Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT


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


  ( Part 6 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 196. )

CHAPTER 9. Saline Water Conversion [12945 - 12949.6]

  ( Chapter 9 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 993. )

ARTICLE 3. State Participation [12948 - 12949.6]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 993. )


The department either independently or in cooperation with any county, state, federal, or public or private agency or corporation may conduct a program of investigation, study, and evaluation in the field of saline water conversion.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 993.)


The department shall provide assistance to persons or entities with state and local desalination facility permit applications seeking to construct desalination facilities for reducing the concentration of dissolved solids in brackish groundwater or seawater in the state.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 1161, Sec. 2.)


After submission of a written report and upon specific authorization by the Legislature the department either independently or in cooperation with any county, state, federal, or public or private agency or corporation may finance, construct, and operate saline water conversion facilities. The department may sell any water made available by such saline water conversion facilities. Unless otherwise provided by the Legislature, the department shall establish rates or charges for such water so as to recover all of the costs of making such water available.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 993.)


The department, in cooperation with the United States Department of the Interior, may participate in financing the costs of the site development, construction, operation, and transportation of desalted water in connection with a saline water conversion test center facility to be located in California. The department may sell any water made available by such saline water conversion test center; provided, that the department shall sell such water at rates or charges which will return, at least, all of the costs of transporting the water from the test center to the point of delivery.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 994.)


(a) Not later than July 1, 2004, the department shall report to the Legislature on potential opportunities for the use of seawater and brackish water desalination in California. The report shall evaluate impediments to the use of desalination technology and shall examine what role, if any, the state should play in furthering the use of desalination in California.

(b) The department shall convene a task force, to be known as the Water Desalination Task Force, to advise the department in implementation of subdivision (a), including making recommendations to the Legislature regarding the following:

(1) The need for research, development, and demonstration projects for more cost effective and technologically efficient desalination processes.

(2) The environmental impacts of brine disposal, energy use related to desalination, and large-scale ocean water desalination.

(3) An evaluation of the current regulatory framework of state and local rules, regulations, ordinances, and permits to identify the obstacles and methods to creating an efficient siting and permitting system.

(4) Determining a relationship between existing electricity generation facilities and potential desalination facilities, including an examination of issues related to the amounts of electricity required to maintain a desalination facility.

(5) Ensuring desalinated water meets state water quality standards.

(6) Impediments or constraints, other than water rights, to increasing the use of desalinated water both in coastal and inland regions.

(7) The economic impact and potential impacts of the desalination industry on state revenues.

(8) The role that the state should play in furthering the use of desalination technology in California.

(9) An evaluation of a potential relationship between desalination technology and alternative energy sources, including photovoltaic energy and desalination.

(c) (1) The task force shall be convened by the department and be comprised of one representative from each of the following agencies:

(A) The department.

(B) The California Coastal Commission.

(C) The State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission.

(D) The California Environmental Protection Agency.

(E) The State Department of Health Services.

(F) The Resources Agency.

(G) The State Water Resources Control Board.

(H) The CALFED Bay-Delta Program.

(I) The Department of Food and Agriculture.

(J) The University of California.

(K) The United States Department of Interior, if that agency wishes to participate.

(2) The task force shall also include, as determined by the department, one representative from a recognized environmental advocacy group, one representative from a consumer advocacy group, one representative of local agency health officers, one representative of a municipal water supply agency, one representative of urban water wholesalers, one representative from a regional water control board, one representative from a groundwater management entity, one representative of water districts, one representative from a nonprofit association of public and private members created to further the use of desalinated water, one representative of land development, and one representative of industrial interests.

(d) The sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) is hereby appropriated from the Bosco-Keene Renewable Resources Investment Fund to the department for the purpose of establishing the task force and preparing the report required in subdivision (a).

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 62, Sec. 311. Effective January 1, 2004.)

WATWater Code - WAT3.