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Water Code - WAT


  ( Division 12 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 274. )


  ( Part 6 added by Stats. 1949, Ch. 274. )

CHAPTER 7. Coachella Valley Water District Water Replenishment Assessments [31630 - 31639]
  ( Heading of Chapter 7 amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 226, Sec. 1. )


The Coachella Valley Water District shall have the power to levy and collect water replenishment assessments, as provided in this chapter, for the purpose of replenishing ground water supplies within the district.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 226, Sec. 2.)


As used in this chapter:

(a) “Annual” or “year” means a calendar year unless the context indicates a contrary meaning.

(b) “District” means the Coachella Valley Water District.

(c) “Fiscal year” means the period of July 1 through June 30, inclusive.

(d) “Production” or “produce” means the extraction of groundwater by pumping or any other method within the boundaries of the district or the diversion within the district of surface supplies which naturally replenish the groundwater supplies within the district and are used therein.

(e) “Producer” means any individual, partnership, association or group of individuals, lessee, firm, private corporation, or any public agency or public corporation, including, but not limited to, the Coachella Valley Water District.

(f) “Minimal pumper” means any producer who produces 25 or fewer acre-feet in any year.

(g) “Replenishment” and “replenishing” include incentive programs encouraging producers to use reclaimed water supplied by the district, or Colorado River water from the district’s Coachella Branch Canal, for irrigation or other purposes, instead of groundwater.

(h) “Supplemental water” means water from the State Water Resources Development System, or from the Colorado River Aqueduct of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, or from any other source which is not part of the natural replenishment of the groundwater supplies within the district, including reclaimed water.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1024, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1994.)


By May 1 of each year the board shall have prepared and presented to it an engineering survey and report concerning the groundwater supplies within the district. The report shall include the condition of the groundwater supplies, the need for replenishment, and recommendations for any replenishment program, including the source and amount of replenishment water, the cost of purchasing or producing, transporting, and spreading this water, and the cost of “in lieu” programs, including incentives to use Colorado River water or reclaimed water in place of groundwater. In connection with any proposed replenishment program, the report shall also describe the area or areas benefited, either directly or indirectly, the amount of water production produced in each area during the prior year, and shall recommend the amount of assessment to be levied upon all production within the benefited area or areas.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1024, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1994.)


If the board determines that funds should be raised by a replenishment assessment, it shall call a public hearing, and shall publish notice at least 10 days in advance thereof pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code. Notice shall also be mailed by the district to all producers as disclosed by the records of the district who may be affected by the recommended assessment. Failure of any affected producers to receive such notice shall not affect the validity of any subsequent replenishment assessment. The notice shall contain the time and place of the hearing, a generalized or common description of each area of benefit, the amount of each recommended replenishment assessment, and an invitation to all interested parties to attend and be heard in support of or in opposition to the proposed assessment. The notice shall also state that a copy of the engineering report is available for inspection at the office of the district.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


The hearing shall be held before the board and a quorum shall be present. The hearing may be adjourned from time to time by the president. All evidence relevant to the engineering survey and report, the recommendation that a replenishment assessment pursuant to this chapter be levied, and the determination of the area benefited by such assessment and replenishment program, may be introduced. Upon completion of the hearing, the board shall, by resolution, make specific findings on all facts relevant and material to the purposes for which a replenishment assessment, if any, may be levied under this chapter. In the event the district establishes a replenishment program and levies assessments hereunder, and such program is continued in subsequent years without substantial change and at the same rate of assessment, the board may dispense with the notice, hearing, and findings required by Section 31631.5 and this section.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


Before July 1 of each year, the board may by resolution levy a replenishment assessment upon all water production during the following fiscal year within each area of benefit as determined by the board. The assessment within each area of benefit shall be at a uniform rate per acre-foot. The resolution shall also state the time or times at which such assessment shall be due and payable, which may be in convenient installments as determined by the board.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


The amount of any replenishment assessment levied within an area of benefit shall be established at the discretion of the board, except that no assessment shall exceed the sum of the following costs and charges:

(a) Those charges imposed under the contract between the district and the state for an imported water supply from the State Water Resources Development System consisting of all of the following:

(1) The variable operation, maintenance, power, and replacement component of the transportation charge.

(2) The off-aqueduct power facilities component of the transportation charge.

(3) The delta water charge.

(4) Any surplus water or unscheduled water charge.

(5) Sums paid by the district to the Desert Water Agency for payment of similar charges under a similar contract the agency has with the state as provided in the water management agreement of July 1, 1976, as amended.

