Thursday, November 05, 2009

CA Legislature Comes Through With Water Management Plan!

In what some are hailing as an historic piece of legislation, the California legislature overcame both partisan and regional differences and passed legislation that will go a long way toward securing the state's water supply for the future. As part of the compromise, one of the original five bills, dealing with illegal water diversion, was dropped, though some of it's provisions will be added to other legislation with somewhat reduced penalties. Otherwise though, most of what was planned was passed. Coverage in the state's papers is widespread, so finding in depth details of the event and what it means should be easy. Below is an excerpt of coverage from the San Jose Mercury News:
Monumental plans to overhaul California’s water system — decades in the dreaming and months in the works — finally emerged from an exhausted Legislature early Wednesday, defying regional squabbles to become the signature accomplishment in a year mostly lamented for budget cuts.

The overwhelmingly bipartisan reforms — which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signaled he would approve — firmly nudge the state into changing the way it uses and manages its precious water supplies.

“This is the best investment in the future of California anyone can make,” Schwarzenegger said Wednesday. The state Senate gave final approval to the last in a series of five bills just before 6 a.m.

Water use statewide will be reduced, with agencies required to draw up plans for city residents to cut back 20 percent by 2020. Groundwater supplies will be measured all across the state — ending California’s status as the lone Western state that does not regulate groundwater.

And more than $11 billion in bond money would be set aside for new dams, regional water projects, groundwater cleanup and land preservation — if, that is, voters approve the hefty bond sale next year. That may not be a given, with the state’s chronic deficits and warnings from the state treasurer that paying the debt on those bonds could detract from spending for already-strapped social programs.
One of the provisions, requiring residents to cut back on water use 20% by 2020, sounds challenging but really, isn't that difficult at all. For many, that goal is achievable with a single household upgrade.

Overall, this is great news for the entire state, and a significant accomplishment by the legislature. Kudos to them on finding a way to get this done!

14 comments:

Portland Sprinkler Systems Contractor - Portland Oregon said...

I think it's great that we are moving toward better water conservation. But it's a shame that the government had to step in. If we were all good stewards of our natural resources this would never have to happen. Smart controllers are available for landscape irrigation - which is one of the main water wastes we have - and still most people don't even know about them or at least haven't bought one. It would save them a lot of money in their water bill AND it would help manage our natural water resources better. That's just one example.

There are dozens of other things homeowners can be doing to manage water better without effecting quality of life. And yet it usually takes government intervention before we really start considering any of them. It's a shame.

>Sprinkler Systems Portland

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