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North County Watch Alternative Districts AB 2453

North County Watch Alternative Districts AB 2453

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Published by CalCoastNews
I am writing to address the question of possible alternative governance structures
to a California Water District, as addressed by AB 2453, for the Paso Robles groundwater basin.
I am writing to address the question of possible alternative governance structures
to a California Water District, as addressed by AB 2453, for the Paso Robles groundwater basin.

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Categories:Types, Legal forms
Published by: CalCoastNews on May 06, 2014
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05/16/2014

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Page 1 of 9
North County Watch P.O. Box 455 Templeton, CA 93465
501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation (77-0576955)
Assembly Local Government CommitteeMs. Debbie Michel1020 N Street, Room 157Sacramento, CA 95814
Sent Via Email and FAX: debbie.michel@asm.ca.gov 
FAX:1-916-319-3959April 27, 2014Dear Debbie MichelI am writingto address the question of possible alternative governance structuresto a California Water District, as addressed by AB 2453, for the Paso Robles groundwater basin.At the April 17, 2014 meeting of San Luis Obispo LAFCO meeting, Executive Officer David Churchpresented the report “Governance Options for Managing a Groundwater Basin”
1
. The reportsummarizedseven governance options selected from Water Bulletin 118:In bulletin 118, the Department of Water Resources lists 20 different governing structures thatmay be able to manage agroundwater basin. The full list can be found on the next page. Manyof these structures are not discussed in this document because their function is for the purposeof serving an urban area or other limited purpose that may apply in certain circumstances. Thisis a preliminary look at the structures that might be applied to the Paso Robles GroundwaterBasin situation
2
.The structures considered in theLAFCOreport are:
County Flood Control and Water Conservation District
County Service Area
County Water District
Irrigation District
Water Conservation District
California Water District
Water Replenishment DistrictThe report makes the following general observations as guidance in considering the governance options:When evaluating the formation ofa new district, the Commission is required to determine
1
http://www.slolafco.com/Staff_Reports/NEW_Governance_Options.pdf 
2
 Ibid 
p. 5
 
Page 2 of 9
North County Watch P.O. Box 455 Templeton, CA 93465
501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation (77-0576955)
whether existing agencies can feasibly provide the needed service or services in a moreefficient and accountable manner
3
.San Luis Obispo LAFCO’s local policies governconsideration of special districts. Policy 2 states:
2.5 Policies for Formation of Special Districts
2. There is no alternative which would provide for the required service in a morereasonable manner.
4
The following is a summary ofthe alternative governance structures addressedin the report. Thecomplete information on the alternativesisincluded at the end of this letter.
County Flood Control and Water Conservation District
5
was formed in 1945. It currentlyperforms all services necessary for the management of water resources. (The FCD has an AB3030 plan and on March 18, 2014, it adopted a Resolution of Intent to amend its AB 3030 toinclude mandatory management measures such as metering and monitoring. The FCDconvened a Blue Ribbon Committee in 2012 to assess management solutions. The supervisorshave authorized the establishment of a Maddy Book Paso Robles Advisory Committee of stakeholders to advise onamendments to the Paso Robles Groundwater Management Plan(amended AB 3030). The Supervisors are elected by voters.
County Service Area
6
(Sections 25210.1-25338, Government Code)is formed by the Board of Supervisors. CSAs can perform water services. The Board of Supervisors is elected by thevoters.
County Water District
7
(Sections 30000-33901, Water Code)isinitiatedby an application toLAFCO and a subsequent formation vote by registered electors. It has broad powers. Directorsare appointed or elected. Directors shall be voters within the District.
Irrigation District
8
(Sections 20500-29978, Water Code)The formation process is initiated by apetition to LAFCO by a majority of the property owners whom also own a majority of value of the land in the proposed district; or by 500 petitioners, each of whom is a registered voterresiding in the proposed district or a holder of title. The districthas various powers includingwater service, utilities, airport, recreation, dam construction. An irrigation district is initiated bya petition to LAFCO. LAFCO setsthe terms and conditions of formation.
California Water District
9
(Sections 34000-38501, Water Code) is initiated by a petition toLAFCOby holders of title to a majority of land (based on acreage).A CWD has powers toprovide water service, sewer service, flood control.Formation vote is based on acreage.
Water Conservation District
10
(Sections 74000, Water Code)may be organized and establishedupon review by LAFCO and ifapprovedbya vote of the registered voters within the District.
3
 Ibid 
p. 7
4
 Ibid 
p. 11
5
 Ibid 
p. 13-14
6
 Ibid 
p. 13
7
 Ibid 
p. 13-14
8
 Ibid 
p. 15-16
9
 Ibid 
p. 16-17
10
 Ibid 
p. 17-18
 
Page 3 of 9
North County Watch P.O. Box 455 Templeton, CA 93465
501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation (77-0576955)
Directors are elected by registered voters within the district and directors are residents of thedistrict.The district has powers to provide water services and hydroelectric plants.
Water Replenishment District
11
(Water Code Sections 60000 et seq.)A district may be organizedand established upon reviewby LAFCO and if approved a vote of the registered voters withinthe District.Directors shall be residents of the district and elected by registered voters.Formation vote shall be by registered voters.The district hasbroadwater service powers.Of the seven alternatives reviewed,five districts have structures based only on registered voters:County Flood Control District, County Service Area, County Water District, Water Conservation District,and Water Replenishment District. An Irrigation District may be based onacreageor registered voterstructure. A California Water District is the only district with the statutory election of directors andformation based on vote by acreage. It should be noted that a CWD has not been formed in over 20years. Also, it should be noted thatthe threshold for the formation ofan IrrigationDistrictbased onregistered voters is as few as 500 registered voters. The proposed CWD for the Paso basin hasapproximately 11,000 registered voters and 575 renters
12
Regarding LAFCO policy 2.5cited earlier, we believethatthe five districts that have structures basedonly on registered voterspresent alternativeswhich would provide for the required service in a morereasonable manner, that is, fulfillthemanagementfunctions required for asustainablebasinandrepresent allresidentsfairly and equitablywith one person-one vote.I hope this information will be useful to you.Yours truly,Susan Harvey, Presidentinfo@northcountywatch.org805-239-0542
11
 Ibid 
p. 18-19
12
Approximation based on researching 153 Census (2010) blocks within the proposed district.

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