Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 26. SAFE DRINKING WATER, CLEAN WATER, WATERSHED PROTECTION, AND FLOOD PROTECTION ACT [79000 - 79222]

  ( Division 26 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. )

CHAPTER 9. Water Supply, Reliability, and Infrastructure Program [79165 - 79205.16]

  ( Chapter 9 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 2. Groundwater Storage Program [79170 - 79183]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. )

79170.
  

The Legislature finds and declares that the conjunctive management of surface water and groundwater is an effective way to improve the reliability of water supply for all sectors in California.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79171.
  

Unless the context otherwise requires, the following definitions govern the construction of this article:

(a) “Conjunctive use” means the temporary storage of water in a groundwater aquifer through intentional recharge and subsequent extraction for later use. Storage is accomplished by either of the following methods:

(1) “Direct recharge” of an aquifer by conducting surface water into the ground by various means, including, without limitation, spreading ponds and injection wells for the purpose of making the water stored in the aquifer available for extraction and later use in drier years.

(2) “In-lieu recharge” means increasing the amount of groundwater available in an aquifer by substituting surface water supplies to a user who would otherwise pump groundwater.

(b) “Conjunctive use facilities” include land and appurtenant facilities for any phase of a conjunctive use operation. Appurtenant facilities may include subsurface storage, treatment, conveyance, recharge ponds, injection wells, spreading grounds, monitoring, measurements, subsidence detection, flow regulation, detention basins to facilitate recharge, diversion facilities, and extraction facilities.

(c) “Conjunctive use project” means a project that is intended to produce water supply benefits for the local agency or a project that is intended to produce water supply benefits for water users, including the environment, in addition to the local agency.

(d) “Local agency” means any city, county, city and county, district, joint powers authority, mutual water company, or other political subdivision of the state.

(e) “Project participants” means any public agency participating in, and benefiting from, a conjunctive use project under this article.

(f) “Subaccount” means the Conjunctive Use Subaccount created by Section 79172.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 1078, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2001. Note: This section was added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, and approved in Prop. 13 on March 7, 2000.)

79172.
  

There is hereby created in the account the Conjunctive Use Subaccount.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79173.
  

The sum of two hundred million dollars ($200,000,000) is hereby transferred from the account to the subaccount for the purposes of implementing this article.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79174.
  

The money in the subaccount, upon appropriation by the Legislature to the department, may be used by the department for grants for feasibility studies, project design, or the construction of conjunctive use projects on a pilot or operational scale.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79175.
  

Not more than 5 percent of the total amount deposited in the subaccount may be expended for purposes of financing feasibility studies.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79176.
  

For the purpose of approving projects pursuant to this article, the department shall give priority to those projects for which there is available third-party funds from any source other than the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund authorized by the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. The department shall also take into consideration all of the following with regard to each proposed project:

(a) The magnitude of the actual increase in water supply yield and reliability compared to preexisting conditions.

(b) The consistency with the plans or recommendations proposed by CALFED.

(c) The distribution of the benefits to water supply and to the environment.

(d) The availability of the storage for conserved water.

(e) The technical and environmental suitability of the groundwater basin for conjunctive use.

(f) The potential to reduce critically overdrafted conditions in a groundwater basin.

(g) The need for the project.

(h) The potential to alleviate salt water intrusion into groundwater basins or other groundwater quality degradation.

(i) The economic, engineering, and hydrogeologic justification for the project.

(j) The availability of third-party or local matching funds from any source other than the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund authorized by the Central Valley Project Improvement Act.

(k) The involvement of one or more local agencies whose jurisdiction or water service area overlies or is adjacent to the aquifer utilized to store water.

(l) The potential to reduce dry year demand for surface water under existing contracts.

(m) The existence of a system for the recovery of the stored water or an agreement with the department or a local agency for the installation of that system.

(n) Whether the project is located in an area that is subject to a groundwater management program.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79177.
  

To be eligible for funding for the construction of a conjunctive use project under this article, an applicant that is other than a local agency shall be required to carry out that project with the participation of a local agency. The department or a local agency may provide technical assistance, coordination, or any other assistance in implementing a project or study if requested by the participating local agency.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79178.
  

No construction project may receive more than fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) from the subaccount.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79179.
  

Not more than 5 percent of the total amount deposited in the subaccount may be used to pay the costs incurred in connection with the administration of this article.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79180.
  

Not less than 40 percent of the total amount deposited in the subaccount shall be expended for studies, projects, and facilities within watersheds of the central valley.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79181.
  

(a) A project undertaken pursuant to this article shall fully protect and preserve the groundwater rights of the overlying landowners and shall fully protect and preserve the water rights of the project participants. The department shall not provide funding for a project unless it determines that the project will be designed and operated in a manner that ensures that other users of the same or a hydrologically related aquifer will not suffer any unreasonable diminution of the quantity or quality of their groundwater supplies or incur additional uncompensated expense as a result of the implementation of the project.

(b) For the purposes of receiving funding for a conjunctive use project pursuant to this article, the applicant shall be required to do both of the following:

(1) Provide for a continuing groundwater monitoring and mitigation program.

(2) Limit the extraction of the groundwater to not more than the amount of water that is stored or recharged by the project participants or the amount that complies with all laws and contract terms governing the extraction, appropriation, and use of groundwater by the project participants.

(c) Persons and agencies participating in the project may not assert a claim or file a cause of action against an overlying landowner who is not exceeding either of the following:

(1) The overlying landowner’s historic rate of groundwater pumping.

(2) The full amount of groundwater to which the overlying landowner would be entitled to under state law regarding rights to groundwater and reasonable beneficial use on the landowner’s land that overlies the groundwater.

(d) The overlying landowners may not assert a claim or file a cause of action against the persons or agencies participating in the project if the project is implemented in compliance with this section, except as provided by contract between the project participants.

(e) Nothing in this article modifies state law with regard to groundwater rights, regulation, or management.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79182.
  

In carrying out this article and awarding grants, the department shall convene and consult with an advisory committee comprised of technically qualified representatives of local water agencies, project participants, environmental interests, agricultural laborer interests, and interests representing farmers who use groundwater. The advisory committee shall be geographically balanced to reflect the communities that use water in the Central Valley. If a member of the advisory committee, or a member of his or her immediate family, is employed by a grant applicant or the employer of a grant applicant, the committee members shall make that disclosure to the other members of the committee and shall not participate in the review of the grant application of that applicant.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

79183.
  

The department may adopt regulations to carry out this article.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 725, Sec. 1. Approved in Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, election.)

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