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AB-1164 Dams and reservoirs: exclusions.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/22/2021 02:00 PM
AB1164:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 22, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1164


Introduced by Assembly Member Flora

February 18, 2021


An act to amend Section 6004 of the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1164, as amended, Flora. Dams and reservoirs: exclusions.
Existing law requires the Department of Water Resources to supervise the maintenance and operation of dams and reservoirs as necessary to safeguard life and property. Existing law requires the department to adopt, by regulation, a schedule of fees to cover the department’s costs in carrying out the supervision of dam safety. Existing law excludes certain obstructions from being considered a dam, including a barrier that is not across a stream channel, watercourse, or natural drainage area and that has the principal purpose of impounding water for agricultural use.
This bill would specify that the exclusion from being considered a dam for a barrier that is not across a stream channel, watercourse, or natural drainage area and that has the principal purpose of impounding water for agricultural use applies only to a barrier owned or operated by a private entity. The bill would provide that a barrier owned or operated by a public entity that is not across a stream channel, watercourse, or natural drainage area and that has the principal purpose of impounding water for agricultural use shall not be considered a dam only if certain criteria are met. The bill would also make nonsubstantive changes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 6004 of the Water Code is amended to read:

6004.
 (a) An obstruction in a canal used to raise or lower water therein or divert water therefrom, a levee, including, but not limited to, a levee on the bed of a natural lake with the primary purpose to control floodwaters, a railroad fill or structure, a road or highway fill or structure, a circular tank constructed of steel or concrete, or both, a tank elevated above the ground, and a barrier owned or operated by a private entity that is not across a stream channel, watercourse, or natural drainage area and that has the principal purpose of impounding water for agricultural use shall not be considered a dam. A barrier owned or operated by a public entity that is not across a stream channel, watercourse, or natural drainage area and that has the principal purpose of impounding water for agricultural use shall not be considered a dam if all of the following criteria are met:
(1) The structure is no greater than 20 feet in height. height, as measured from the lowest adjacent native ground elevation to the maximum achievable water surface impounded by the structure.
(2) The structure is consistent with the county general plan.
(3) The structure was designed by a registered professional engineer.
(4) The operator ensures the preparation and maintenance of an emergency notification flowchart that satisfies both of the following:
(A) Contains the names and phone numbers of who will call whom and in what priority.
(B) Is updated at least once per year and following any changes or new information, such as changes in downstream development or new contact information.
(5) The operator ensures facility surveillance monitors the condition of the structure, including visual inspection and remote monitoring.
(b) An obstruction in the channel of a stream or watercourse that is 15 feet or less in height from the lowest elevation of the obstruction and that has the single purpose of spreading water within the bed of the stream or watercourse upstream from the obstruction for percolation underground shall not be considered a dam.
(c) The levee of an island adjacent to tidal waters in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as defined in Section 12220, even when used to impound water, shall not be considered a dam and the impoundment shall not be considered a reservoir if the maximum possible water storage elevation of the impounded water does not exceed four feet above mean sea level, as established by the United States Geological Survey 1929 datum.
(d) A noncircular tank, constructed of steel or concrete, or both, that is constructed in a county of the third class by a public agency, under the supervision of a civil engineer registered in the state, that does not exceed 75 acre-feet in capacity or 30 feet in height, and a barrier that is not across a stream channel, watercourse, or natural drainage area and that has the principal use as a sewage sludge drying facility, shall not be considered a dam.