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 6. Groundwater Sustainability Plans [10727 - 10728.6]
  ( Chapter 6 added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 346, Sec. 3. )

10727.
  

(a) A groundwater sustainability plan shall be developed and implemented for each medium- or high-priority basin by a groundwater sustainability agency to meet the sustainability goal established pursuant to this part. The groundwater sustainability plan may incorporate, extend, or be based on a plan adopted pursuant to Part 2.75 (commencing with Section 10750).

(b) A groundwater sustainability plan may be any of the following:

(1) A single plan covering the entire basin developed and implemented by one groundwater sustainability agency.

(2) A single plan covering the entire basin developed and implemented by multiple groundwater sustainability agencies.

(3) Subject to Section 10727.6, multiple plans implemented by multiple groundwater sustainability agencies and coordinated pursuant to a single coordination agreement that covers the entire basin.

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

10727.2.
  

A groundwater sustainability plan shall include all of the following:

(a) A description of the physical setting and characteristics of the aquifer system underlying the basin that includes the following:

(1) Historical data, to the extent available.

(2) Groundwater levels, groundwater quality, subsidence, and groundwater-surface water interaction.

(3) A general discussion of historical and projected water demands and supplies.

(4) A map that details the area of the basin and the boundaries of the groundwater sustainability agencies that overlie the basin that have or are developing groundwater sustainability plans.

(5) A map identifying existing and potential recharge areas for the basin. The map or maps shall identify the existing recharge areas that substantially contribute to the replenishment of the groundwater basin. The map or maps shall be provided to the appropriate local planning agencies after adoption of the groundwater sustainability plan.

(b) (1) Measurable objectives, as well as interim milestones in increments of five years, to achieve the sustainability goal in the basin within 20 years of the implementation of the plan.

(2) A description of how the plan helps meet each objective and how each objective is intended to achieve the sustainability goal for the basin for long-term beneficial uses of groundwater.

(3) (A) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), at the request of the groundwater sustainability agency, the department may grant an extension of up to 5 years beyond the 20-year sustainability timeframe upon a showing of good cause. The department may grant a second extension of up to five years upon a showing of good cause if the groundwater sustainability agency has begun implementation of the work plan described in clause (iii) of subparagraph (B).

(B) The department may grant an extension pursuant to this paragraph if the groundwater sustainability agency does all of the following:

(i) Demonstrates a need for an extension.

(ii) Has made progress toward meeting the sustainability goal as demonstrated by its progress at achieving the milestones identified in its groundwater sustainability plan.

(iii) Adopts a feasible work plan for meeting the sustainability goal during the extension period.

(4) The plan may, but is not required to, address undesirable results that occurred before, and have not been corrected by, January 1, 2015. Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, a groundwater sustainability agency has discretion as to whether to set measurable objectives and the timeframes for achieving any objectives for undesirable results that occurred before, and have not been corrected by, January 1, 2015.

(c) A planning and implementation horizon.

(d) Components relating to the following, as applicable to the basin:

(1) The monitoring and management of groundwater levels within the basin.

(2) The monitoring and management of groundwater quality, groundwater quality degradation, inelastic land surface subsidence, and changes in surface flow and surface water quality that directly affect groundwater levels or quality or are caused by groundwater extraction in the basin.

(3) Mitigation of overdraft.

(4) How recharge areas identified in the plan substantially contribute to the replenishment of the basin.

(5) A description of surface water supply used or available for use for groundwater recharge or in-lieu use.

(e) A summary of the type of monitoring sites, type of measurements, and the frequency of monitoring for each location monitoring groundwater levels, groundwater quality, subsidence, streamflow, precipitation, evaporation, and tidal influence. The plan shall include a summary of monitoring information such as well depth, screened intervals, and aquifer zones monitored, and a summary of the type of well relied on for the information, including public, irrigation, domestic, industrial, and monitoring wells.

(f) Monitoring protocols that are designed to detect changes in groundwater levels, groundwater quality, inelastic surface subsidence for basins for which subsidence has been identified as a potential problem, and flow and quality of surface water that directly affect groundwater levels or quality or are caused by groundwater extraction in the basin. The monitoring protocols shall be designed to generate information that promotes efficient and effective groundwater management.

