or levels of surface water that is hydrologically connected to the basin such that the reduced surface water flow or levels have a significant and unreasonable adverse impact on beneficial uses of the surface water.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 19. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10735.2.
  

(a) The board, after notice and a public hearing, may designate a high- or medium-priority basin as a probationary basin, if the board finds one or more of the following applies to the basin:

(1) After June 30, 2017, none of the following have occurred:

(A)  A local agency has decided to become a groundwater sustainability agency that intends to develop a groundwater sustainability plan for the entire basin.

(B)  A collection of local agencies has formed a groundwater sustainability agency or prepared agreements to develop one or more groundwater sustainability plans that will collectively serve as a groundwater sustainability plan for the entire basin.

(C)  A local agency has submitted an alternative that has been approved or is pending approval pursuant to Section 10733.6. If the department disapproves an alternative pursuant to Section 10733.6, the board shall not act under this paragraph until at least 180 days after the department disapproved the alternative.

(2)  The basin is subject to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 10720.7, and after January 31, 2020, none of the following have occurred:

(A)  A groundwater sustainability agency has adopted a groundwater sustainability plan for the entire basin.

(B)  A collection of local agencies has adopted groundwater sustainability plans that collectively serve as a groundwater sustainability plan for the entire basin.

(C) The department has approved an alternative pursuant to Section 10733.6.

(3) The basin is subject to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 10720.7 and after January 31, 2020, the department, in consultation with the board, determines that a groundwater sustainability plan is inadequate or that the groundwater sustainability program is not being implemented in a manner that will likely achieve the sustainability goal.

(4) The basin is subject to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 10720.7, and after January 31, 2022, none of the following have occurred:

(A) A groundwater sustainability agency has adopted a groundwater sustainability plan for the entire basin.

(B) A collection of local agencies has adopted groundwater sustainability plans that collectively serve as a groundwater sustainability plan for the entire basin.

(C) The department has approved an alternative pursuant to Section 10733.6.

(5) The basin is subject to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 10720.7, and either of the following have occurred:

(A) After January 31, 2022, both of the following have occurred:

(i) The department, in consultation with the board, determines that a groundwater sustainability plan is inadequate or that the groundwater sustainability plan is not being implemented in a manner that will likely achieve the sustainability goal.

(ii) The board determines that the basin is in a condition of long-term overdraft.

(B) After January 31, 2025, both of the following have occurred:

(i) The department, in consultation with the board, determines that a groundwater sustainability plan is inadequate or that the groundwater sustainability plan is not being implemented in a manner that will likely achieve the sustainability goal.

(ii) The board determines that the basin is in a condition where groundwater extractions result in significant depletions of interconnected surface waters.

(b) In making the findings associated with paragraph (3) or (5) of subdivision (a), the department and board may rely on periodic assessments the department has prepared pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 10733). The board may request that the department conduct additional assessments utilizing the regulations developed pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 10733) and make determinations pursuant to this section. The board shall post on its Internet Web site and provide at least 30 days for the public to comment on any determinations provided by the department pursuant to this subdivision.

(c) (1)   The determination may exclude a class or category of extractions from the requirement for reporting pursuant to Part 5.2 (commencing with Section 5200) of Division 2 if those extractions are subject to a local plan or program that adequately manages groundwater within the portion of the basin to which that plan or program applies, or if those extractions are likely to have a minimal impact on basin withdrawals.

(2) The determination may require reporting of a class or category of extractions that would otherwise be exempt from reporting pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 5202 if those extractions are likely to have a substantial impact on basin withdrawals or requiring reporting of those extractions is reasonably necessary to obtain information for purposes of this chapter.

(3) The determination may establish requirements for information required to be included in reports of groundwater extraction, for installation of measuring devices, or for use of a methodology, measuring device, or both, pursuant to Part 5.2 (commencing with Section 5200) of Division 2.

(4) The determination may modify the water year or reporting date for a report of groundwater extraction pursuant to Section 5202.

(d) If the board finds that litigation challenging the formation of a groundwater sustainability agency prevented its formation before July 1, 2017, pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) or prevented a groundwater sustainability program from being implemented in a manner likely to achieve the sustainability goal pursuant to paragraph (2), (3), (4), or (5) of subdivision (a), the board shall not designate a basin as a probationary basin for a period of time equal to the delay caused by the litigation.

