The California State Legislature wanted to pass California Assembly Bill 2201, or the Drinking Water Permit Oversight bill.
This new law was supported and authored by Assemblymember Steve Bennett representing the central valley (D-Ventura California) and the community water center would have required water well drilling contractors to obtain a permit from the Groundwater Sustainability Agency instead of local cities or counties before they can drill any new water wells in California.
This restriction affects all new agricultural wells, domestic wells, and water that includes drinking water supplies.
Ground Water Drilling Contractors could have been at risk of going out of business if permits are held up or not approved.
Find out how this will affect your ability to drill a new well drilling requirements for residential and agricultural wells.
Before the state can achieve sustainable groundwater management, AB 2201 seeks to handcuff local control of groundwater resources and bring us closer to the true intent behind the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
Bennett’s bill AB 2201 would require groundwater drilling contractors when obtaining all permits for groundwater extraction to be verified and approved by the Groundwater Sustainability Agency.
Cities and counties would lose their ability to issue groundwater drilling permits for homeowners and farmers.
Community drinking water is critical for all families and without new water wells being drilled due to tightening and oversight, permits for new wells looked to be heavily regulated by the Groundwater Sustainability Agency.
The bill would have mandated that a county send permit requests for the construction of new groundwater wells, enlarging existing groundwater wells, and reactivating abandoned groundwater wells to the groundwater sustainability agency before permit approval.
The bill would prohibit a county, city, or any other water well-permitting agency from approving a permit for new groundwater well or for an alteration to an existing well in a basin subject to the act and classified as medium or high-priority unless specified conditions are met.
These conditions include:
This would impose additional requirements on the county, city, or any other water well-permitting agencies that Groundwater Well Drilling contractors fear will put them out of business.
The proposed bill would create various exemptions from the aforementioned provisions, including an exemption for any well that provides less than 2 acre-feet of water annually for domestic use or any well used by a public water supply system or state’s small water system.
The bill would also state that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
The bill was proposed to require agencies to verify that a proposed well would not undermine sustainable groundwater management or cause well interference. Western Growers and other farm groups argued the bill would have been unworkable and difficult to implement.
The coalition of business and agricultural organizations opposed AB 2201 which eventually helped to kill the bill in the final hours of being signed into law.
Groundwater contractors faced losing their livelihood had this bill passed. In talking with our water well drilling clients we are seeing them moving out of California due to the many restrictions that are being placed on them and their communities.
While we can’t fix the water well-permitting process, and local oversight of water well construction, our insurance agency can help you save on your insurance costs.
Integrity Now Insurance Brokers specializes in contractors who drill water wells. We do our best to keep up with the changing laws that impact California water well drillers and their families.
We have access to a number of specialized insurance companies that will provide insurance coverage for the water well drilling industry. This includes all lines of insurance such as workers’ compensation insurance, liability insurance, and water well rig insurance.
Many of our contractors believe their only option is CA State Fund. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Reach out to our Water Well Drilling Insurance Agent and they will save you thousands on your insurance.
We can be reached at 562-606-1030 x1
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