Topic: Legislation — California and Federal


Legislation — California and Federal

Today Californians face increased risks from flooding, water shortages, unhealthy water quality, ecosystem decline and infrastructure degradation. Many federal and state legislative acts address ways to improve water resource management, ecosystem restoration, as well as water rights settlements and strategies to oversee groundwater and surface water.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Desert Protection Act of 1994 celebrated as key measure protecting ‘precious’ habitats in state

Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton invited an Inland environmental activist to the White House for the signing of the California Desert Protection Act of 1994.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

$14 million to fund 19 drought relief projects for Sacramento area water agencies

The California Department of Water Resources on Thursday announced it will fund $14 million worth of water infrastructure projects throughout the Sacramento region.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

How Prop. 1’s tax dollars will be spent

A day after passage of bond measure Proposition 1, water experts said it was too soon to say exactly how the gusher of tax dollars will be spent — but they envisioned new pipelines in Bay Area neighborhoods, groundwater cleanup in the San Fernando Valley, clean tap water in East Porterville, creek protections in the Sierra and a new dam on the San Joaquin River.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: How will Proposition 1 money be spent?

California’s passage of a $7.5 billion water bond is not an end, but a beginning. … Joining us to explain what Californians need to know about the future of these water funds is Andrew Fahlund, deputy director of the California Water Foundation.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Sacramento region receives millions in grants

The California Department of Water Resources has awarded more than 14-million dollars in grants for drought-related and water-related projects in the Sacramento region.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Farm leaders celebrate water bond passage, prepare for round two

Farm water officials worked years on the $7.5 billion state water bond that passed Tuesday, offering the possibility of partly bankrolling a new reservoir near Fresno. Now it’s time for round two – actually getting funding for Temperance Flat and other projects.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP

Legal Commentary: Voters pass Proposition 1 — Is your agency’s water project eligible for funds?

On Tuesday, California voters passed Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, which allocates $7.5 billion for a water quality, supply and infrastructure improvement program to help fund certain water projects.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California’s water bond, a $7.5 billion ‘down payment’

California’s newly approved $7.5 billion water bond will energize the state’s efforts to deal with a host of water problems by channeling money to a list of broadly defined categories of projects.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Blog: How the water bond played out

Some tidbits from last night’s water bond vote: Twelve counties opposed the bond, 10 of which roughly make up the state of Jefferson territory in far Northern California.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

What Propositions 1 & 2 mean for business, California’s economy

If the dollars flow in the intended areas, the newly approved water bond and rainy-day fund both have the power to improve California’s economy, local business leaders said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California water bond wins passage

California’s aging water infrastructure and collection of ecosystems will receive a $7.5 billion injection of taxpayer dollars, as voters on Tuesday approved a sizable bond that had become a priority for lawmakers and the governor. 

Aquafornia news California WaterBlog by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Blog: Groundwater security, for the long term

Under recently enacted legislation, local agencies in California are required for the first time to manage groundwater pumping and recharge sustainably. … Within the next six to eight years, agencies in groundwater basins subject to critical overdraft must adopt plans that put these areas on a path to sustainability by 2040. A major factor complicating such long-term water planning is climate change.

Aquafornia news Water in the West

Blog: Groundwater sustainability plans — New territory or well-trodden ground?

If you are a water manager, your “fear list” may include earthquakes, climate change, having your water use made public and not least of all, new laws and regulations. California has a law that is new and complex – the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. … The key element of the new legislation is the development of “groundwater sustainability plans” by groundwater sustainability agencies.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Commentary: Why the water bond must pass

Sometimes, people take identical facts and reach opposite conclusions. I don’t dispute the facts that Dr. Rob Santos, the veterinarian and Turlock Irrigation District board member, used when he wrote “Here’s why I can’t vote for Brown’s water bond” (Oct. 19, Issues & Ideas).

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog — Californians will vote on big water bond not knowing exactly what they are buying

When Californians close the musty drapes of the voting booth on Tuesday, they will face a $US 7.5 billion question: Should the perpetually water-worried state, in the midst of a record drought, use its taxing authority to pay for another set of state-funded water projects? If the voters say yes – as the polls suggest is likely – Proposition 1 will be the seventh and most expensive water-related bond passed in California since 2000.

