Water Districts

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State Law Governing California Water Districts

(Sections 34000-38501, Water Code)

A five-member board of directors acts as the governing body for California Water Districts. Each director must be a landowner within the district or a legal representative for a district landholder. After a water district has been established for four years, the board, by resolution, may increase the number of directors to 7, 9 or 11 and may initially appoint individuals to fill these positions (34700, et seq.).

A California Water District can be initiated by a petition to the principal county by holders of title to a majority of land that is capable of using water beneficially for irrigation, domestic industrial, or municipal purposes, and that can be serviced from common sources of supply and by the same system of works. A Notice of Intention must be filled with the LAFCO Executive Officer prior to circulation of the petition beginning (Government Code 56700.4). Once formation proceedings have been initiated a noticed public hearing must be held. The LAFCO Commission may approve, modify, or deny the proposed district formation after receiving public testimony. If the Commission determines that the proposed district is in the public interest, it will call an election on the next established election date on the issue of the formation of the district. The district will then be formed if it is supported by the majority of voters in said election (34306, 34500 & 34153).

After the CSA has been formed, the boundaries of the service area may be altered and territory may be annexed. Proceedings for annexation are initiated in correspondence to Section 56000, et seq. of the Government Code.

The board of directors is granted the power to acquire and operate works for the production, storage, transmission, and distribution of water for irrigation, domestic, industrial, and municipal purposes, and any drainage or reclamation works connected with such undertakings. The board of directors may also acquire and operate facilities and services for the collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage, waste and storm waters. In addition to these powers, the board of directors also has the power to perform all acts necessary and proper to carry out fully the provision of all special districts (35400-35409).

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