Historic water legislation signed

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Sept. 26, 2014 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Last week, Governor Brown signed a package of groundwater legislation that included three bills: AB 1739 (Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento), SB 1168 and 1319 (Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills). Collectively they are intended to strengthen local management and monitoring of groundwater basins by allowing local agencies to tailor sustainable groundwater plans to their regional economic and environmental needs. The central feature of the measures is to allow for local management and power to assess conditions of local groundwater basins and to take steps to address basin needs.

The legislation would prioritize groundwater — more than 1/3 of the state’s total water supply — according to the following: (1) by 2017, identify local groundwater management agencies; (2) by 2020, establish sustainability plans on over-drafted groundwater basins; (3) by 2022, other high and medium priority basins to have sustainability plans; and (4) by 2040, sustainability to be achieved by all high and medium priority groundwater basins.

While historic in that California is one of the last states to approve regulatory authority and oversight of groundwater, the package was not passed without significant concerns of a variety of industries including agriculture, manufacturing, and more. 

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