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 5. Powers and Authorities [10725 - 10726.9]
  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 346, Sec. 3. )

10725.
  

(a) A groundwater sustainability agency may exercise any of the powers described in this chapter in implementing this part, in addition to, and not as a limitation on, any existing authority, if the groundwater sustainability agency adopts and submits to the department a groundwater sustainability plan or prescribed alternative documentation in accordance with Section 10733.6.

(b) A groundwater sustainability agency has and may use the powers in this chapter to provide the maximum degree of local control and flexibility consistent with the sustainability goals of this part.

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

10725.2.
  

(a) A groundwater sustainability agency may perform any act necessary or proper to carry out the purposes of this part.

(b) A groundwater sustainability agency may adopt rules, regulations, ordinances, and resolutions for the purpose of this part, in compliance with any procedural requirements applicable to the adoption of a rule, regulation, ordinance, or resolution by the groundwater sustainability agency.

(c) In addition to any other applicable procedural requirements, the groundwater sustainability agency shall provide notice of the proposed adoption of the groundwater sustainability plan on its Internet Web site and provide for electronic notice to any person who requests electronic notification.

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

10725.4.
  

(a) A groundwater sustainability agency may conduct an investigation for the purposes of this part, including, but not limited to, investigations for the following:

(1) To determine the need for groundwater management.

(2) To prepare and adopt a groundwater sustainability plan and implementing rules and regulations.

(3) To propose and update fees.

(4) To monitor compliance and enforcement.

(b) An investigation may include surface waters and surface water rights as well as groundwater and groundwater rights.

(c) In connection with an investigation, a groundwater sustainability agency may inspect the property or facilities of a person or entity to ascertain whether the purposes of this part are being met and compliance with this part. The local agency may conduct an inspection pursuant to this section upon obtaining any necessary consent or obtaining an inspection warrant pursuant to the procedure set forth in Title 13 (commencing with Section 1822.50) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

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

10725.6.
  

A groundwater sustainability agency may require registration of a groundwater extraction facility within the management area of the groundwater sustainability agency.

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

10725.8.
  

(a) A groundwater sustainability agency may require through its groundwater sustainability plan that the use of every groundwater extraction facility within the management area of the groundwater sustainability agency be measured by a water-measuring device satisfactory to the groundwater sustainability agency.

(b) All costs associated with the purchase and installation of the water-measuring device shall be borne by the owner or operator of each groundwater extraction facility. The water-measuring devices shall be installed by the groundwater sustainability agency or, at the groundwater sustainability agency’s option, by the owner or operator of the groundwater extraction facility. Water-measuring devices shall be calibrated on a reasonable schedule as may be determined by the groundwater sustainability agency.

(c) A groundwater sustainability agency may require, through its groundwater sustainability plan, that the owner or operator of a groundwater extraction facility within the groundwater sustainability agency file an annual statement with the groundwater sustainability agency setting forth the total extraction in acre-feet of groundwater from the facility during the previous water year.

(d) In addition to the measurement of groundwater extractions pursuant to subdivision (a), a groundwater sustainability agency may use any other reasonable method to determine groundwater extraction.

(e) This section does not apply to de minimis extractors.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 303, Sec. 551. (AB 731) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10726.
  

An entity within the area of a groundwater sustainability plan shall report the diversion of surface water to underground storage to the groundwater sustainability agency for the relevant portion of the basin.

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

10726.2.
  

A groundwater sustainability agency may do the following:

(a) Acquire by grant, purchase, lease, gift, devise, contract, construction, or otherwise, and hold, use, enjoy, sell, let, and dispose of, real and personal property of every kind, including lands, water rights, structures, buildings, rights-of-way, easements, and privileges, and construct, maintain, alter, and operate any and all works or improvements, within or outside the agency, necessary or proper to carry out any of the purposes of this part.

(b) Appropriate and acquire surface water or groundwater and surface water or groundwater rights, import surface water or groundwater into the agency, and conserve and store within or outside the agency that water for any purpose necessary or proper to carry out the provisions of this part, including, but not limited to, the spreading, storing, retaining, or percolating into the soil of the waters for subsequent use or in a manner consistent with the provisions of Section 10727.2. As part of this authority, the agency shall not alter another person’s or agency’s existing groundwater conjunctive use or storage program except upon a finding that the conjunctive use or storage program interferes with implementation of the agency’s groundwater sustainability plan.

(c) Provide for a program of voluntary fallowing of agricultural lands or validate an existing program.

(d) Perform any acts necessary or proper to enable the agency to purchase, transfer, deliver, or exchange water or water rights of any type with any person that may be necessary or proper to carry out any of the purposes of this part, including, but not limited to, providing surface water in exchange for a groundwater extractor’s agreement to reduce or cease groundwater extractions. The agency shall not deliver retail water supplies within the service area of a public water system without either the consent of that system or authority under the agency’s existing authorities.