Aquafornia news Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Voices on Water

Blog: Proposition 1 is part of a favorable evolution in California water policy

In just a few days, Californians will cast their votes on Proposition 1, the $7.545 billion water bond on the Nov. 4 ballot. The product of more than five years of discussions and negotiations, Proposition 1 represents what could be a major turning point in California water.

Aquafornia news Associated Presss

U.S. voters deciding on billions for conservation

Voters across the nation are deciding whether to set aside billions of dollars for parks and preservation in what some environmentalists are calling one of the most significant elections for land conservation in American history. … The most money at stake is in Florida, California and New Jersey.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Poll: Voters support water bond, against health-related ballot measures

California voters have turned against two health-related measures on Tuesday’s ballot while majorities continue to support a water infrastructure bond and a criminal sentencing initiative, according to a new Field Poll.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Editorial: Obama didn’t go far enough — The San Gabriel Mountains need more protections

The environmentalists and other activists who had advocated for protecting the San Gabriel Mountains were shocked this month when President Obama created a national monument that was significantly smaller than they had expected and that excluded heavily used areas of the forest north of Los Angeles and Pasadena.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Commentary: One of two views on Proposition 1 on Nov. 4 ballot

Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond, gathered the reluctant hold-your-nose support of The Press Democrat editorial board. But you should vote no on Proposition 1. Here’s why: Proposition 1 is not a solution to our water shortages or drought. But it does burden us with $14.4 billion of real debt obligations including interest …

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Commentary: One of two views on Proposition 1 on Nov. 4 ballot

For the past half-century, California has fallen behind in adequately planning for our water future by not investing in water storage and improved infrastructure. This failure, combined with the persistent drought, has led to the current statewide water crisis and threatens the future of our agriculture.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Jerry Brown pushes water bond, makes no promises about Salton Sea

Backed by politicians from both parties, California Gov. Jerry Brown brought his whirlwind campaign to San Diego on Wednesday to urge passage of Proposition 1, the $7.5-billion water bond.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Debate over Interlake Tunnel project rages on

A showdown over whether to employ state legislation requiring union-backed labor protections on the Interlake Tunnel project continued Tuesday even as a status report indicated the project cost has nearly doubled.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Prop. 1 aims to relieve drought — but not this one

California’s stubborn drought helped push a $7.5-billion water bond through the Legislature and onto the November ballot. But even if voters approve Proposition 1, it won’t provide relief any time soon.

Aquafornia news Redding Record Searchlight

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Environmental advocates voice opposition to Prop. 1

Environmental advocates opposing California’s Proposition 1 took to the banks of the Sacramento River in Redding Monday morning to voice concerns over what they say is a bad deal for the state’s taxpayers.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Program will bring trails, parks to Santa Ana River

Conservationists are turning their attention to the restoration of the Santa Ana River after recently approved legislation established a program to create a network of trails and river-bottom parks that could eventually connect scenic spots from Big Bear Lake to Huntington Beach.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Supplemental guide for water bond costing taxpayers nearly $3 million

Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Legislature waited as long as they could to finalize the $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot now known as Proposition 1.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Gritty Santa Ana River is streaming back toward restoration

The Santa Ana River, born of snowmelt and natural springs near Big Bear Lake, flows through Southern California as one of the region’s most scenic rivers — until it hits Orange County. … Under the legislation by state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), the Santa Ana River Conservancy Program will operate within the state Coastal Conservancy …”

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Blog: ‘At best, a down payment on our water future’

The Pacific Institute issued a lukewarm report this morning about Proposition 1, the water bond on the November ballot.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: De León says ‘green jobs’ will be priority as Senate leader

In his first policy speech as California’s Senate leader, Kevin de León said one of his key priorities will be combating climate change by setting policies that promote energy efficiency. … In his speech to the water officials Thursday, de León also stumped for Proposition 1 …”

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Prop. 1 would aid Delta habitat, fish and region

Restoring the ecological health of the Delta is critical to California’s water system. It’s also a prime reason why voters should approve Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot.

