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SB 610/221- Water Supply

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SB 610 (Costa, 2001) requires additional information to be included as part of an urban water management plan if groundwater is identified as a source of water available to the supplier.  This law also requires an urban water supplier to include in the plan a description of all water supply projects and programs that may be undertaken to meet total projected water use. 

This law requires a water assessment for large projects requiring a Negative Declaration or an EIR.  For the purposes of this statute, the definition of ‘‘project” means any of the following:

  • A proposed residential development of more than 500 dwelling units.
  • A proposed shopping center or business establishment employing more than 1,000 persons or having more than 500,000 square feet of floor space.
  • A proposed commercial office building employing more than 1,000 persons or having more than 250,000 square feet of floor space.
  • A proposed hotel or motel having more than 500 persons.
  • A proposed industrial, manufacturing, processing plant, or industrial park planned to house more than 1,000 persons, occupying more than 40 acres of land, or having more than 650,000 square feet of floor area.
  • Mixed-use projects with one or more of the characteristics listed above.
  • A project that would demand an amount of water equivalent to or greater than the amount of water demanded by 500 dwelling units.
  • A project that increases the demand of a public water system (with less than 5,000 connections) more than 10 percent of total existing service. 

This law requires a city or county that determines a project is subject to CEQA to identify any public water system that may supply water for the project and to request the governing boards of the public water systems to prepare a specified water supply assessment (WSA).  If the city or county is not able to identify any public water system that may supply water for the project, this law requires the city or county to prepare the WSA.  The WSA must include:

  • A copy of any groundwater management plans adopted by the urban water purveyor.
  • A description of any groundwater basin(s) from which the urban water purveyor pumps groundwater.
  • A 20-year projection for normal, dry, and multiple-dry years to meet existing and planned demands for all uses.
  • An identification of existing water supply entitlements with contracts, capital outlay, permits, and all regulatory approvals relevant to the identified water supply for the proposed project and water received in prior years pursuant to those entitlements, rights, and contracts.

SB 221 (Kuehl, 2001) prohibits approval of a tentative subdivision map, or a parcel map for which a tentative subdivision map is not required, or a development agreement for a subdivision of property of more than 500 dwelling units unless the city or county provides written verification from the applicable public water system that a sufficient water supply is available. In addition, the law requires the city or county make a finding that sufficient water supplies are, or will be, available prior to completion of the project. 

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