Today's Law As Amended

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SB-559 Department of Water Resources: water conveyance systems: Water Conveyance Restoration Fund.(2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today


 Section 140.5 is added to the Water Code, to read:

 (a) The Water Conveyance Restoration Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury. The department shall administer the fund pursuant to the Water Conveyance Restoration Program established by this section and in consultation with the board and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The purpose of the program shall be to minimize losses in water conveyance capacity caused by damaged water conveyance infrastructure and to promote the reasonable and beneficial uses of surface waters in the state, including reduced reliance on the bay-delta as required by Section 85021.
(b) All moneys deposited in the fund shall be expended, upon appropriation by the Legislature, in support of subsidence repair costs, including environmental planning, permitting, design, and construction and necessary road and bridge upgrades required to accommodate capacity improvements.
(c) Moneys expended from the fund for each individual project specified in subdivision (d) shall not exceed one-third of the total cost of each individual project.
(d) The director shall apportion money appropriated from the fund among the following projects, based on the requirements specified in subdivision (e):
(1) Friant-Kern Canal.
(2) Delta-Mendota Canal.
(3) San Luis Field Division of the California Aqueduct.
(4) San Joaquin Division of the California Aqueduct.
(e) In determining the apportionment of appropriated funding, the director shall consider how each project fulfills each of the following requirements:
(1) Preparedness to begin construction, including, but not limited to, compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) and availability of cost-share from local and federal agency sources.
(2) Provision of public benefits, including, but not limited to, improving safe drinking water to small community water systems, direct recharge of groundwater pursuant to a groundwater sustainability plan, delivery of water to managed wetlands and other lands owned by a government agency or nonprofit organization, and benefits for fish, wildlife, and other public trust resources.
(3) Adequacy of the applicable groundwater sustainability plan to prevent further subsidence that would affect the repairs to the conveyance facility.
(f) The director shall disburse the funding to the owner of the conveyance facility subject to an agreement that addresses all of the following issues:
(1) Accountability for completion of the conveyance capacity restoration project, including the department’s authority to recover state funding if the project is not completed in a reasonable amount of time.
(2) Commitment and availability of funding from local and federal agency sources and beneficiaries of the water conveyed by the facility that provides at least two-thirds of the cost of the project.
(3) Efforts by any party to prevent further subsidence underlying the conveyance facility.
(4) Efforts by any party to recover the costs of conveyance capacity restoration from responsible parties, including payment to the department of up to one-third of the money recovered from responsible parties.
(g) As a condition of the state contributing funds to a project pursuant to this section, the state and federal water project contractors for the project shall pursue recovery of the costs of conveyance capacity restoration from responsible parties.
(h) At least 30 days before execution of the agreement required by subdivision (f), the director shall convene a public meeting for comment on the director’s apportionment of appropriated funding and the agreement.
(i) For each project funded pursuant to this section, the department shall prepare and submit to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee both of the following:
(1) An annual report no later than March 1 of each year that includes, for the prior calendar year, a report on the expenditure of the money in the fund and a summary of the project work completed to date, planned work, the nonstate cost share, and an update on the overall project schedule and budget.
(2) A final report within 12 months of completion of construction summarizing the work performed.
(j) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Bay-delta” has the same meaning as defined in Section 79006.
(2) “Community water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) “Groundwater sustainability plan” has the same meaning as defined in Section 10721.
(k) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2030, and, as of January 1, 2031, is repealed.