Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT


  ( 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 3. Basin Boundaries [10722 - 10722.4]
  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 346, Sec. 3. )


Unless other basin boundaries are established pursuant to this chapter, a basin’s boundaries shall be as identified in Bulletin 118.

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


(a) A local agency or an entity directed by the court in an adjudication action to file the request may request that the department revise the boundaries of a basin, including the establishment of new subbasins. A request shall be supported by the following information:

(1) Information demonstrating that the proposed adjusted basin can be the subject of sustainable groundwater management.

(2) Technical information regarding the boundaries of, and conditions in, the proposed adjusted basin.

(3) Information demonstrating that the entity proposing the basin boundary adjustment consulted with interested local agencies and public water systems in the affected basins before filing the proposal with the department.

(4) Other information the department deems necessary to justify revision of the basin’s boundary.

(b) By January 1, 2016, the department shall adopt regulations regarding the information required to comply with subdivision (a), including the methodology and criteria to be used to evaluate the proposed revision. 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.

(c) Methodology and criteria established pursuant to subdivision (b) shall address all of the following:

(1) How to assess the likelihood that the proposed basin can be sustainably managed.

(2) How to assess whether the proposed basin would limit the sustainable management of adjacent basins.

(3) How to assess whether there is a history of sustainable management of groundwater levels in the proposed basin.

(d) Prior to adopting the regulations pursuant to subdivision (b), 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.

(e) The department shall provide a copy of its draft revision of a basin’s boundaries to the California Water Commission. The California Water Commission shall hear and comment on the draft revision within 60 days after the department provides the draft revision to the commission.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 676, Sec. 4. (SB 226) Effective January 1, 2016.)


(a) Pursuant to Section 10933, for the purposes of this part the department shall categorize each basin as one of the following priorities:

(1) High priority.

(2) Medium priority.

(3) Low priority.

(4) Very low priority.

(b) The initial priority for each basin shall be established by the department pursuant to Section 10933 no later than January 31, 2015.

(c) Any time the department updates Bulletin 118 boundaries pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 12924, the department shall reassess the prioritization pursuant to Section 10933.

(d) If the department changes priorities pursuant to Section 10933 to elevate a basin from a low- or very low priority basin to a medium- or high-priority basin after January 31, 2015, the agency formation and planning deadlines of this part shall be extended as follows:

(1) A local agency, or combination of local agencies overlying a groundwater basin, shall have two years from the date of reprioritization to either establish a groundwater sustainability agency pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 10723) or two years to satisfy the requirements of Section 10733.6.

(2) A groundwater sustainability agency shall have five years from the date of reprioritization to meet the requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 10720.7, except that if the reprioritization occurs before January 31, 2017, a groundwater sustainability agency subject to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 10720.7 shall have until January 31, 2022.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 667, Sec. 1.5. (AB 939) Effective January 1, 2016.)

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