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



Current Version: 08/30/21 - Amended Assembly Compare Versions information image


SB559:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  August 30, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 14, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  May 20, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  April 19, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 559


Introduced by Senator Hurtado
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Gray, Patterson, and Salas)(Coauthors: Senators Borgeas, Caballero, Grove, and Hueso)(Coauthors: Assembly Members Arambula, Bigelow, Calderon, Fong, Mathis, Rodriguez, Valladares, and Villapudua)(Principal coauthors: Senators Borgeas, Caballero, and Grove)
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Fong, Gray, Patterson, Salas, and Villapudua)
(Coauthor: Senator Hueso)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Arambula, Bigelow, Calderon, Mathis, Rodriguez, and Valladares)

February 18, 2021


An act to add and repeal Section 140.5 of the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 559, as amended, Hurtado. Department of Water Resources: water conveyance systems: Canal Water Conveyance Capacity Restoration Fund.
Under existing law, the United States Bureau of Reclamation operates the federal Central Valley Project and the Department of Water Resources operates the State Water Project to supply water to persons and entities in the state. Existing law requires the Friant-Kern Canal to be of such capacity as the department Department of Water Resources determines necessary to furnish an adequate supply of water for beneficial purposes in the area to be served by the canal.
This bill would establish the Canal Water Conveyance Capacity Restoration Fund in the State Treasury to be administered by the department. Department of Water Resources in consultation with the State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The bill would require all moneys deposited in the fund to 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. The bill would require the department to expend from the fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, specified monetary amounts to restore the capacity of 4 specified water conveyance systems, as prescribed, with 2 of those 4 expenditures being in the form of a grant to the Friant Water Authority and to the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority. The bill would make operation of these provisions contingent on specified conditions being met. Director of Water Resources to apportion money appropriated from the fund, subject to specified requirements, for the Friant-Kern Canal, Delta-Mendota Canal, San Luis Field Division of the California Aqueduct, and San Joaquin Division of the California Aqueduct. The bill would require the director to disburse the funding to the owner of the conveyance facility subject to an agreement that addresses specified issues. The bill would require the director to convene a public meeting for comment on the director’s apportionment of appropriated funding and the agreement and would require the Department of Water Resources to submit to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee annual and final reports, as prescribed. The bill would make these provisions inoperative on July 1, 2030, and would repeal the provisions as of January 1, 2031.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)The human right to water is an important state policy enacted in 2013. Climate change may impact the ability of existing water infrastructure to continue to provide safe, affordable, and reliable water.

(b)The Legislature, in recognizing that chronic groundwater overpumping was leading to undesirable impacts such as subsidence, enacted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (Part 2.74 (commencing with Section 10720) of Division 6 of the Water Code) in 2015.

(c)Subsidence has impacted the ability of state and regional water conveyance infrastructure to reliably deliver water to the San Joaquin Valley and southern California.

(d)A significant number of the communities that rely on water delivered by infrastructure of statewide or regional importance are considered disadvantaged or severely disadvantaged.

(e)These communities, particularly throughout the San Joaquin Valley, face adverse impacts associated with subsidence and loss of water supply, including loss of job opportunities and job security.

(f)Disadvantaged communities, particularly in southern California, face increasing costs to ensure access to high-quality water and to maintain water supply reliability.

(g)The Friant-Kern Canal, Delta-Mendota Canal, San Luis Canal, and California Aqueduct are the state’s main state and regional water conveyance infrastructure that delivers water for agricultural, municipal, and industrial use, refuge water supplies, and groundwater recharge in the San Joaquin Valley and in southern California.

(h)This water is delivered through a series of regional canals and aqueducts that traverse through the San Joaquin Valley for delivery and continue to southern California.

(i)At least 5,000,000 people in the state, including approximately 1,250,000 people living in disadvantaged communities, receive water from the Friant-Kern Canal, Delta-Mendota Canal, and San Luis Canal.

(j)The State Water Project provides approximately three-fourths of California’s disadvantaged communities with some or all of their water supplies.

(k)Over 750,000 acres of farmland receive water from the State Water Project and nearly 2,500,000 acres of productive cropland are served water through the Friant-Kern Canal, Delta-Mendota Canal, and San Luis Canal.

(l)Climate change has increased the variability of the hydrologic cycle and has reduced the availability of surface water supplies to a smaller number of years, which increases the need for conjunctive use of groundwater to manage reductions in surface water supplies. An increase in groundwater pumping has caused significant land subsidence that has affected the ability of regional water conveyance infrastructure to convey water. In some areas, the water conveyance infrastructure has dropped in elevation an average of one inch per month since 2014.

(m)The total cost to repair these regional water conveyance structures is approximately $2,300,000,000 over 10 years.

(n)Restoring water conveyance capacity is a necessary step to improving water resilience and to protect critical regional water infrastructure from the impacts of drought and climate change, which will improve the accessibility of safe and reliable drinking water and other beneficial uses of water.

(o)The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (Part 2.74 (commencing with Section 10720) of Division 6 of the Water Code) will help to protect investments made to restore water conveyance capacity.

(p)It is of paramount importance that the primary state and regional water conveyance infrastructure in the state be protected from subsidence, and that conveyance be restored whenever economically, environmentally, and technically feasible.

SEC. 2.SECTION 1.

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

140.5.
 (a) The Canal Water Conveyance Capacity Restoration Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury. The department shall administer the fund. 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. The total amount expended from the fund for all of the projects specified in subdivision (d) shall not exceed seven hundred eighty-five million dollars ($785,000,000).

(d)The department shall expend from the fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, all of the following, consistent with subdivision (b):

(1)Three hundred eight million dollars ($308,000,000) for a grant to the Friant Water Authority to restore the capacity of the Friant-Kern Canal.

(2)One hundred eighty-seven million dollars ($187,000,000) for a grant to the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority to restore the capacity of the Delta-Mendota Canal.

(3)One hundred ninety-four million dollars ($194,000,000) to restore the capacity of the San Luis Field Division of the California Aqueduct.

(4)Ninety-six million dollars ($96,000,000) to restore the capacity of the San Joaquin Division of the California Aqueduct.

(e)This section shall become operative only if all of the following conditions are met:

(1)The Legislature appropriates any portion of moneys for deposit into the fund.

(2)An agreement or other contractual arrangement provides for the local cost share.

(3)There is an adequate nonstate cost share, as determined by the director, to match the total amount of state-appropriated financial assistance made available for a project as of the date of the director’s determination.

(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.

(f)

(k) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2030, and, as of January 1, 2031, is repealed.