Date:March 13, 2017
In a new regulatory step under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the State Water Resources Control Board released a draft emergency regulation that sets fees for state intervention activities. Comments are due by noon April 7. The Board is tentatively scheduled to adopt the regulation May 16.
SGMA provides for Board intervention if local agencies are unable or unwilling to manage groundwater basins that are subject to the Act. The Board’s role in such situations would include collecting groundwater extraction data, developing interim plans and possibly directly managing groundwater resources. SGMA requires the Board to adopt, by emergency regulation, a fee schedule to cover costs associated with extraction reporting and intervention activities. Extraction reporting requirements could begin after July 1 for certain “unmanaged” basin areas.
The proposed emergency regulation calls for annual per-well base fees, plus per-acre-foot volumetric charges for different categories of extractors. The draft regulation also contains requirements for meters used to measure groundwater extractions, a provision allowing the Board to conduct field inspections and request added information, and enforcement measures.
A Board workshop to receive public comments is scheduled for March 21 at 9 a.m. in Sacramento. Further information, including how to submit written comments, can be found in this notice.