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 8. Financial Authority [10730 - 10731]
  ( Chapter 8 added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 16. )

10730.
  

(a) A groundwater sustainability agency may impose fees, including, but not limited to, permit fees and fees on groundwater extraction or other regulated activity, to fund the costs of a groundwater sustainability program, including, but not limited to, preparation, adoption, and amendment of a groundwater sustainability plan, and investigations, inspections, compliance assistance, enforcement, and program administration, including a prudent reserve. A groundwater sustainability agency shall not impose a fee pursuant to this subdivision on a de minimis extractor unless the agency has regulated the users pursuant to this part.

(b) (1) Prior to imposing or increasing a fee, a groundwater sustainability agency shall hold at least one public meeting, at which oral or written presentations may be made as part of the meeting.

(2) Notice of the time and place of the meeting shall include a general explanation of the matter to be considered and a statement that the data required by this section is available. The notice shall be provided by publication pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code, by posting notice on the Internet Web site of the groundwater sustainability agency, and by mail to any interested party who files a written request with the agency for mailed notice of the meeting on new or increased fees. A written request for mailed notices shall be valid for one year from the date that the request is made and may be renewed by making a written request on or before April 1 of each year.

(3) At least 20 days prior to the meeting, the groundwater sustainability agency shall make available to the public data upon which the proposed fee is based.

(c) Any action by a groundwater sustainability agency to impose or increase a fee shall be taken only by ordinance or resolution.

(d) (1) As an alternative method for the collection of fees imposed pursuant to this section, a groundwater sustainability agency may adopt a resolution requesting collection of the fees in the same manner as ordinary municipal ad valorem taxes.

(2) A resolution described in paragraph (1) shall be adopted and furnished to the county auditor-controller and board of supervisors on or before August 1 of each year that the alternative collection of the fees is being requested. The resolution shall include a list of parcels and the amount to be collected for each parcel.

(e) The power granted by this section is in addition to any powers a groundwater sustainability agency has under any other law.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 667, Sec. 2. (AB 939) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10730.1.
  

A groundwater sustainability agency, before imposing or increasing a fee pursuant to Section 10730 or 10730.2 relating to a groundwater basin that includes a water corporation regulated by the Public Utilities Commission, shall notify the Public Utilities Commission.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 139, Sec. 1. (AB 2874) Effective January 1, 2017.)

10730.2.
  

(a) A groundwater sustainability agency that adopts a groundwater sustainability plan pursuant to this part may impose fees on the extraction of groundwater from the basin to fund costs of groundwater management, including, but not limited to, the costs of the following:

(1) Administration, operation, and maintenance, including a prudent reserve.

(2) Acquisition of lands or other property, facilities, and services.

(3) Supply, production, treatment, or distribution of water.

(4) Other activities necessary or convenient to implement the plan.

(b)  Until a groundwater sustainability plan is adopted pursuant to this part, a local agency may impose fees in accordance with the procedures provided in this section for the purposes of Part 2.75 (commencing with Section 10750) as long as a groundwater management plan adopted before January 1, 2015, is in effect.

(c) Fees imposed pursuant to this section shall be adopted in accordance with subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 6 of Article XIII D of the California Constitution.

(d) Fees imposed pursuant to this section may include fixed fees and fees charged on a volumetric basis, including, but not limited to, fees that increase based on the quantity of groundwater produced annually, the year in which the production of groundwater commenced from a groundwater extraction facility, and impacts to the basin.

(e) The power granted by this section is in addition to any powers a groundwater sustainability agency has under any other law.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 255, Sec. 12. (SB 13) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10730.4.
  

A groundwater sustainability agency may fund activities pursuant to Part 2.75 (commencing with Section 10750) and may impose fees pursuant to Section 10730.2 to fund activities undertaken by the agency pursuant to Part 2.75 (commencing with Section 10750).

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 16. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10730.6.
  

(a) A groundwater fee levied pursuant to this chapter shall be due and payable to the groundwater sustainability agency by each owner or operator on a day established by the groundwater sustainability agency.

(b) If an owner or operator knowingly fails to pay a groundwater fee within 30 days of it becoming due, the owner or operator shall be liable to the groundwater sustainability agency for interest at the rate of 1 percent per month on the delinquent amount of the groundwater fee and a 10-percent penalty.

(c) The groundwater sustainability agency may bring a suit in the court having jurisdiction against any owner or operator of a groundwater extraction facility within the area covered by the plan for the collection of any delinquent groundwater fees, interest, or penalties imposed under this chapter. If the groundwater sustainability agency seeks an attachment against the property of any named defendant in the suit, the groundwater sustainability agency shall not be required to furnish a bond or other undertaking as provided in Title 6.5 (commencing with Section 481.010) of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(d) In the alternative to bringing a suit pursuant to subdivision (c), a groundwater sustainability agency may collect any delinquent groundwater charge and any civil penalties and interest on the delinquent groundwater charge pursuant to the laws applicable to the local agency or, if a joint powers authority, to the entity designated pursuant to Section 6509 of the Government Code. The collection shall be in the same manner as it would be applicable to the collection of delinquent assessments, water charges, or tolls.

(e) As an additional remedy, a groundwater sustainability agency, after a public hearing, may order an owner or operator to cease extraction of groundwater until all delinquent fees are paid. The groundwater sustainability agency shall give notice to the owner or operator by certified mail not less than 15 days in advance of the public hearing.

(f) The remedies specified in this section for collecting and enforcing fees are cumulative and may be pursued alternatively or may be used consecutively as determined by the governing body.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 16. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10730.8.
  

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall affect or interfere with the authority of a groundwater sustainability agency to levy and collect taxes, assessments, charges, and tolls as otherwise provided by law.

(b)  Personal information included in a report or record pursuant to this chapter has the same protection from disclosure as is provided for information concerning utility customers of local agencies pursuant to Section 6254.16 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 16. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10731.
  

(a)  Following an investigation pursuant to Section 10725.4, the governing body may make a determination fixing the amount of groundwater production from the groundwater extraction facility at an amount not to exceed the maximum production capacity of the facility for purposes of levying a groundwater charge. If a water-measuring device is permanently attached to the groundwater extraction facility, the record of production as disclosed by the water-measuring device shall be presumed to be accurate unless the contrary is established by the groundwater sustainability agency after investigation.

(b) After the governing body makes a determination fixing the amount of groundwater production pursuant to subdivision (a), a written notice of the determination shall be mailed to the owner or operator of the groundwater extraction facility at the address as shown by the groundwater sustainability agency’s records. A determination made by the governing body shall be conclusive on the owner or operator and the groundwater charges, based on the determination together with any interest and penalties, shall be payable immediately unless within 20 days after the mailing of the notice the owner or operator files with the governing body a written protest setting forth the ground for protesting the amount of production or the groundwater charges, interest, and penalties. If a protest is filed pursuant to this subdivision, the governing body shall hold a hearing to determine the total amount of the groundwater production and the groundwater charges, interest, and penalties. Notice of the hearing shall be mailed to each protestant at least 20 days before the date fixed for the hearing. Notice of the determination of the governing body hearing shall be mailed to each protestant. The owner or operator shall have 20 days from the date of mailing of the determination to pay the groundwater charges, interest, and penalties determined by the governing body.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 347, Sec. 16. (AB 1739) Effective January 1, 2015.)

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