A package of bills aimed at regulating drought-parched California’s stressed groundwater supplies has come under fire from agricultural interests, injecting doubt into the measures’ fates in the waning days of the state’s legislative session this week.
Most of the Bay Area roads, bridges, water systems, dams and levees fared well in Sunday’s 6.0 earthquake near Napa, but the damage in the picturesque Wine Country town was a jolting reminder of the vulnerability of public services for 7 million people.
The money needed to complete California’s proposed earthquake early-warning system could well come from the billion-dollar water bond issue now on the November ballot, lawmakers in Sacramento and the scientists developing it said Monday.
As California trudges into its third year of a statewide drought—currently at an alarming Stage 4 level, denoting what the federal government calls “exceptional drought” conditions—few towns have been as hard hit as Montecito. But the plight of this unincorporated community offers ironies—and political lessons—that are as rich as many of its 13,500 residents.
A coalition of Delta counties has endorsed the new $7.5 billion water bond to be decided by voters in November. Overall, however, local groups that are normally closely aligned on Delta issues are divided over this one.
The $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot is laden with funds to enhance ecosystems and safe drinking water programs, and increase storage — all of which directly or indirectly benefit Kern County, two local officials said Monday.
California needs to require local water agencies to establish and enforce groundwater management plans so that water taken out doesn’t exceed what is naturally replenished. … It may be more important to the state than Gov. Jerry Brown’s $7 billion water bond.
Environmental groups, among others, are pushing legislation, Senate Bill 1168, that would require regional “groundwater sustainability plans” to be written. Farmers are not happy with the bill and are offering an alternative, Senate Bill 757, that was introduced just last Friday as a “gut-and-amend.”
I have just returned with a team of scientists from six weeks at sea conducting research in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — one of five major garbage patches drifting in the oceans north and south of the Equator at the latitude of our great terrestrial deserts.