Bill Text


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-552 Drought planning: small water suppliers: nontransient noncommunity water systems. (2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 02/18/2021 09:00 PM
SB552:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 552


Introduced by Senator Hertzberg
(Coauthors: Senators Archuleta, Caballero, Dodd, and Wiener)

February 18, 2021


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 552, as introduced, Hertzberg. Drought planning: small water suppliers: nontransient noncommunity water systems.
Existing law declares that small water suppliers and rural communities are often not covered by established water shortage requirements, and that the state should provide guidance to improve drought planning for small water suppliers and rural communities. 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. To implement this directive, the department formed a stakeholder advisory group, the County Drought Advisory Group. 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 small water suppliers, as defined, and nontransient noncommunity water systems that are schools, no later than December 31, 2022, to develop and submit to the Division of Drinking Water for the state board an Emergency Response Plan that includes specified drought-planning elements. The bill would require these water systems to report specified water supply condition information to the state board through the state board’s Electronic Annual Reporting System, and to include water system risk and water shortage information in the water systems’ Consumer Confidence Reports, as provided. The bill would require the state board, in partnership with the department and no later than December 31, 2022, to conduct an assessment of drought and emergency water shortage resiliency measures for small water systems and nontransient noncommunity water systems that are schools, among other tasks.
This bill would require a county to establish a standing county drought and water shortage task force to facilitate drought and water shortage preparedness for state small water systems and domestic wells within the county’s jurisdiction, as provided, and include potential drought and water shortage risk and proposed interim and long-term solutions as an element in an existing county plan, as provided. Because the bill would impose additional duties on counties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would require the department to take specified actions to support implementation of the recommendations from the County Drought Advisory Group. The bill would require the department to form a standing interagency drought and water shortage task force to facilitate proactive planning and coordinating, both for predrought planning and postdrought emergency response, which shall consist of various representatives, including representatives from local governments. Because the bill would impose additional duties 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. Drought Planning for Small Water Suppliers, State Small Water Systems, and Domestic Well Communities

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.

10609.51.
 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 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) “Nontransient noncommunity water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
(f) “Public water system” has the same meaning as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
(g) “Risk vulnerability tool” means the tool created by the department to implement Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 10609.40) of Part 2.55.
(h) “Rural community” means a community with fewer than 15 service connections.
(i) “Small water supplier” means a community water system serving 15 to 2,999 service connections, inclusive, and that provides less than 3,000 acre-feet of water annually.
(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 and Nontransient Noncommunity Water Systems

10609.60.
 (a) No later than December 31, 2022, and every five years thereafter, a small water supplier and a nontransient noncommunity water system that is a school shall develop and submit to the state board’s Division of Drinking Water an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) that includes, at a minimum, all of the following drought-planning elements:
(1) 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, including, but not limited to, local community-based organizations that work with the population in and around areas served by the water system, contractors for drilling wells, vended water suppliers, and emergency shower vendors.
(C) State and local agency contacts who should be informed when a drought or water shortage emergency is emerging or has occurred.
(D) Regional water planning groups or mutual aid networks, to the extent they exist.
(2) 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. Water shortage levels shall also apply to catastrophic interruption of water supplies, including, but not limited to, a regional power outage, an earthquake, and other potential emergency events.
(B) Water shortage mitigation, response, and relief actions that align with the water shortage levels required by subparagraph (A).
(b) A small water supplier and a nontransient noncommunity water system that is a school shall make the ERP available on their individual internet websites, if any. A small water supplier or a nontransient noncommunity water system that is a school that does not have an internet website shall make the ERP available to persons upon request.
(c) No later than June 30, 2022, the department and the state board shall create an ERP template for small water suppliers and nontransient noncommunity water systems that are schools to facilitate implementation of this section.

10609.61.
 A small water supplier and a nontransient noncommunity water system that is a school shall report water supply condition information to the state board through the state board’s Electronic Annual Reporting (eAR) System, including all of the following:
(1) An inventory and assessment of water supply and demand, including average and peak demand.
(2) Anticipated drought-related challenges and methods to determine if a water shortage is imminent.
(3) Any alternative water sources that are readily available and can be utilized during a drought emergency, including any intertie to an adjacent water supply system or systems.

10609.62.
 A small water supplier and a nontransient noncommunity water system that is a school shall include in their annual consumer confidential report, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 116470 of the Health and Safety Code, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 116470, information regarding the water system’s risk to drought and water shortage.

10609.63.
 (a) The state board shall do all of the following:
(1) (A) No later than December 31, 2022, in partnership with the department, conduct an assessment of drought and emergency water shortage resiliency measures for small water suppliers and nontransient noncommunity water systems that are schools and assess availability for, at a minimum, all of the following resiliency measures:
(i) Backup water supplies, including all of the following:
(I) Back wells.
(II) Interties to adjacent water supply systems.
(III) Other available sources of backup water supplies.
(ii) Well levels monitoring.
(iii) Backup electrical supplies.
(iv) Participation in the California Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (CalWARN) or other mutual aid organizations.
(v) Source and distribution facilities adequate to meet fire flow.
(vi) Staged implementation of connection metering to measure customer water use.
(B) Where availability of any of the resiliency measures required to be assessed pursuant to subparagraph (A) is lacking, the state board, in partnership with the department, shall make recommendations and identify proposed solutions to address the lack of availability of resiliency measures.
(2) Request information, compel reporting, and contract with third-party experts and technical assistance providers to implement this chapter.
(3) Consider, and address in the state board’s fund expenditure plan, the drought planning and preparedness of small water suppliers and nontransient noncommunity water systems that are schools as part of the state board’s implementation of its Safe and Affordable Funding for Equity and Resilience Program to inform drinking water projects and programs.
(4) Establish minimum resiliency measures for infrastructure improvements for small water suppliers and nontransient noncommunity water systems that are schools.
(5) Identify funding needs for implementation of resiliency projects and incorporate those needs into the state board’s fund expenditure plan and intended use plan analysis, and develop a prioritization process for existing, new, and expanded funding sources.
(b) The state board may provide funding to small water suppliers and nontransient noncommunity water systems that are schools to install additional basic infrastructure to improve drought and water shortage and response.

CHAPTER  3. State Small Water Systems Serving 5 to 14 Service Connections, Inclusive, and Domestic Wells

10609.70.
 (a) A county shall establish a standing county drought and water shortage task force to facilitate drought and water shortage preparedness for state small water systems and domestic wells within the county’s jurisdiction, and shall include representatives from state and local governments, community-based organizations, local water suppliers, local residents, nonprofit organizations, and others in the task force. The formation of the county drought and water shortage task force shall be included in an existing county plan, such as a general plan.
(b) A county shall include potential drought and water shortage risk and proposed interim and long-term solutions as an element in an existing county plan, such as a local hazard mitigation plan. A county shall consider, at a minimum, all of the following solutions in its plan:
(1) Consolidations for water systems and domestic wells.
(2) Domestic well drinking water mitigation programs.
(3) Provision of emergency and interim drinking water solutions.
(c) The board shall work with counties, technical assistance providers, community-based organizations, and the public to address state small water system and domestic well community drought resiliency needs, including both of the following:
(1) Proactive communication to domestic well communities before a drought occurs, such as information on local bottled water and water tank providers.
(2) Funding for installation of basic drought resiliency infrastructure, such as well monitoring devices.

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 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 Advisory Group process and continue to refine existing data and 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) Domestic wells.
(2) No later than April 15 of each calendar year, and annually thereafter, update the risk vulnerability tool for small water suppliers and rural communities, by doing all of the following:
(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) (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 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.