Aquafornia news Imperial Valley Press

Report: $7.5 billion water bond may not produce ‘real improvements’

A report released Thursday cautions that the $7.5 billion water bond on California’s November ballot may not yield “real improvements” to the state’s water supply or environment.

Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Report: Insights into Proposition 1 — The 2014 California Water Bond

The Pacific Institute, an internationally-renowned independent think tank focused on water issues, has released a report that helps voters untangle the complexities of the water bond measure. The Pacific Institute is taking no formal position for or against Proposition 1.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

National Monument: Baldy resort out, Mountain High in

Forest Service officials on Thursday released the long-awaited final map of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, and made it available to the public online.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: $7.5 billion plan won’t fix drought

An in-depth analysis of the $7.5 billion water bond (Proposition 1) on the Nov. 4 ballot finds that it could benefit California’s communities and the environment but that those benefits (water supply, water reliability and environmental quality improvements) are not guaranteed.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Monterey County begins Salinas Valley groundwater sustainability effort

Faced with a state mandate to balance groundwater basins within the next two decades, Monterey County officials on Tuesday took the first step toward meeting that goal in the long overdrafted Salinas Valley groundwater basin.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Poll: Water bond

The [Public Policy Institute of California] survey, produced with support from The James Irvine Foundation, determined likely voter sentiment on other issues, including: … On Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond, 56 percent say they would support it after being read the ballot title and label for the measure.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Commentary: Law needs to weed out fraud at farmers’ markets

AB1871, legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law last month, is arguably the most important piece of legislation affecting California farmers’ markets since they were authorized in 1977.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern CA

The story of California water, according to Jerry Brown

[Gov. Jerry] Brown, running for his fourth term as governor, used his appearance at The Hamilton Project conference to give a sort of oral history of California water — which is, in a sense, a Brown family story — and to make a pitch for Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion bond measure on the November ballot.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Amid California’s drought, a bruising battle for cheap water

The signs appear about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, tacked onto old farm wagons parked along quiet two-lane roads and bustling Interstate 5. “Congress Created Dust Bowl.” “Stop the Politicians’ Water Crisis.” “No Water No Jobs.”

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown takes the long view on water

Battles over water rights, wet years flowing into dry ones, Jerry Brown gubernatorial tenures – in California, some storylines recur.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Gov. Jerry Brown touts water bond measure at Stanford summit

Gov. Jerry Brown pitched his plan Monday for a water bond and a rainy-day fund at a Stanford University water conference. … He called his water plan a “four-term effort.”

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Daily News

Proposition 1 could lessen future water shortages, but at what cost?

Step by step, sewage flows through the city’s Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in the San Fernando Valley. Ultimately, the cleaned effluent flows into lakes and rivers. … Mayor Eric Garcetti, who prefers the term “showers to flowers” instead of “toilet to tap,” also lobbied for groundwater cleanup funds. 

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Jerry Brown dives into water policy at Stanford University

He’ll [Gov. Jerry Brown] dive further into the world of water at a policy conference today at Stanford University, hosted by The Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. … His speech, scheduled for 9:20 a.m., will be webcast.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Drought funding dries up

San Joaquin County is missing out on millions of dollars in state grants to fight the drought, in part because some private landowners are reluctant to share confidential information about their wells.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Brown pursues lasting policy legacy in California

After sidelining opponents and steadying the state’s finances, the quirky 76-year-old Democrat [Gov. Jerry Brown] is looking to put his stamp on the state’s water and transportation infrastructure and playing statesman on global climate change, recently addressing a UN Climate Change conference.

Aquafornia news Sacramento Business Journal

New website explains water bond funding

The California Water Foundation has released an informative site on the various projects that would be funded under this year’s $7.5 billion water bond proposal.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: It’s time to get extremely serious about conserving water

The message that California is in severe drought is being heard. But more must be done.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Californians can save a lot of water by retrofitting wasteful older homes

The reduction of water use in new homes has long been a focus of California’s homebuilding industry. … The good news is the state has a golden opportunity to use the emergency drought funds available to retrofit older homes to comply with current building standards – potentially saving hundreds of billions of gallons a year.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

National Monument: Baldy village, ski resort not in plan

Federal officials confirmed Wednesday that the Mount Baldy ski area and village are outside the boundaries of the newly designated San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, settling days of uncertainty.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Promotion begins for Salton Sea license plate