(e) The board shall exclude from probationary status any portion of a basin for which a groundwater sustainability agency demonstrates compliance with the sustainability goal.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 255, Sec. 15. (SB 13) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10735.4.
  

(a) If the board designates a basin as a probationary basin pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 10735.2, a local agency or groundwater sustainability agency shall have 180 days to remedy the deficiency. The board may appoint a mediator or other facilitator, after consultation with affected local agencies, to assist in resolving disputes, and identifying and implementing actions that will remedy the deficiency.

(b) After the 180-day period provided by subdivision (a), the board may provide additional time to remedy the deficiency if it finds that a local agency is making substantial progress toward remedying the deficiency.

(c) The board may develop an interim plan pursuant to Section 10735.8 for the probationary basin at the end of the period provided by subdivision (a) or any extension provided pursuant to subdivision (b), if the board, in consultation with the department, determines that a local agency has not remedied the deficiency that resulted in designating the basin as a probationary basin.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 255, Sec. 16. (SB 13) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10735.6.
  

(a) If the board designates a basin as a probationary basin pursuant to paragraph (3) or (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 10735.2, the board shall identify the specific deficiencies and identify potential actions to address the deficiencies. The board may request the department to provide local agencies, within 90 days of the designation of a probationary basin, with technical recommendations to remedy the deficiencies.

(b) The board may develop an interim plan pursuant to Section 10735.8 for the probationary basin one year after the designation of the basin pursuant to paragraph (3) or (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 10735.2, if the board, in consultation with the department, determines that a local agency has not remedied the deficiency that resulted in designating the basin a probationary basin.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 255, Sec. 17. (SB 13) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10735.8.
  

(a) The board, after notice and a public hearing, may adopt an interim plan for a probationary basin.

(b) The interim plan shall include all of the following:

(1) Identification of the actions that are necessary to correct a condition of long-term overdraft or a condition where groundwater extractions result in significant depletions of interconnected surface waters, including recommendations for appropriate action by any person.

(2) A time schedule for the actions to be taken.

(3) A description of the monitoring to be undertaken to determine effectiveness of the plan.

(c) The interim plan may include the following:

(1) Restrictions on groundwater extraction.

(2) A physical solution.

(3) Principles and guidelines for the administration of rights to surface waters that are connected to the basin.

(d)  Except as provided in subdivision (e), the interim plan shall be consistent with water right priorities, subject to Section 2 of Article X of the California Constitution.

(e) The board shall include in its interim plan a groundwater sustainability plan, or any element of a plan, that the board finds complies with the sustainability goal for that portion of the basin or would help meet the sustainability goal for the basin. Where, in the judgment of the board, an adjudication action can be relied on as part of the interim plan, either throughout the basin or in an area within the basin, the board may rely on, or incorporate elements of, that adjudication into the interim plan adopted by the board.

(f) In carrying out activities that may affect the probationary basin, state entities shall comply with an interim plan adopted by the board pursuant to this section unless otherwise directed or authorized by statute and the state entity shall indicate to the board in writing the authority for not complying with the interim plan.

(g) (1) After the board adopts an interim plan under this section, the board shall determine if a groundwater sustainability plan or an adjudication action is adequate to eliminate the condition of long-term overdraft or condition where groundwater extractions result in significant depletions of interconnected surface waters, upon petition of either of the following:

(A) A groundwater sustainability agency that has adopted a groundwater sustainability plan for the probationary basin or a portion thereof.

(B) A person authorized to file the petition by a judicial order or decree entered in an adjudication action in the probationary basin.

(2) The board shall act on a petition filed pursuant to paragraph (1) within 90 days after the petition is complete. If the board, in consultation with the department, determines that the groundwater sustainability plan or adjudication action is adequate, the board shall rescind the interim plan adopted by the board for the probationary basin, except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4).

(3) Upon request of the petitioner, the board may amend an interim plan adopted under this section to eliminate portions of the interim plan, while allowing other portions of the interim plan to continue in effect.

(4) The board may decline to rescind an interim plan adopted pursuant to this section if the board determines that the petitioner has not provided adequate assurances that the groundwater sustainability plan or judicial order or decree will be implemented.

