A long-awaited plan to shore up California’s drought-parched
water supply stalled in the legislature on Monday, amid
Republican complaints that the proposal does not do enough to
send water to farms and cities in the state’s breadbasket.
With the state budget behind them, the Capitol’s politicians are
turning to water, always California’s most divisive political
issue – but particularly so during a very severe drought, as a
state Senate debate and vote demonstrated Monday.
From the Stockton Record, in a commentary by Larry
Ruhstaller and Allen Ishida:
The California State Legislature will soon decide on one of the
most significant water policy measures in recent history, one
that could have far-reaching and lasting impacts to water users
throughout the state.
Lawmakers in Sacramento representing various factions in the
water debate are squabbling over what to include in a bond they
submit to voters on the November ballot, or whether to just scrap
the whole thing and wait for a better time. There will probably
be no better time.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by George Skelton:
As lawmakers struggle to craft a water bond proposal for voters,
there’s a huge reservoir of wonderful, non-controversial project
ideas. But practically everyone is suffering from tunnel vision.
From the PPIC Viewpoints blog, in a post by Emma Freeman and
Much of the current water talk in Sacramento surrounds a new
state water bond for the November ballot. Yet as we show in our
study Paying for Water in California, most water spending—84
percent—is actually raised locally.
Lawmakers working both above and below the surface on California
drought relief are making explicit progress this week. While
insisting on secrecy for key deal-making, House of
Representatives and Senate members are also publicly moving
“After months of negotiations to rewrite the controversial $11.14
billion water bond on California’s November ballot, a compromise
has been reached on a $10.5 billion plan that includes $3 billion
for reservoirs and groundwater storage, and $1 billion for
groundwater cleanup in the L.A. basin.”
From The Fresno Bee Earth Log blog by Mark Grossi:
“Gov. Jerry Brown’s new budget, which cleared the Legislature,
moves the state’s Drinking Water Program from Public Health to
the State Water Resources Control Board. The move will be made
July 1, state leaders said.”
From the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA):
“The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now
accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and
Enhancement Program (SWEEP), authorized by emergency drought
legislation (Senate Bill 103).
“Capping a rare instance of congressional compromise, President
Barack Obama signed a $12.3 billion water projects bill Tuesday,
financing improvements ranging from a harbor expansion in Boston
to flood control in Iowa and North Dakota. … The new law
will pay for 34 new projects over the next 10 years.”