A new campaign is underway to promote the new Salton Sea license plate, with the goal of registering at least 7,500 pre-sales by the end of next year. … Assemblyman Brian Nestande, a Palm Desert Republican, sponsored the legislation to create the plate. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law in September.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Blog: Capitol Alert

Governor Grounded: Typically, a Groundwater Resources Association of California conference might not register too much attention.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Interlake Tunnel project in line for state water bond funding

If state voters approve a water bond on the ballot next month, Monterey County would be in line for $12.5 million for the Interlake Tunnel water storage project, Assemblyman Luis Alejo said Tuesday.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

San Gabriel Mountains: Locals have mountains of questions on new monument

It’s been four days since President Barack Obama flew into Southern California to establish the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, but federal officials are still unclear on exactly where it is. … Neither does staff at the office of Rep. Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park, who pushed for the designation.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma County unveils proposed rules for new wells

Sonoma County planning officials on Monday unveiled the most significant changes in nearly 40 years to the county’s underground well ordinance, which sets in place rules property owners must follow when drilling a new water well.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Prop. 1, Prop. 2 backers oversimplify wildfire costs

The campaign for a $7.5 billion water bond and a budget reserve measure is running a TV ad that says reserves will help “protect the water and the fire services we need” in future economic downturns.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

People who would be flooded by Sites Reservoir still back project

Cattle and sheep have grazed on the floor of the Antelope Valley for more than a century. But just a few years from now, the land could be transformed into the bottom of a vast inland sea.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard

Blog: Legislation introduced to address the rising impacts of urban flooding

The impacts of urban flooding are also on the rise, which is why Rep. Mike Quigley (D – IL) and Rep. Peter King (R – NY) introduced the bipartisan Urban Flooding Awareness Act of 2014 (H.R. 5521) in Congress earlier last month. … Urban flooding refers to the flooding of basements, backyards, and streets of homes and businesses caused by too much rain overwhelming drainage systems and waterways.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Dry-weather runoff — A new source of water for drought-stricken California?

Even without rainfall, the gutters, channels and storm drains of Los Angeles County pulse with about 330 million gallons of water every day.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Proposition 1’s water bonds followed long legislative odyssey

Amid a multiyear dry stretch that is among the worst droughts on record, California lawmakers this year made crafting a new water bond a priority.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Obama officially designates San Gabriel Mountains a national monument

President Obama on Friday officially set aside 346,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument, a move to link more communities east of Los Angeles with wild places in their own backyards. … The San Gabriel River takes shape in three forks that drain a lacework of pristine mountain creeks. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Obama to publicly name San Gabriel Mountains a national monument today

Beyond the typical traffic headaches and streets closures, President Obama will leave Los Angeles on Friday with a national monument in its backyard.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Blog: Jerry Brown, smart and prepared, responds to California’s drought emergency

Three straight years of desperately dry conditions in California are igniting hills in walls of towering orange flames, turning reservoirs to sandpits, and causing residents across America’s most populous state to clamor for water.

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Review-Journal

Lake Mead rings in 50 years as recreation area

On Oct. 8, 1964, the day Congress voted to designate the country’s largest man-made reservoir as its first National Recreation Area, visitors also were struck by the sight of a giant white bathtub ring marking where water used to be. That ring was a little smaller in 1964, but not by much.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Obama to declare national monument in San Gabriels

The lure of a San Gabriel Mountains wilderness teeming with wildlife, rivers and breathtaking panoramas is so strong that it now draws 3 million annual visitors whose presence, paradoxically, has overrun the region and degraded its beauty. President Obama will address that reality Friday by announcing that he is designating part of the mountains a national monument.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Meeting state groundwater rules will mean a lot of work locally

The biggest changes to California groundwater law in 150 years are on the way. What it means for local water leaders is a lot of work. The goal within 20 years is for all groundwater basins in the state to achieve sustainability.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Voters will decide fate of $7.5 billion water bond

Storage was the key sticking point in getting the legislature to pass the water bond with the two thirds vote it needed. That portion of the bond includes reservoirs and projects to clean up or store more groundwater.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Sacramento region may receive $10 million for water supply improvement projects