(5) This subdivision is not a limitation on the authority of the board to stay its proceedings under this section or to rescind or amend an interim plan adopted pursuant to this section based on the progress made by a groundwater sustainability agency or in an adjudication action, even if the board cannot make a determination of adequacy in accordance with paragraph (1).

(h) Before January 1, 2025, the state board shall not establish an interim plan under this section to remedy a condition where the groundwater extractions result in significant depletions of interconnected surface waters.

(i) The board’s authority to adopt an interim plan under this section does not alter the law establishing water rights priorities or any other authority of the board.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347) by Stats. 2014, Ch. 348, Sec. 2. (SB 1319) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10736.
  

(a) The board shall adopt or amend a determination or interim plan under Section 10735.2 or 10735.8 in accordance with procedures for quasi-legislative action.

(b) The board shall provide notice of a hearing described in subdivision (a) of Section 10735.2 or subdivision (a) of Section 10735.8 as follows:

(1) At least 90 days before the hearing, the board shall publish notice of the hearing on its Internet Web site.

(2) At least 90 days before the hearing, the board shall notify the department and each city, county, or city and county in which any part of the basin is situated.

(3) (A) For the purposes of this paragraph, the terms “board-designated local area” and “local agency” have the same meaning as defined in Section 5009.

(B) At least 60 days before the hearing, the board shall mail or send by electronic mail notice to all persons known to the board who extract or who propose to extract water from the basin, or who have made written or electronic mail requests to the board for special notice of hearing pursuant to this part. If any portion of the basin is within a board-designated local area, the records made available to the board by the local agency in accordance with paragraph (4) of subdivision (d) of Section 5009 shall include the names and addresses of persons and entities known to the local agency who extract water from the basin, and the board shall mail or send by electronic mail notice to those persons.

(c) The board shall provide notice of proceedings to amend or repeal a determination or plan under Section 10735.2 or 10735.8 as appropriate to the proceedings, taking into account the nature of the proposed revision and the person likely to be affected.

(d) (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 2 of the Government Code does not apply to any action authorized pursuant to Section 10735.2 or 10735.8.

(2) The board may adopt a regulation in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 2 of the Government Code setting procedures for adopting a determination or plan.

(3) The board may adopt a regulation applying or interpreting this part pursuant to Section 1530 if the board determines that the emergency regulation is reasonably necessary for the allocation, administration, or collection of fees authorized pursuant to Section 1529.5.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 19. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10736.2.
  

Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code does not apply to any action or failure to act by the board under this chapter, other than the adoption or amendment of an interim plan pursuant to Section 10735.8.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 19. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10736.4.
  

The extraction or use of water extracted in violation of an interim plan under this part shall not be relied upon as a basis for establishing the extraction or use of water to support a claim in an action or proceeding for determination of water rights.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 19. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10736.6.
  

(a) The board may order a person that extracts or uses water from a basin that is subject to an investigation or proceeding under this chapter to prepare and submit to the board any technical or monitoring program reports related to that person’s or entity’s extraction or use of water as the board may specify. The costs incurred by the person in the preparation of those reports shall bear a reasonable relationship to the need for the report and the benefit to be obtained from the report. If the preparation of individual reports would result in a duplication of effort, or if the reports are necessary to evaluate the cumulative effect of several diversions or uses of water, the board may order any person subject to this subdivision to pay a reasonable share of the cost of preparing reports.

(b) (1) An order issued pursuant to this section shall be served by personal service or registered mail on the party to submit technical or monitoring program reports or to pay a share of the costs of preparing reports. Unless the board issues the order after a hearing, the order shall inform the party of the right to request a hearing within 30 days after the party has been served. If the party does not request a hearing within that 30-day period, the order shall take effect as issued. If the party requests a hearing within that 30-day period, the board may adopt a decision and order after conducting a hearing.

(2) In lieu of adopting an order directed at named persons in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (1), the board may adopt a regulation applicable to a category or class of persons in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(c) Upon application of a person or upon its own motion, the board may review and revise an order issued or regulation adopted pursuant to this section in accordance with the procedures set forth in subdivision (b).

(d) In conducting an investigation or proceeding pursuant to this part, the board may inspect the property or facilities of a person to ascertain whether the purposes of this part are being met and to ascertain compliance with this part. The board may obtain an inspection warrant pursuant to the procedures set forth in Title 13 (commencing with Section 1822.50) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure for the purposes of an inspection pursuant to this subdivision.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 19. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

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