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Water Code - WAT


  ( Heading of Division 6 amended by Stats. 1957, Ch. 1932. )


  ( Part 2.55 added by Stats. 2009, 7th Ex. Sess., Ch. 4, Sec. 1. )

CHAPTER 4. Agricultural Water Suppliers [10608.48- 10608.48.]
  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 2009, 7th Ex. Sess., Ch. 4, Sec. 1. )


(a) On or before July 31, 2012, an agricultural water supplier shall implement efficient water management practices pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c).

(b) Agricultural water suppliers shall implement both of the following critical efficient management practices:

(1) Measure the volume of water delivered to customers with sufficient accuracy to comply with subdivision (a) of Section 531.10 and to implement paragraph (2).

(2) Adopt a pricing structure for water customers based at least in part on quantity delivered.

(c) Agricultural water suppliers shall implement additional efficient management practices, including, but not limited to, practices to accomplish all of the following, if the measures are locally cost effective and technically feasible:

(1) Facilitate alternative land use for lands with exceptionally high water duties or whose irrigation contributes to significant problems, including drainage.

(2) Facilitate use of available recycled water that otherwise would not be used beneficially, meets all health and safety criteria, and does not harm crops or soils.

(3) Facilitate the financing of capital improvements for on-farm irrigation systems.

(4) Implement an incentive pricing structure that promotes one or more of the following goals:

(A) More efficient water use at the farm level.

(B) Conjunctive use of groundwater.

(C) Appropriate increase of groundwater recharge.

(D) Reduction in problem drainage.

(E) Improved management of environmental resources.

(F) Effective management of all water sources throughout the year by adjusting seasonal pricing structures based on current conditions.

(5) Expand line or pipe distribution systems, and construct regulatory reservoirs to increase distribution system flexibility and capacity, decrease maintenance, and reduce seepage.

(6) Increase flexibility in water ordering by, and delivery to, water customers within operational limits.

(7) Construct and operate supplier spill and tailwater recovery systems.

(8) Increase planned conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater within the supplier service area.

(9) Automate canal control structures.

(10) Facilitate or promote customer pump testing and evaluation.

(11) Designate a water conservation coordinator who will develop and implement the water management plan and prepare progress reports.

(12) Provide for the availability of water management services to water users. These services may include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(A) On-farm irrigation and drainage system evaluations.

(B) Normal year and real-time irrigation scheduling and crop evapotranspiration information.

(C) Surface water, groundwater, and drainage water quantity and quality data.

(D) Agricultural water management educational programs and materials for farmers, staff, and the public.

(13) Evaluate the policies of agencies that provide the supplier with water to identify the potential for institutional changes to allow more flexible water deliveries and storage.

(14) Evaluate and improve the efficiencies of the supplier’s pumps.

(d) Agricultural water suppliers shall include in the agricultural water management plans required pursuant to Part 2.8 (commencing with Section 10800) a report on which efficient water management practices have been implemented and are planned to be implemented, an estimate of the water use efficiency improvements that have occurred since the last report, and an estimate of the water use efficiency improvements estimated to occur five and 10 years in the future. If an agricultural water supplier determines that an efficient water management practice is not locally cost effective or technically feasible, the supplier shall submit information documenting that determination.

(e) The department shall require information about the implementation of efficient water management practices to be reported using a standardized form developed pursuant to Section 10608.52.

(f) An agricultural water supplier may meet the requirements of subdivisions (d) and (e) by submitting to the department a water conservation plan submitted to the United States Bureau of Reclamation that meets the requirements described in Section 10828.

(g) On or before December 31, 2013, December 31, 2016, and December 31, 2021, the department, in consultation with the board, shall submit to the Legislature a report on the agricultural efficient water management practices that have been implemented and are planned to be implemented and an assessment of the manner in which the implementation of those efficient water management practices has affected and will affect agricultural operations, including estimated water use efficiency improvements, if any.

(h) The department may update the efficient water management practices required pursuant to subdivision (c), in consultation with the Agricultural Water Management Council, the United States Bureau of Reclamation, and the board. All efficient water management practices for agricultural water use pursuant to this chapter shall be adopted or revised by the department only after the department conducts public hearings to allow participation of the diverse geographical areas and interests of the state.

(i) (1) The department shall adopt regulations that provide for a range of options that agricultural water suppliers may use or implement to comply with the measurement requirement in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).

(2) The initial adoption of a regulation authorized by this subdivision is deemed to address an emergency, for purposes of Sections 11346.1 and 11349.6 of the Government Code, and the department is hereby exempted for that purpose from the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code. After the initial adoption of an emergency regulation pursuant to this subdivision, the department shall not request approval from the Office of Administrative Law to readopt the regulation as an emergency regulation pursuant to Section 11346.1 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 15, Sec. 6. (AB 1668) Effective January 1, 2019.)

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