The Sacramento Region is one step closer to reducing its reliance on Folsom Reservoir. The state of California has recommended the Regional Water Authority receive almost $10 million for projects to improve water supply. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Brown collecting millions to promote 2 pet projects on November ballot

Gov. Jerry Brown is collecting millions of dollars from‎ special interests to help him promote two pet projects on the November ballot: a water bond measure and a state rainy-day fund.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Friday’s Top of the Scroll: EPA sends California $183 million for more water fixes

With the backdrop of a parched landscape near the San Joaquin River, a top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official on Thursday pledged $183 million to invest in drought-scarred California’s water needs. … Also Thursday, Gov. Brown in Sacramento signed Assembly Bill 2636 to establish CalConserve …

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Interlake Tunnel bill signed by Brown despite opposition

The legislation, authored by State Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, is designed to fast-track the proposal by using a design-build process on the $25 million project, which calls for construction of an 8-mile pipeline between Lakes Nacimiento and San Antonio in South County.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Editorial: Plastic bag ban, other good bills signed

Gov. Jerry Brown’s efforts to clean up California have been impressive in the past four years, but he outdid himself Tuesday when he signed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores.

Aquafornia news Capitol Weekly

Referendum sought on plastic bag ban

The ink was barely dry on the governor’s signature to ban plastic bags when foes of his decision filed paperwork with the state attorney general’s office for a referendum in 2016 to overturn the new law.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Brown criticized for veto of bill to reform toxic substances agency

Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto of a bill to reform the California Department of Toxic Substances Control is drawing indignation from community groups and state legislators who had pressed for broad changes at the troubled agency.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Gov. Brown signs bill banning commercial production of genetically modified salmon

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a North Coast lawmaker’s bill banning the commercial production of genetically altered salmon.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

A look at California’s landmark plastic bag ban

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, following the lead of more than 100 California cities and counties. The fight between environmentalists and manufacturers is not over, as plastic bag makers vow to take their opposition to the ballot box.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California becomes first state to ban plastic bags

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday that makes California the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Blog: Delta commission silent on water bond

The Delta Protection Commission decided last week to stay neutral on the upcoming $7.5 billion water bond, a spokeswoman told me.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Tuesday’s Top of the Scroll: Rebates for replacing lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping won’t be taxed

Rebates received by homeowners for replacing their lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping will not be counted as income, according to a bill authored by a Los Angeles lawmaker and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP

Legal Commentary: New law requires formal consultation with Native American tribes during CEQA process

Assembly Bill 52, signed yesterday [Sept. 25] by Gov. Jerry Brown, seeks to protect a new class of resources under CEQA: “tribal cultural resources.”

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Gov. Jerry Brown launches pitch for Props. 1 and 2

Gov. Jerry Brown launched a statewide campaign Friday — not for his own re-election, but for a pair of state ballot measures that he said were critical for both California’s economic and environmental future. … He called Prop. 1 “the first real integrated water plan” to come before voters since his late father, Edmund “Pat” Brown, was governor in the 1960s.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Groundwater legislation marks turning point to achieve reliable water supply

California made history recently when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Its passage marks a once-in-a-century achievement, for it was 100 years ago that California enacted the first comprehensive legal framework for managing surface water.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Commentary: Prop. 1 prioritizes conservation and climate change

In the past two years, the California Legislature has made tremendous progress toward creating a long-term sustainable water policy for California.

Aquafornia news Vacaville Reporter

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Governor signs urban water district bill

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation by State Senator Lois Wolk, D-Solano, to strengthen requirements that urban water districts report to the state their water losses through leaks in their water systems.

