Step 2 - Check Service Boundaries
There are many types of planning boundaries that define local jurisdiction. The most significant of these include LAFCO's sphere of influence boundaries, utility service area boundaries, and water rights place of use boundaries. Consolidation is easiest when the water system to be subsumed is already located inside the boundaries of the receiving system. Otherwise, additional steps may be required. Use the planning boundaries below to determine if changes may be necessary.
Utility Service Area Boundaries - Water utilities typically have service area boundaries that define where they provide services. Obtain a map showing where these boundaries are in relation to the water system. These can usually be found on the internet or by calling the utility. Many water systems can do some type of "out of area water service agreements" in the event of public health emergencies, but they may require the water system's board or local council approval.
Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) - LAFCO sphere of influence boundaries are designed to help encourage the orderly formation of local governmental agencies, preserve agricultural land resources, and discourage urban sprawl. They usually are slightly larger than utility service areas and are the general geographic direction that a City or area plans to grow. Obtain clarification of the LAFCO sphere of influence boundaries by contacting the LAFCO executive officer using the contact information provided here: http://calafco.org/about-us/lafco-directory. In the event of public health emergencies, "extraterritorial service agreements" may be possible.
Surface Water Rights – Place of Use Boundaries - If during the previous step it was noted that the system was served by surface water, the water system likely has surface water rights with specific areas where those rights can be used, called the "Place of Use." If the existing surface water right does not include the service area of the water system to be subsumed, a Petition for Change will likely need to be filed with the State Water Resource Control Board's Division of Water Rights by the water right holder. A temporary urgency change may be appropriate under some situations involving public health, and may be faster to process. Typically, this step does not apply to managerial consolidations.