(g) A description of the consideration given to the applicable county and city general plans and a description of the various adopted water resources-related plans and programs within the basin and an assessment of how the groundwater sustainability plan may affect those plans.

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

10727.4.
  

In addition to the requirements of Section 10727.2, a groundwater sustainability plan shall include, where appropriate and in collaboration with the appropriate local agencies, all of the following:

(a) Control of saline water intrusion.

(b) Wellhead protection areas and recharge areas.

(c) Migration of contaminated groundwater.

(d) A well abandonment and well destruction program.

(e) Replenishment of groundwater extractions.

(f) Activities implementing, opportunities for, and removing impediments to, conjunctive use or underground storage.

(g) Well construction policies.

(h) Measures addressing groundwater contamination cleanup, groundwater recharge, in-lieu use, diversions to storage, conservation, water recycling, conveyance, and extraction projects.

(i) Efficient water management practices, as defined in Section 10902, for the delivery of water and water conservation methods to improve the efficiency of water use.

(j) Efforts to develop relationships with state and federal regulatory agencies.

(k) Processes to review land use plans and efforts to coordinate with land use planning agencies to assess activities that potentially create risks to groundwater quality or quantity.

(l) Impacts on groundwater dependent ecosystems.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 666, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2016.)

10727.6.
  

Groundwater sustainability agencies intending to develop and implement multiple groundwater sustainability plans pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 10727 shall coordinate with other agencies preparing a groundwater sustainability plan within the basin to ensure that the plans utilize the same data and methodologies for the following assumptions in developing the plan:

(a) Groundwater elevation data.

(b) Groundwater extraction data.

(c) Surface water supply.

(d) Total water use.

(e) Change in groundwater storage.

(f) Water budget.

(g) Sustainable yield.

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

10727.8.
  

(a) Prior to initiating the development of a groundwater sustainability plan, the groundwater sustainability agency shall make available to the public and the department a written statement describing the manner in which interested parties may participate in the development and implementation of the groundwater sustainability plan. The groundwater sustainability agency shall provide the written statement to the legislative body of any city, county, or city and county located within the geographic area to be covered by the plan. The groundwater sustainability agency may appoint and consult with an advisory committee consisting of interested parties for the purposes of developing and implementing a groundwater sustainability plan. The groundwater sustainability agency shall encourage the active involvement of diverse social, cultural, and economic elements of the population within the groundwater basin prior to and during the development and implementation of the groundwater sustainability plan. If the geographic area to be covered by the plan includes a public water system regulated by the Public Utilities Commission, the groundwater sustainability agency shall provide the written statement to the commission.

(b) For purposes of this section, interested parties include entities listed in Section 10927 that are monitoring and reporting groundwater elevations in all or a part of a groundwater basin managed by the groundwater sustainability agency.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 666, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2016.)

10728.
  

On the April 1 following the adoption of a groundwater sustainability plan and annually thereafter, a groundwater sustainability agency shall submit a report to the department containing the following information about the basin managed in the groundwater sustainability plan:

(a) Groundwater elevation data.

(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.

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

10728.2.
  

A groundwater sustainability agency shall periodically evaluate its groundwater sustainability plan, assess changing conditions in the basin that may warrant modification of the plan or management objectives, and may adjust components in the plan. An evaluation of the plan shall focus on determining whether the actions under the plan are meeting the plan’s management objectives and whether those objectives are meeting the sustainability goal in the basin.

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

10728.4.
  

A groundwater sustainability agency may adopt or amend a groundwater sustainability plan after a public hearing, held at least 90 days after providing notice to a city or county within the area of the proposed plan or amendment. The groundwater sustainability agency shall review and consider comments from any city or county that receives notice pursuant to this section and shall consult with a city or county that requests consultation within 30 days of receipt of the notice. Nothing in this section is intended to preclude an agency and a city or county from otherwise consulting or commenting regarding the adoption or amendment of a plan.

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

10728.6.
  

Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code does not apply to the preparation and adoption of plans pursuant to this chapter. Nothing in this part shall be interpreted as exempting from Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code a project that would implement actions taken pursuant to a plan adopted pursuant to this chapter.

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

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