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Water Plan-related Water Code and Laws

The California Water Plan is mandated by the California Water Code. The Water Code pertaining to the California Water Plan includes Section 10004-10013.

Legislation Related to the California Water Plan

Recent legislation relating to the California Water Plan can be found below.

SB 1341 (Burton)

SB 1341 was enacted following the California Water Plan Update in 1998. The Legislature asked the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to make public all assumptions and estimates that were to be used in the next update. Sen. John Burton carried the legislation that was enacted in 2000. It requires a report about the Update's assumptions and estimates. At a minimum, the law says, the A&E Report will include information on all water categories specified by the California Water Code, in the Burton Bill. More information on this can be found in the Update's Reference Guide and Technical Guide.

SB 672 (Machado)

SB 672 requires the state to include in the California Water Plan, which is prepared every five years, a report on the development of regional and local water projects, within each region. Projects that use technologies such as desalinization, reclamation, and recycling will be included in the report. This is important because the capability of better utilizing all water sources, such as rainfall, snow melt, surface water, groundwater, ocean water or reclaimed wastewater, is a reality that can help these regions meet their own water needs without having to look elsewhere for water supplies.

SB 1062 (Poochigian)

SB 1062 by Sen. Charles Poochigian requires DWR to include various strategies for meeting the state's water supply needs in its updates to the California Water Plan. It also establishes an advisory committee to help DWR update the plan. SB 1062 describes California's need for reliable water supplies, estimates of expected population growth, and the integral role water conservation, recycling, conjunctive use, desalination, and water storage play in meeting those needs. SB 1062 requires DWR to include a discussion of various strategies and the potential advantages and disadvantages of the strategies that may be pursued in meeting the state's water supply needs in its update of Bulletin 160. Additionally the update must identify all federal and state permits, approvals or entitlements that might be required in order to implement the strategies. This narrative will serve as the basis for future informed discussions and decisions regarding California's water plan. Finally, SB 1062 requires DWR to establish an advisory committee, comprised of representatives of agricultural and urban water suppliers, local government, business, production agriculture, environmental interests, and other interested parties, to assist in the updating of Bulletin 160.

SB 1120 (Galgiani)

SB 1120 requires DWR to conduct a voluntary statewide survey of local regional water supply projects and post specified results of the survey on the department’s website.

AB 2587 (Matthews)

AB 2587 requires DWR to consider scenarios in the California Water Plan Update that are consistent with substantial continued agricultural production in California. A key phrase in the law is that "neither the state nor the nation should be allowed to become dependent upon a net import of foreign food." In particular, the law specifies that DWR consider scenarios under which agricultural production in California is sufficient to assure that California is a net food exporter and that the net shipments out of state are enough to cover 25 percent of "table food" use in United States plus "growth in export markets." The 25 percent share is taken to be the traditional share from California.

AB 1404 (Laird)

AB 1404 requires DWR, the board, and the State Department of Public Health to coordinate the collection, management, and use of agricultural and urban water measurement information provided to each agency. It also requires the department to include in the California Water Plan, assumptions and estimates relating to current and projected water use for agricultural water diversion and use.

The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act

The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Section 13141, California Water Code) is California's comprehensive water quality control law and is a complete regulatory program designed to protect water quality and beneficial uses of the state's water. It requires the adoption of water quality control plans (basin plans) by the State's nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Water Boards) for watersheds within their regions. The basin plans are reviewed triennially and amended as necessary by the Regional Water Boards, subject to the approval of the California Office of Administrative Law, the State Water Board and ultimately the federal EPA. Moreover, pursuant to Porter-Cologne, these basin plans shall become part of the California Water Plan, when such plans have been reported to the Legislature.

Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act

The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act governs notice and open meeting requirements for state bodies and is given as it appeared on January 1, 2002. The act declares, "It is the public policy of this state that public agencies exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business and the proceedings of public agencies be conducted openly so that the public may remain informed."