Groundwater SB 1317 (Wolk) – Request Comments
March 4, 2016
SB 1317, by Senator Lois Wolk, specifies that by July 1, 2017, cities and counties overlying high and medium priority basins would be required to establish a process for the issuance of conditional use permits for new wells. It further specifies that all new well permits shall include conditions to avoid undesirable impacts to aquifers. The bill would also prohibit new well permits in basins of critical overdraft and basins that are in probationary status. The conditional use permit requirement would not apply to areas that have already adopted measures to protect aquifers. In addition, small yield wells and replacement wells would be exempted from the above requirements.
The intent of this measure is to protect California’s aquifers from permanent damage due to rapidly increasing water extraction and critical overdraft. CSAC staff would welcome county comments on this measure. SB 1317 is currently awaiting assignment to a Senate policy committee.