(b) The cost of recharging the groundwater basin with imported water from the State Water Resources Development System not included in subdivision (a).

(c) The cost of importing and recharging water from sources other than the State Water Resources Development System.

(d) The cost of treatment and distribution of reclaimed water for recharge or for direct use in lieu of groundwater.

(e) The cost of programs providing incentives to use reclaimed water or Colorado River water in place of groundwater.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 929, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)


Minimal pumpers may be excluded from the engineering survey and report on water production, and they shall be exempt from any replenishment assessments and reporting provisions under this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


The district, after the levying of any replenishment assessment, shall give notice thereof to all affected producers as disclosed by the records of the district. Such notice shall state the rate of assessment for each acre-foot of production during the fiscal year for which the assessment has been levied, and the dates when the assessment or installments thereof are due and payable. The notice shall be sent by first-class mail with the postage prepaid by the district.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


Except as provided in Section 31636, each producer, on or before the dates when the assessment or installments thereof are due and payable, shall file with the district a sworn statement setting forth the total quantity of water production in acre-feet which is subject to the replenishment assessment. Such production shall be reported as of the end of the month immediately preceding the payment date. The statement shall be on a form prepared by the district, and to the extent practicable, shall identify separately the production from each well or other water-producing facility. The statement shall also include a general description or number locating such well or water-producing facility, the method or basis of the measurement or computation of production, and such other information as the district may require.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


Any replenishment assessment levied pursuant to this chapter shall be due and payable to the district at the time or times determined by the district and stated in the notice of levy, and shall accompany the statement required from each producer.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


If the district has an agreement with any producer whereby the district regularly reads and maintains the water-measuring devices which record the production of such producer, the producer shall be exempt from the provisions of Section 31634.5. In lieu thereof, the district shall send such producer notice of its production and the amount of the replenishment assessment or installment due.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


If any producer subject to a replenishment assessment, after notice has been given pursuant to Section 31634, shall fail to pay a replenishment assessment or installment thereof when due, such producer shall become liable to the district for interest at the rate of 1 percent per month on the delinquent amount.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


Should any producer, subject to a replenishment assessment, knowingly fail to file the water-production statement, such producer shall, in addition to interest as provided in Section 31636.5, become liable to the district for a penalty of one hundred fifty dollars ($150).

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


If the district has probable cause to believe that the production by any producer is unreported or, if reported, is substantially in excess of that disclosed by the statement filed by such producer, the district shall cause an investigation and report to be made concerning such production, which shall include the right to inspect the water-producing facility and any water-measuring device used therewith. The board shall thereupon determine and fix the correct amount of production for any such producer, and give written notice thereof. Any such determination made by the board shall be binding upon the producer, and the replenishment assessments based thereon together with interest and penalties shall be payable immediately, unless the producer shall file with the board within 10 days after the mailing of such notice a written protest setting forth the grounds of protest. Upon the filing of such protest the board shall hold a hearing at which time the total amount of production and the replenishment assessment shall be determined, and the interest and penalties fixed, which action shall be conclusive if based upon substantial evidence. A notice of such hearing shall be mailed to the protestant at least 10 days before the date fixed for the hearing. Notice of the determination by the board shall be mailed to the protestant. The producer shall have 20 days from the date of mailing of such notice to pay the replenishment assessment, interest, and penalties so fixed by the board.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


The district may, in any court having jurisdiction, bring suit against any producer to enjoin any water production in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, and to collect any delinquent replenishment assessments, interest or penalties. The court may award interest, cost and attorney’s fees on any judgment.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 498.)


It shall be unlawful to produce water from within any area of benefit after one year following the levy of a replenishment assessment within such area, unless the well or other water-producing facility producing such water shall have a water-measuring device affixed thereto which is capable of measuring and registering the accumulated amount of water produced. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to minimal pumpers. The district by written agreement with any producer shall provide, install, maintain, own and read such water-measuring device. Violation thereof shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed six hundred dollars ($600), or by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed 30 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1092, Sec. 413. Effective September 27, 1983. Operative January 1, 1984, by Sec. 427 of Ch. 1092.)


This chapter, applicable only to the Coachella Valley Water District, is necessary because of the special and unique problems of imported ground water recharge of ground water basins within such district and the necessity of the payment of part of such expense by a water replenishment assessment. This problem is not common to all districts formed under this division. It is therefore hereby declared that a general law cannot be made applicable and that the enactment of this chapter as a special law is necessary for the solution of problems existing in the Coachella Valley Water District.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 226, Sec. 5.)

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