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SB-971 Small water supplier and countywide water shortage contingency planning.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/11/2020 09:00 PM
SB971:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 971


Introduced by Senator Hertzberg

February 11, 2020


An act to add Part 2.56 (commencing with Section 10609.50) to Division 6 of the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 971, as introduced, Hertzberg. Small water supplier and countywide water shortage contingency planning.
Existing law, the Urban Water Management Planning Act, requires every public and private urban water supplier that directly or indirectly provides water for municipal purposes to prepare and adopt an urban water management plan. The act requires an urban water management plan to include a water shortage contingency plan, as provided.
Existing law required the Department of Water Resources, in consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board and other relevant state and local agencies and stakeholders, to use available data to identify, no later than January 1, 2020, small water suppliers and rural communities that may be at risk of drought and water shortage vulnerability. Existing law required the department, in consultation with the state board, to propose to the Governor and the Legislature, by January 1, 2020, recommendations and guidance relating to the development and implementation of countywide drought and water shortage contingency plans to address the planning needs of small water suppliers and rural communities, as provided.
This bill would require a small water supplier, as defined, with 1,000 to 2,999 service connections, inclusive, to prepare and adopt a small water supplier water shortage contingency plan that consists of specified elements. The bill would require a small water supplier with 15 to 999 service connections, inclusive, to take specified actions related to water shortage planning and response. The bill would require small water suppliers to provide to the public, and to report, the plan and specified water shortage planning information, as prescribed.
This bill would require a county at risk of drought or water shortage, as determined by the department and the state board, to take specified actions related to water shortage planning and response, including, among other actions, including drought and water shortage planning information in the county’s existing planning processes and establishing a county drought and water shortage task force. By imposing additional duties on counties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the department, the state board, the Office of Emergency Services, or a relevant state agency to take specified actions to support a county’s implementation of these provisions.
This bill would impose requirements on the department and the state board to support implementation of the recommendations of the department’s County Drought and Advisory Group, including requiring the department to maintain its drought and water shortage risk vulnerability tool for small water suppliers and rural communities, requiring the state board to identify state small water systems, small water suppliers and rural communities, and concentrations of domestic wells in California through a data system similar to the department’s data system for public water systems, and requiring the department, in consultation with the state board and relevant state agencies, to establish a standing interagency drought and water shortage task force, as prescribed. The bill would require a county drought and water shortage task force and the interagency drought and water shortage task force to include, among other representatives, representatives from local governments. By imposing additional requirements on local governments, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Part 2.56 (commencing with Section 10609.50) is added to Division 6 of the Water Code, to read:

PART 2.56. Small Water Supplier and Countywide Water Shortage Contingency Planning

CHAPTER  1. General Provisions

10609.50.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Droughts are predicted to become more frequent, longer, and more severe as climate change progresses, putting drinking water supplies at risk of running dry or becoming contaminated.
(b) As demonstrated by the most recent drought from 2012 to 2016, inclusive, (2012–16 drought) drought conditions disproportionally impact low-income, small, and rural communities, as demonstrated by all of the following:
(1) (A) Rural communities are more likely to rely solely on groundwater from small water suppliers or domestic wells.
(B) Domestic wells tend to be shallower and are susceptible to running dry when groundwater is overpumped.
(2) (A) The 2012–16 drought negatively impacted over 480,000 people relying on drought-impacted public water systems.
(B) Seventy-six percent of impacted public water systems were small, serving 1,000 service connections or fewer and concentrated in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
(c) There are currently varying levels of water contingency planning and coverage across counties for small water suppliers and self-supplied communities, leaving hundreds of thousands of people at risk of going without water to meet their basic household and drinking water needs during the next drought.
(d) If another drought occurs that is as severe as the 2012–16 drought, more than 4,500 domestic wells in the San Joaquin Valley may be impacted. The cost to mitigate this damage could be more than one hundred fifteen million dollars ($115,000,000).
(e) No one should go without running water during a drought. California can take basic steps to implement more proactive drought planning that would benefit the communities most at risk, and by doing so help prevent catastrophic impacts on drinking water for the communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

10609.52.
 For purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Community water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) “County Drought and Advisory Group” means the group created by the department to implement Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 10609.40) of Part 2.55.
(c) “Department” means the Department of Water Resources.
(d) “Domestic well” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116681 of the Health and Safety Code.
(e) “Public water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
(f) “Risk vulnerability tool” means the tool created by the department to implement Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 10609.40) of Part 2.55.
(g) “Rural community” means a community with fewer than 15 service connections.
(h) “Small water supplier” means a community water system with fewer than 3,000 service connections that provides less than 3,000 acre-feet of water annually.
(i) “Small water supplier water shortage contingency plan” or “plan” means a water shortage contingency plan adopted by a small water supplier pursuant to Section 10609.60.
(j) “State board” means the State Water Resources Control Board.
(k) “State small water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.

