State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > California > Wat > 11950-11954

SECTION 11950-11954

11950.  This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Water
Conservation Projects Act of 1985.

11951.  The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the
   (a) Agriculture is this state's largest income producer,
contributing approximately $14 billion annually to the economy of the
state. California agriculture remains the leader in the development
of modern agricultural technology and is supported by the world's
leading agricultural education and research institutions. However,
the future growth and prosperity of agriculture is threatened by a
lack of necessary irrigation water.
   (b) The population of California is expected to increase by over
three million persons by the year 2000. This increase alone will
require at least an additional 600,000 acre-feet of water annually
for municipal purposes.
   (c) Upon commencement of the operation of the Central Arizona
Project which is scheduled to occur by 1985, over 662,000 acre-feet
of water presently available for use each year in California will be
lost to the State of Arizona pursuant to decisions of the United
States Supreme Court. These court decisions decrease the total water
supply available to California from the Colorado River by a quantity
sufficient to supply the needs of three and one-half million people.
   (d) The central San Joaquin Valley faces a critical water shortage
amounting to approximately 1.4 million acre-feet annually which is
presently being mined from the groundwater basin. The lowering of the
groundwater table is causing irrigation water to be pumped at
excessive depths of 500 to 600 feet or more, which requires a
tremendous use of energy at a high cost.
   (e) Based on a 50 year average, California faces a drought in one
out of every four years. During periods such as the 1976-1977
drought, the state has had critical water shortages, requiring
emergency conservation measures and resulting in thousands of acres
of prime agricultural land in the San Joaquin Valley remaining
unplanted. At the peak of the 1976-77 drought period, the state lost
approximately $1.5 billion in crop revenues as a result of inadequate
supplies of irrigation water.
   (f) A portion of the foregoing water requirements may be
economically met by water conservation and reclamation projects which
produce substantial quantities of additional usable water for use in
areas of the state with inadequate local supplies.

11952.  (a) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this
chapter to encourage local agencies and private enterprise to
implement potential water conservation and reclamation projects by
establishing a state program to finance or assist in financing
projects which meet state criteria and will result in additional
supplies of water for use in areas of need. Water conservation and
reclamation projects, including facilities for municipal and
industrial advanced waste water treatment, regulatory impoundments,
improvements to water supply and delivery systems, tailwater recovery
systems, and sprinkler or drip irrigation systems, may result in
increased quantities of usable water for beneficial purposes, but may
be financially unattractive at the local level if the cost of
additional fresh water is less than the cost to conserve or reclaim
   (b) It is in the interests of both the users of water supplied by
the state and the users of local water supplies to undertake water
conservation and reclamation projects which supply water for purposes
of the State Water Resources Development System at a cost less than
the cost of new state water development facilities, and which provide
benefits to local water users, including decreased salt
concentrations, resulting from increased irrigation efficiency and
reduced problems of pollution from waste water discharges. It is not
the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to affect or
otherwise defer the construction of water facilities necessary to
meet the requirements of the people of this state, and nothing in
this chapter shall be construed to affect the authority of the
department under any other provision of law.

11953.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to alter or
impair any provision of law providing protections for areas of
origin, including, but not limited to, Article 1.7 (commencing with
Section 1215) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 2, Section 10505,
Article 3 (commencing with Section 11460) of Chapter 3, or Part 4.5
(commencing with Section 12200).

11954.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to alter or
impair any existing rights, including rights to divert water from the
Colorado River and rights to the distribution or use of that water.