(e) Transport, reclaim, purify, desalinate, treat, or otherwise manage and control polluted water, wastewater, or other waters for subsequent use in a manner that is necessary or proper to carry out the purposes of this part.

(f) Commence, maintain, intervene in, defend, compromise, and assume the cost and expenses of any and all actions and proceedings.

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

10726.4.
  

(a) A groundwater sustainability agency shall have the following additional authority and may regulate groundwater extraction using that authority:

(1) To impose spacing requirements on new groundwater well construction to minimize well interference and impose reasonable operating regulations on existing groundwater wells to minimize well interference, including requiring extractors to operate on a rotation basis.

(2) To control groundwater extractions by regulating, limiting, or suspending extractions from individual groundwater wells or extractions from groundwater wells in the aggregate, construction of new groundwater wells, enlargement of existing groundwater wells, or reactivation of abandoned groundwater wells, or otherwise establishing groundwater extraction allocations. Those actions shall be consistent with the applicable elements of the city or county general plan, unless there is insufficient sustainable yield in the basin to serve a land use designated in the city or county general plan. A limitation on extractions by a groundwater sustainability agency shall not be construed to be a final determination of rights to extract groundwater from the basin or any portion of the basin.

(3) To authorize temporary and permanent transfers of groundwater extraction allocations within the agency’s boundaries, if the total quantity of groundwater extracted in any water year is consistent with the provisions of the groundwater sustainability plan. The transfer is subject to applicable city and county ordinances.

(4) To establish accounting rules to allow unused groundwater extraction allocations issued by the agency to be carried over from one year to another and voluntarily transferred, if the total quantity of groundwater extracted in any five-year period is consistent with the provisions of the groundwater sustainability plan.

(b) This section does not authorize a groundwater sustainability agency to issue permits for the construction, modification, or abandonment of groundwater wells, except as authorized by a county with authority to issue those permits. A groundwater sustainability agency may request of the county, and the county shall consider, that the county forward permit requests for the construction of new groundwater wells, the enlarging of existing groundwater wells, and the reactivation of abandoned groundwater wells to the groundwater sustainability agency before permit approval.

(Amended (as added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 346) by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 12. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10726.5.
  

In addition to any other authority granted to a groundwater sustainability agency by this part or other law, a groundwater sustainability agency may enter into written agreements and funding with a private party to assist in, or facilitate the implementation of, a groundwater sustainability plan or any elements of the plan.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 666, Sec. 3. (AB 617) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10726.6.
  

(a) A groundwater sustainability agency that adopts a groundwater sustainability plan may file an action to determine the validity of the plan pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 860) of Title 10 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure no sooner than 180 days following the adoption of the plan.

(b) Subject to Sections 394 and 397 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the venue for an action pursuant to this section shall be the county in which the principal office of the groundwater management agency is located.

(c) Any judicial action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the ordinance or resolution imposing a new, or increasing an existing, fee imposed pursuant to Section 10730, 10730.2, or 10730.4 shall be commenced within 180 days following the adoption of the ordinance or resolution.

(d) Any person may pay a fee imposed pursuant to Section 10730, 10730.2, or 10730.4 under protest and bring an action against the governing body in the superior court to recover any money that the governing body refuses to refund. Payments made and actions brought under this section shall be made and brought in the manner provided for the payment of taxes under protest and actions for refund of that payment in Article 2 (commencing with Section 5140) of Chapter 5 of Part 9 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, as applicable.

(e) Except as otherwise provided in this section, actions by a groundwater sustainability agency are subject to judicial review pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

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

10726.8.
  

(a) This part is in addition to, and not a limitation on, the authority granted to a local agency under any other law. The local agency may use the local agency’s authority under any other law to apply and enforce any requirements of this part, including, but not limited to, the collection of fees.

(b) Nothing in this part shall be construed as authorizing a local agency to make a binding determination of the water rights of any person or entity, or to impose fees or regulatory requirements on activities outside the boundaries of the local agency.

(c) Nothing in this part is a limitation on the authority of the board, the department, or the State Department of Public Health.

(d) Notwithstanding Section 6103 of the Government Code, a state or local agency that extracts groundwater shall be subject to a fee imposed under this part to the same extent as any nongovernmental entity.

(e) Except as provided in subdivision (d), this part does not authorize a local agency to impose any requirement on the state or any agency, department, or officer of the state. State agencies and departments shall work cooperatively with a local agency on a voluntary basis.

(f) Nothing in this chapter or a groundwater sustainability plan shall be interpreted as superseding the land use authority of cities and counties, including the city or county general plan, within the overlying basin.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 255, Sec. 10. (SB 13) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10726.9.
  

A groundwater sustainability plan shall take into account the most recent planning assumptions stated in local general plans of jurisdictions overlying the basin.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 14. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

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