Aquafornia news Best Best & Krieger LLP

Legal Analysis: Governor signs new laws amending California’s Urban Water Management Planning Act

Under new amendments to California’s Urban Water Management Planning Act, urban water suppliers will be required to provide narrative descriptions of their water demand management measures and account for system water losses when preparing Urban Water Management Plans, among other changes. The amended Act, created by Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on Assembly Bill 2067 and Senate Bill 1420 last week, also establishes July 1, 2016 as the deadline for urban water suppliers to prepare and submit their 2015 UWMPs to the Department of Water Resources.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Commentary: Water bond will pass for one big reason: It should

The outcome is rarely certain when state government asks voter permission to spend $7.5 billion of the taxpayers’ money, but it’s also unusual for a ballot proposition to win as wide a range of support as Proposition 1 already had more than a month before the Nov. 4 Election Day.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: Plans for $200 million in drought relief released

State water officials on Tuesday released plans for spending almost a third of the $687 million emergency drought relief package approved by lawmakers earlier this year.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern CA

Blog: Drought rallies support for California water projects

Californians continue to see the ongoing drought as a priority — and that may be driving a willingness to spend billions on securing their future water supplies.

Aquafornia news Bay Area News Group

Poll: Strong support for state water bond — and for local water bonds too

An epic drought and wave of wildfires have left California voters thirsty for the $7.5 billion state water bond on November’s ballot — and also anxious to approve local bond measures to supply more water, a wide-ranging new poll finds.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Proposition 1 — Voters to decide on $7.5 billion water bond

California voters will be faced with a $7.5 billion question this fall about whether to publicly finance a water bond meant to help the state better manage its most precious and increasingly limited resource.

Western Water Magazine

Changing the Status Quo: The 2009 Water Package
January/February 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at some of the pieces of the 2009 water legislation, including the Delta Stewardship Council, the new requirements for groundwater monitoring and the proposed water bond.

Western Water Magazine

Overdrawn at the Bank: Managing California’s Groundwater
January/February 2014

This printed issue of Western Water looks at California groundwater and whether its sustainability can be assured by local, regional and state management. For more background information on groundwater please refer to the Founda­tion’s Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater.

Western Water Magazine

Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Quality: A Cause for Concern?
September/October 2012

This printed issue of Western Water looks at hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. Much of the information in the article was presented at a conference hosted by the Groundwater Resources Association of California.

Western Water Magazine

Water Policy 2007: The View from Washington and Sacramento
March/April 2007

This issue of Western Water looks at the political landscape in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento as it relates to water issues in 2007. Several issues are under consideration, including the means to deal with impending climate change, the fate of the San Joaquin River, the prospects for new surface storage in California and the Delta.

Western Water Magazine

Are We Keeping Up With Water Infrastructure Needs?
January/February 2012

This printed issue of Western Water examines water infrastructure – its costs and the quest to augment traditional brick-and-mortar facilities with sleeker, “green” features.

Western Water Magazine

Dollars and Sense: How We Pay for Water
September/October 2009

This printed issue of Western Water examines the financing of water infrastructure, both at the local level and from the statewide perspective, and some of the factors that influence how people receive their water, the price they pay for it and how much they might have to pay in the future.

Western Water Magazine

Making the Connection: The Water/Energy Nexus
September/October 2010

This printed issue of Western Water looks at the energy requirements associated with water use and the means by which state and local agencies are working to increase their knowledge and improve the management of both resources.

Western Water Magazine

Mimicking the Natural Landscape: Low Impact Development and Stormwater Capture
September/October 2011

This printed issue of Western Water discusses low impact development and stormwater capture – two areas of emerging interest that are viewed as important components of California’s future water supply and management scenario.

Western Water Magazine

A Call to Action? The Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study
November/December 2012

This printed issue of Western Water examines the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study and what its finding might mean for the future of the lifeblood of the Southwest.

Western Water Magazine

Nitrate and the Struggle for Clean Drinking Water
March/April 2013

This printed issue of Western Water discusses the problems of nitrate-contaminated water in small disadvantaged communities and possible solutions.


The Klamath Basin: A Restoration for the Ages (20 min. DVD)

20-minute version of the 2012 documentary The Klamath Basin: A Restoration for the Ages. This DVD is ideal for showing at community forums and speaking engagements to help the public understand the complex issues related to complex water management disputes in the Klamath River Basin. Narrated by actress Frances Fisher.


The Klamath Basin: A Restoration for the Ages (60 min. DVD)

For over a century, the Klamath River Basin along the Oregon and California border has faced complex water management disputes. As relayed in this 2012, 60-minute public television documentary narrated by actress Frances Fisher, the water interests range from the Tribes near the river, to energy producer PacifiCorp, farmers, municipalities, commercial fishermen, environmentalists – all bearing legitimate arguments for how to manage the water. After years of fighting, a groundbreaking compromise may soon settle the battles with two epic agreements that hold the promise of peace and fish for the watershed. View an excerpt from the documentary here.