CHAPTER  2. Small Water Suppliers

10609.60.
 (a) A small water supplier with 1,000 to 2,999 service connections, inclusive, shall prepare and adopt a small water supplier water shortage contingency plan that consists of all of the following elements:
(1) Water supply conditions, including all of the following:
(A) An inventory and assessment of water supply and demand, including average and peak demand.
(B) Anticipated drought-related challenges and methods to determine if a water shortage is imminent.
(C) Any alternative water sources.
(2) Drought planning contacts, including all of the following:
(A) At least one contact at the water system for water shortage planning and response and the development of the plan.
(B) Contacts for local public safety partners and potential vendors that can provide repairs or alternative water sources.
(C) Regional water planning groups, including the county drought and water shortage task force if one is required pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 10609.70.
(3) Information demonstrating that the small water supplier is participating in a mutual aid network.
(4) Triggering mechanisms and levels for action, including both of the following:
(A) Standard water shortage levels corresponding to progressive ranges based on the water supply conditions described in paragraph (1).
(B) Water shortage response actions that align with the water shortage levels outlined in subparagraph (A).
(5) Public education, notification, and participation, including actions that will be taken to educate, inform, and encourage participation from customers about planning efforts and water shortage actions.
(b) The plan shall be adopted by the small water supplier’s governing body, provided to the public, and included in the small water supplier’s emergency response plan pursuant to the federal Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188) if the small water supplier is required to submit that plan under federal law.
(c) A small water supplier subject to this section shall report the information in its plan annually through the state board’s electronic annual report system.

10609.62.
 (a) A small water supplier with 15 to 999 service connections, inclusive, shall take all of the following actions related to water shortage planning and response:
(1) Identify at least one contact for water shortage planning and response activities.
(2) Coordinate with regional water planning groups, including the county drought and water shortage task force if one is required pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 10609.70, to identify alternative water sources or other opportunities to secure assistance during an emergency.
(3) If reliant on a well, install a water measurement device on the well.
(4) Provide information demonstrating that the small water supplier is participating in a mutual aid network.
(5) Provide information on steps that will be taken to educate and inform customers about planning efforts and resources available in a water shortage, including a drought.
(b) A small water supplier subject to this section shall include the information required pursuant to this section in its emergency notification plan required pursuant to Section 116460 of the Health and Safety Code, provide the information to the public, and report the information annually through the state board’s electronic annual report system.

CHAPTER  3. County Implementation

10609.70.
 (a) A county at risk of drought or water shortage, as determined by the department and the state board using available data and science, shall take the following actions related to water shortage planning and response:
(1) (A) For a rural community not covered by an urban water supplier water shortage contingency plan adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 10632 or a small water supplier water shortage contingency plan, include drought and water shortage planning elements as part of existing planning processes, such as the county’s emergency operation plan, local hazard mitigation plan, general plan, or other county plan as appropriate.
(B) A county subject to subparagraph (A) shall include in existing planning processes a plan for both of the following:
(i) Community outreach.
(ii) Informing communities of the resources available in the event of a drought or water shortage emergency, including a list of who to contact when the communities need assistance or information.
(2) Use the risk analysis prepared as part of the department’s risk vulnerability tool to prioritize water shortage contingency deficiencies and document the analysis in the county’s general plan or another county plan.
(3) Establish a standing county drought and water shortage task force to facilitate drought and water shortage preparedness within the county and include representatives from local governments, community-based organizations, local water suppliers, and members of the public. The formation of the county drought and water shortage task force shall be included in the county’s general plan or another county plan.
(b) The state board, the department, the Office of Emergency Services, or a relevant state agency shall take the following actions to support county implementation under this section:
(1) On a regular basis, including at a minimum on the finalization or revision of a county general plan or other county plan that includes one or more drought and water shortage planning elements, review the drought and water shortage planning elements in the plan.
(2) In instances where the integration of water shortage contingency planning with existing county plans is missing or insufficient, send the plan to the county with proposed recommendations for the county to incorporate.
(3) Provide guidance and technical assistance to counties to facilitate effective implementation of the requirements of this section.

CHAPTER  4. State Agency Implementation

10609.80.
 (a) The department shall take all of the following actions to support implementation of the recommendations of its County Drought and Advisory Group:
(1) Maintain, in partnership with the state board and other relevant state agencies, the risk vulnerability tool developed as part of the County Drought and Advisory Group process and continue to refine existing data and to gather new data for the tool, including, but not limited to, data on all of the following:
(A) State small water systems.
(B) Small water suppliers and rural communities.
(C) Concentrations of domestic wells.
(2) Annually update the risk vulnerability tool for small water suppliers and rural communities, as follows:
(A) Regularly revise the indicators and construction of the scoring as more data becomes readily available.
(B) Make existing and new data publicly available in a centralized location similar to the Human Right to Water Portal on the state board’s internet website.
(C) In consultation with other relevant state agencies, identify deficits in data quality and availability and develop recommendations to address these gaps.
(b) The state board shall take the following actions to support implementation of the County Drought and Advisory Group recommendations:
(1) Identify state small water systems, small water suppliers and rural communities, and concentrations of domestic wells in California through a data system that includes the location and the amount of people served. The data system for state small water systems, small water suppliers and rural communities, and concentrations of domestic wells shall be similar to the department’s data system for public water systems.
(2) Provide technical assistance resources to ensure equitable implementation of the requirements of this section.
(c) (1) The department, in consultation with the state board and relevant state agencies, shall establish a standing interagency drought and water shortage task force to facilitate proactive state planning and coordination, both for predrought planning and postdrought emergency response.
(2) The interagency drought and water shortage task force shall be a continuation of, or modeled off of, the existing County Drought and Advisory Group and shall include representatives from local governments, community-based organizations, and the public.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.