California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report

   / California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report #1  

fatjay

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Imagine being charged to pump water from your own well.


California is siccing its Environmental Protection Agency on property owners who have private water wells on their land and making them pay based on how much water volume they use, according to a new report.

California Globe reported Wednesday that an anonymous tipster produced a letter signed by Natalie Stork, identified as chief of groundwater management program unit 1. The letter advised the San Diego-area resident that they would have to report the volume of well water they used and pay a fee per acre foot of groundwater extracted starting in February 2023.

The letter was on the official letterhead of California Water Boards and was sent under the authority of Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) and Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld.

“They’re sending out letters to property owners saying they must declare [if] they use just two acre feet,” the source told The California Globe. “If they use more, they must pay an annual fee of $300 for each well plus they must meter the water and send in a monthly usage report and pay a fee for water that is pumped starting in Feb 2023.”

“What a great racket!” the California resident added. “The government provides no service, no support, no product, doesn’t even do the billing! That’s all on citizens. All [the government does] is cash the check.”

“In addition to pumping volumes, reports must include the location of the well and the place and purpose of use of the groundwater. Groundwater extraction reports are not due to the state water board until February 1, 2023,” the letter added. “However, if you are required to report, the report must include pumping volumes for each month between the date of receipt of this letter and September 30, 2022.”

The letters came in the midst of a record drought and as local governments in California are also ramping up tactics to force residents to consume less water.

In Los Angeles, the Department of Water and Power team has created a team called the Water Conservation Response Unit (Water CRU). There is currently an ordinance in L.A. that limits how and when L.A. residents can water their property. The ordinance also says “any water use resulting in excess or continuous water flow or runoff onto adjoining sidewalks, driveways, streets, gutters, or ditches is always prohibited.” The unit goes around looking for pools of water on property and then determines whether or not the body of water could be in violation of the law.
 
   / California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report #2  

Rebeldad1

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There has been talk about this for the past few years. sofar nothing in stone. It would be quite a undertaking to convince everybody to install meters and report usage.
 
   / California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report #3  

Oaktree

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Seems like it would be pretty hard to enforce.
 
   / California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report
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fatjay

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Seems like it would be pretty hard to enforce.
The city could assume that if you aren't paying a water utility, you have a well. So it would be pretty easy to determine who has one to begin with.
 
   / California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report #5  

turnkey4099

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Seems like it would be pretty hard to enforce.

Big farms with lots of acres could hide a well or more but a residence? Not a chance. Enforcer just comes by and demands to see your meter.

Somewhere aound 30 years or so ago, Washington sate propsed to do that. It got shot down before it even got off the ground.
 
   / California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report #6  

Ken45101

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Here in southern Ohio, cisterns are probably more common than wells. The cisterns are supplied either by rainwater from home gutters or commercial water haulers who bring in water. My house here has two large cisterns although we now are supplied by a private county water system.

As for saying that the state has no right to tax people's private wells, remember, those wells are tapped into underground aquafers that are often very large so someone pumping high volumes is taking water from under neighbor's land. Two acre feet is a lot of water, about 60,000 gallons per month. We only use 2500-5000 gallons a month with most of the variation going to watering our seven horses, So anyone using more than 2 a/f of water is probably a commercial operation, likely taking water from beyond their own land.

As I understand it, southern California has a major water resource problem so trying to limit excess use sounds reasonable to me, something rare for California politics ;-)

Ken
 
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   / California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report #7  

Doofy

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Wow! just Wow! It is no wonder why their Residents are cashing out and leaving in droves! I would too!
 
   / California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report #8  

ponytug

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I don't know if that report is real or not, but California law has for some time required groundwater management, and reporting. The original report is here;
and includes the letter, that specifically exempts private wells using less than two acre feet of water per year. That is 651,703 gallons per year.
Currently, the reporting requirement is aimed at large farms and orchards. California is coming to grips with the fact that ground water reserves are not unlimited water sources, and need to be managed for the long term.
This was signed into law in 2014. Not exactly news to Californians.

Other parts of the country face similar issues, and in a few areas, e.g, Ogalla aquifer, which has undergone a 9% loss since 1950, with an estimated recharge time of 640 years. Some water is in sealed aquifers and is truly fossil water.

All the best, Peter
 
   / California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report #9  

paulfun9

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Wow! just Wow! It is no wonder why their Residents are cashing out and leaving in droves! I would too!
I have been watching California politics since my first relative, sold out and moved back here. What I don’t understand is why more haven’t already left?

Janet
 
   / California Targets Private Property With Latest Water Well Fees, Charges: Report #10  

Jstpssng

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In many places on the east coast companies are pumping water out of the ground by the tankerful, hauling it to processing stations, bottling and selling it. They pay little or nothing for the privelege.
 
 
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