Shaping of the West: 100 Years of Reclamation

30-minute DVD that traces the history of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and its role in the development of the West. Includes extensive historic footage of farming and the construction of dams and other water projects, and discusses historic and modern day issues.

Maps & Posters

San Joaquin River Restoration Map
Published 2012

This beautiful 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, features a map of the San Joaquin River. The map text focuses on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, which aims to restore flows and populations of Chinook salmon to the river below Friant Dam to its confluence with the Merced River. The text discusses the history of the program, its goals and ongoing challenges with implementation. 

Maps & Posters

Carson River Basin Map
Published 2006

A companion to the Truckee River Basin Map poster, this 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing, explores the Carson River, and its link to the Truckee River. The map includes Lahontan Dam and Reservoir, the Carson Sink, and the farming areas in the basin. Map text discusses the region’s hydrology and geography, the Newlands Project, land and water use within the basin and wetlands. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region, Lahontan Basin Area Office.

Maps & Posters

Delta Sustainability Map
Published 2006

This beautifully illustrated 24×36 inch poster, suitable for framing and display in any office or classroom, focuses on the theme of Delta sustainability.

The text, photos and graphics explain issues related to land subsidence, levees and flooding, urbanization and fish and wildlife protection. An inset map illustrates the tidal action that increases the salinity of the Delta’s waterways. Development of the map was funded by a grant from the California Bay-Delta Authority.


Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law
Updated 2013

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Rights Law, recognized as the most thorough explanation of California water rights law available to non-lawyers, traces the authority for water flowing in a stream or reservoir, from a faucet or into an irrigation ditch through the complex web of California water rights.


Layperson’s Guide to Water Recycling
Updated 2013

As the state’s population continues to grow and traditional water supplies grow tighter, there is increased interest in reusing treated wastewater for a variety of activities, including irrigation of crops, parks and golf courses, groundwater recharge and industrial uses.


Layperson’s Guide to Water Marketing
Updated 2005

The 20-page Layperson’s Guide to Water Marketing provides background information on water rights, types of transfers and critical policy issues surrounding this topic. First published in 1996, the 2000 version offers expanded information on groundwater banking and conjunctive use …  Colorado River transfers, CALFED’s Water Transfer Program and the role of private companies in California’s developing water market. 

Order in bulk (25 or more copies of the same guide) for a reduced fee. Contact the Foundation, 916-444-6240, for details.


Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project
Updated 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the State Water Project provides an overview of the California-funded and constructed State Water Project.


Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management
Published 2013

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background information on the principles of IRWM, its funding history and how it differs from the traditional water management approach.


Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater
Updated 2017

The 28-page Layperson’s Guide to Groundwater is an in-depth, easy-to-understand publication that provides background and perspective on groundwater. The guide explains what groundwater is – not an underground network of rivers and lakes! – and the history of its use in California.


Layperson’s Guide to Flood Management
Updated 2009

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to Flood Management explains the physical flood control system, including levees; discusses previous flood events (including the 1997 flooding); explores issues of floodplain management and development; provides an overview of flood forecasting; and outlines ongoing flood control projects. 


Layperson’s Guide to California Water
Updated 2015

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to California Water provides an excellent overview of the history of water development and use in California. It includes sections on flood management; the state, federal and Colorado River delivery systems; Delta issues; water rights; environmental issues; water quality; and options for stretching the water supply such as water marketing and conjunctive use.


Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project
Updated 2011

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Central Valley Project explores the history and development of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), California’s largest surface water delivery system. In addition to the history of the project, the guide describes the various CVP facilities, CVP operations, the benefits the CVP brought to the state, and the CVP Improvement Act (CVPIA).


Layperson’s Guide to the Delta
Updated 2010

The 24-page Layperson’s Guide to the Delta explores the competing uses and demands on California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Included in the guide are sections on the history of the Delta, its role in the state’s water system, and its many complex and competing issues with sections on water quality, levees, salinity and agricultural drainage, and water distribution.

