Bill Text: CA AB955 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Water replenishment districts: water system needs assessment program.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-07-11 - Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on APPR. [AB955 Detail]

Download: California-2019-AB955-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Senate  July 11, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  June 12, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 20, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 955


Introduced by Assembly Member Gipson

February 21, 2019


An act to add and repeal Section 60234 of the Water Code, relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 955, as amended, Gipson. Water replenishment districts: water system needs assessment program.
Existing law, the Water Replenishment District Act, provides for the formation, organization, and functioning of water replenishment districts and authorizes a district to do any act necessary to replenish the groundwater of the district.
This bill would require authorize a water replenishment district, pursuant to an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board, to offer to conduct a needs assessment program for water systems serving disadvantaged communities within the district, as specified. The bill would make a water system’s participation in the program voluntary. The bill would require authorize the district, upon completion of the needs assessment, to develop and evaluate options to address the findings and recommendations in the needs assessment and prepare an implementation plan for recommendation to the water system. The bill would require authorize the district, to the extent it receives federal or state grants that may be used for this purpose, to assist the water system in implementing the plan, and would require the participating district to prepare an annual report regarding the services, costs, and sources of funding for all actions taken under this program. The bill would repeal these provisions as of January 1, 2026. By imposing additional duties on water replenishment districts, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YESNO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 60234 is added to the Water Code, to read:

60234.
 (a) A district shall may offer to conduct a needs assessment program pursuant to an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board for water systems serving disadvantaged communities within the district. A water system’s participation in the program is voluntary. The program shall be conducted on behalf of the state board and may include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Identification of public water systems as defined in Section 116275 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) Collection and review of baseline data, including available data from historical and ongoing studies within the district, existing water quality and drinking water compliance reports, inspections, and monitoring schedules, and general technical assistance provided to water systems.
(3) Development of data, as necessary, to understand the scope of drinking water quality and quantity problems for private domestic wells, such as information about the distribution of private domestic wells that do not meet drinking water standards.
(4) Assessment of the technical, managerial, and financial capability for each water system that is necessary to meet critical needs, including recruitment and retention of or sharing recruitment, retention, or sharing of qualified staff, conducting rate studies to determine the true cost of providing water service, and investment in and effective operation and management of physical infrastructure and other water system assets over the long term.
(5) Preparation of an inventory of water system assets and the condition of those assets.
(6) Evaluation of options to address problems by making more efficient use of resources, increasing water system capacity, and spreading costs over more ratepayers through consolidation or alternatives that preserve water system autonomy, including shared services agreements or joint use agreements.
(7) Development of data on water rates and affordability.
(b) The district shall may introduce the program to each water system and develop and implement a plan for public and stakeholder outreach to provide community members with specific, relevant information about the program, including methods, metrics, and goals and objectives.
(c) Upon completion of the needs assessment pursuant to subdivision (a), the district shall, may, in collaboration with the participating water system, system and the state board, develop and evaluate options to address the findings and recommendations in the needs assessment. The district shall prepare an implementation plan for recommendation to the water system. The objective of the plan is to develop water system capacity and identify funding to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water in communities that have experienced historical underinvestment.
(d) (1) To the extent the district receives federal or state grants that may be used for this purpose, the district shall may assist the water system in implementing the plan prepared pursuant to subdivision (c). District assistance may include preparation of project funding solicitation proposals, planning studies, environmental documentation, engineering plans and specifications for infrastructure projects, construction documents for bidding, project cost agreements, construction management, including quality assurance and monitoring, necessary regulatory permits, and oversight of project operation and management.
(2) The district may oversee initial project operation and maintenance of infrastructure constructed under this program. The district may hold and retain title to publicly funded infrastructure developed for a water corporation, as defined in Section 241 of the Public Utilities Code.
(e) The district may act jointly with or cooperate with any federal agency, state agency, including the State Water Resources Control Board, political subdivision of the state, public or private corporation, or person so that the purposes and activities of the district described in this section may be fully and economically performed.
(f) A replenishment assessment levied pursuant to this division shall not be used to pay for costs related to the needs assessment program described in this section. The A participating district shall prepare an annual report regarding the services, costs, and sources of funding for all actions taken pursuant to this section.
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

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