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The Wholesale Regional Water System Act

Requires the City and County of San Francisco to adopt the program of capital improvement projects

By Chris Micheli, July 9, 2022 5:43 pm

California has a number of formal acts in statute. Water Code Division 20.5 provides the Wholesale Regional Water System Security and Reliability Act, which is contained in Sections 73500 to 73514. Division 20.5 was added in 2002 by Chapter 841. Section 73500 names the Act.

Section 73501 provides definitions for the following terms: “association”; “Bar area regional water system”; “Bay area wholesale customers”; “city”; “master water sales contract”; “regional water system”; “regional wholesale water supplier”; and, “wholesale customers.”

Section 73502 requires the City and County of San Francisco to adopt the program of capital improvement projects designed to restore and improve the bay area regional water system that are described in the capital improvement program report prepared by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission dated February 25, 2002. The program must include specified schedules, financing plan, and information, and the plan must require completion of specified projects.

In addition, the City is required to submit a report to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission, and the State Water Resources Control Board, on or before September 1 of each year, describing the progress made on the implementation of the capital improvement program for the bay area regional water system during the previous fiscal year.

Section 73503 requires the City, in consultation with the association and the offices of emergency services in Alameda County, Santa Clara County, and San Mateo County, to prepare an emergency response plan describing how water service will be restored to the area served by the bay area regional water system after an interruption caused by earthquake or other natural or manmade catastrophe, and thereafter shall be implemented.

Section 73504 requires a regional wholesale water supplier to submit a report to the Legislature and the State Department of Public Health, on or before February 1 of each year, describing the progress made during the previous calendar year on securing supplemental sources of water to augment existing supplies during dry years.

Section 73505 requires the State Department of Health Services to conduct an audit, or arrange for an audit to be performed by contract, of the city’s program of maintenance of the bay area regional water system prior to July 1, 2004. The audit must include specified activities.

Section 73506 requires the State Department of Health Services to conduct an audit of the regional water systems operated by all regional wholesale water suppliers, other than the city, subject to this division and submit to the Legislature a report on or before February 1, 2006.

Section 73508 provides that, if the city and the bay area wholesale customers that are public agencies form a special district with authority and responsibility to own, operate, and manage the bay area regional water system and whose governing board’s composition reflects the proportionate use of water delivered by the bay area regional water system within the city and within the aggregate geographic area served by the bay area wholesale customers, the obligations imposed on the city by this division are applicable to that district.

Section 73510 requires the State Department of Public Health to ensure that the bay area regional water system is operated in compliance with the California Safe Drinking Water Act and the guidelines established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the purposes of administering the comparable provisions of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Section 73511 provides that a special district composed of some or all of the bay area wholesale customers may receive state funds for the purpose of protecting the bay area regional water system against seismic risk, without regard to whether the city is a member of that district.

Section 73512 requires a regional wholesale water supplier to reimburse the state for all costs incurred by the State Department of Public Health or the Seismic Safety Commission in carrying out the duties imposed by this division.

Section 73513 provides that nothing in this division affects the rights and obligations of the city, the Modesto Irrigation District, or the Turlock Irrigation District, as between themselves, whether arising from statute or contract.

Section 73513.5 provides that nothing in this division changes the governance, control, or ownership of the bay area regional water system.

Section 73514 specifies that this division remains in effect only until January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

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