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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Litigation

For more than 30 years, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been embroiled in continuing controversy over the struggle to restore the faltering ecosystem while maintaining its role as the hub of the state’s water supply.

Lawsuits and counter lawsuits have been filed, while environmentalists and water users continue to clash over  the amount of water that can be safely exported from the region.

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National Environmental Policy Act

Passed in 1970, the federal National Environmental Policy Act requires lead public agencies to prepare and submit for public review environmental impact reports and statements on major federal projects under their purview with potentially significant environmental effects.

According to the Department of Energy, administrator of NEPA:

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Judge Wanger Rulings

Federal Judge Oliver Wanger overturned a federal scientific study that aimed to protect Delta smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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Groundwater Legislation

California has considered, but not implemented, a comprehensive groundwater strategy many times over the last century.

One hundred years ago, the California Conservation Commission considered adding  groundwater regulation into the Water Commission Act of 1913.  After hearings were held, it was decided to leave groundwater rights out of the Water Code.

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Federal Reserved Rights

Federal reserved rights were created when the United States reserved land from the public domain for uses such as Indian reservations, military bases and national parks, forests and monuments.  [See also Pueblo Rights].

Federal Endangered Species Act
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Federal Endangered Species Act

The federal government passed the Endangered Species Act in 1973, following earlier legislation. The first, the  Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, authorized land acquisition to conserve select species. The Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 then expanded on the 1966 act, and authorized “the compilation of a list of animals “threatened with worldwide extinction” and prohibits their importation without a permit.”

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California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

California’s Legislature passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1972, following the passage of the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by Congress in 1968. Under California law, “certain rivers which possess extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, or wildlife values shall be preserved in their free-flowing state, together with their immediate environments, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the state.” Rivers are classified as:

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California Endangered Species Act

The California Legislature was the first in the country to protect rare plants and animals through passage of the California Endangered Species Act in 1970, (Congress followed suit in 1973 by passing the federal ESA.  See also the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES).

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Area-of-Origin and California Water

The legal term “area-of-origin” dates back to 1931 in California.

At that time, concerns over water transfers prompted enactment of four “area-of-origin” statutes. With water transfers from Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley to supply water for San Francisco and from Owens Valley to Los Angeles fresh in mind, the statutes were intended to protect local areas against export of water.

In particular, counties in Northern California had concerns about the state tapping their water to develop California’s supply.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Changing the Status Quo: The 2009 Water Package
January/February 2010

It would be a vast understatement to say the package of water bills approved by the California Legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last November was anything but a significant achievement. During a time of fierce partisan battles and the state’s long-standing political gridlock with virtually all water policy, pundits at the beginning of 2009 would have given little chance to lawmakers being able to reach com­promise on water legislation.

Western Water Excerpt Gary PitzerRita Schmidt Sudman

Thirty Years of the Clean Water Act
Nov/Dec 2002

This year marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most significant environmental laws in American history, the Clean Water Act (CWA). The law that emerged from the consensus and compromise that characterizes the legislative process has had remarkable success, reversing years of neglect and outright abuse of the nation’s waters.

Western Water Excerpt Rita Schmidt Sudman

The Davis Administration and California Water
Mar/Apr 1999

In January, Mary Nichols joined the cabinet of the new Davis administration. With her appointment by Gov. Gray Davis as Secretary for Resources, Ms. Nichols, 53, took on the role of overseeing the state of California’s activities for the management, preservation and enhancement of its natural resources, including land, wildlife, water and minerals. As head of the Resources Agency, she directs the activities of 19 departments, conservancies, boards and commissions, serving as the governor’s representative on these boards and commissions.

Western Water Excerpt Rita Schmidt Sudman Rita Schmidt Sudman

CVP Improvement Act Update
May/Jun 1997

Two days before our annual Executive Briefing, I picked up my phone to hear “The White House calling… .” Vice President Al Gore had accepted the foundation’s invitation to speak at our March 13 briefing on California water issues. That was the start of a new experience for us. For in addition to conducting a briefing for about 250 people, we were now dealing with Secret Service agents, bomb sniffing dogs and government sharpshooters, speech writers, print and TV reporters, school children and public relations people.