HOUSE BILL NO. 203
AS AMENDED BY
HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 2
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 26, CHAPTER 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES; GAS, WATER AND OIL CORPORATIONS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
Section 1. Amend Chapter 13, Title 26 of the Delaware Code by striking §1305 through §1308 in its entirety, and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"§1305 Establishment of a State Water Supply Coordinating Council.
(a) A Water Supply Coordinating Council is hereby established.
(1) The Council shall have the following members:
a. The Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control or his/her designee;
b. The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture or his/her designee;
c. The Executive Director of the Public Service Commission or his/her designee;
d. The Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency or his/her designee;
e. The Director of the Division of Public Health or his/her designee;
f. The Public Advocate or his/her designee;
g. The Director of the Delaware Geological Survey or his/her designee;
h. The Director of the Water Resources Agency at the University of Delaware or his/her designee;
i. The Executive Director of the Delaware River Basin Commission or his/her designee;
j. A representative of the Office of the Governor;
k. A representative of the Governments of New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County;
l. A representative of each public and private water utility serving New Castle County;
m. A representative of public water supply utilities from the membership of Sussex County Association of Towns (SCAT);
n. A representative of public water supply utilities of Kent County from the membership of the League of Local Governments;
o. A representative from the Delaware Rural Water Association;
p. A representative from the membership of the Delaware Chapter of the National Association of Water Companies not included in “l” above;
q. One representative from each county representing local Chambers of Commerce in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County;
r. A representative of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce;
s. A representative of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce;
t. A representative of the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association;
u. A representative of the Delaware Grounds Management Association;
v. A representative of the Delaware State Golf Association;
w. A representative of the Delaware Nature Society;
x. A representative from the Delaware Farm Bureau;
y. A representative from the Center for Inland Bays;
z. The State Fire Marshal or his/her designee.
aa. A representative from the Civic League of New Castle County; and
bb. A representative from the Coalition of Natural Stream Valleys.
(b) The Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control or his/her designee shall serve as Chair of the Council.
(c) The Council, by majority vote, may establish subcommittees to address water supply issues and plans that do not require the full participation of the Council. The subcommittees shall report to the Council and any recommended actions shall require the approval of the Council.
§1306. Reports by the Water Supply Coordinating Council.
(a) The Water Resources Agency (“WRA”), the Delaware Geological Survey (“DGS”), the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (“DNREC”), and the Division of Public Health (DPH) shall assist the Water Supply Coordinating Council (“WSCC”) to help ensure the timely implementation of the projects identified in the WSCC report dated January 17, 2003.
(b) The WRA, DGS, DNREC, and DPH shall prepare periodic reports on behalf of the Water Supply Coordinating Council (WSCC) for the Governor and the General Assembly summarizing the progress towards completion of the projects identified in the report. The first report shall be submitted on or before December 31, 2003 with additional reports submitted no less than twice each year.
(c) The principal duty of the Council shall be to work cooperatively with WRA, DGS, DNREC, and DPH to achieve water supply self sufficiency in northern New Castle County by 2010, and to develop and publish water supply plans for southern New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County. These plans shall identify and describe uses, localities, or areas where water supply issues exist, and identify and describe localities, or areas where future water supply issues may occur. These areas and uses should include, but not be limited to Middletown-Odessa-Townsend, Dover and central Kent County, Coastal Sussex County and agricultural irrigation uses. These plans shall contain an estimate of existing and future public and private water supplies and water demands through 2025. Private demands shall take into account, to the maximum extent practicable, all domestic, industrial, and irrigation uses. Additional duties of the Council shall consist of performing the following specific functions:
(1) To provide technical input in conducting hydraulic field tests and/or modeling to optimize and expand, where appropriate, water utility connections;
(2) To work with water utilities to develop cost and capacity agreements subject to approval by the applicable rate-setting authority for the purchase of water supplies during drought and other times emphasizing the need for providers with supply deficiencies to enter agreements which assure adequate supply to customers; and
(3) To conclude the authorized U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Groundwater Availability Study for northern New Castle County and provide technical support on any groundwater availability studies as deemed necessary by the WSCC.
§1307. Recovery of costs of water supply enhancement projects in rates of public utilities.
In the case of a public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission, upon the determination by the Commission that a water supply enhancement project identified as necessary to assure adequate supply in a report of the Water Supply Coordinating Council has been placed into service by the utility and is used and useful in the provision of public utility service, the public utility shall be entitled to recover, in its rates, its reasonable and prudently incurred capital and ongoing operating costs for such project. Nothing in this section shall preclude the Commission from authorizing an allowance for funds used during construction for any such identified enhancement project. (72 Del. Laws, c. 409, § 3.)
§ 1308. Length of service for the Water Supply Coordinating Council.
The designation of the Water Supply Coordinating Council, and the duties and responsibilities conferred by this section shall end on January 1, 2010.
Approved August 4, 2003