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Browsing the archives for the Agriculture – California category.

What Drought? Govt. Doesn’t Live By Drought Rules

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, CORRUPTION, State gov, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Posted by Katy Grimes

at 8:10 am on Jul 22, 2014

Flashreport.org

http://www.flashreport.org/blog/2014/07/22/what-drought-govt-doesnt-live-by-drought-rules/

If 80 percent of California is in extreme drought, as the Los Angeles Times just reported, where is the data and evidence?
City and county governments are still running sprinklers and wasting water as though there is no drought, yet threatening and even imposing penalties on citizens who violate unclear water policies.

The State Water Resources Control Board adopted new drought policy and regulations to give local agencies the authority to fine water wasters up to $500 a day.
Who are these board members, comfortable with imposing fines on citizens?
Water Board member Dorene D’Adamo, was also on the California Air Resources Board, since 1999, until 2013.
Board member, Frances Spivey-Weber was a director of international programs for the National Audubon Society, and previously a legislative assistant for the Animal Welfare Institute.
Chairwoman Felicia Marcus was the Western Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Steven Moore served on the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board from 2008-2012 and held staff positions at that Regional Water Board over 14 years, and worked 10 years as an engineering consultant on a wide variety of water infrastructure projects, stream and wetland restoration projects, and Environmental Impact Reports throughout California.
Tam Doduc most recently served as Deputy Secretary at Cal/EPA, where she directed the agency’s environmental justice and external scientific peer review activities.
National Weather Service “data?”
The most recent National Weather Service Drought Monitor Update claims 81 percent of California in the category of extreme drought or worse, up from 78 percent.
A strange “map” also claims “drought conditions” worsened in parts of Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties, while never acknowledging that these parts of the state are actually considered desert. “The new data comes as officials are getting tough on water wasters,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Did the data follow the new penalties?

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Auburn Dam Council supports saving Klamath dams

Agriculture - California, CA & OR, Federal gov & land grabs, Jefferson News Service, Klamath River & Dams, KSYC radio, News in Jefferson Country, Property rights, Siskiyou County, Threats to agriculture, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

 

News in Jefferson Country

July 21, 2014

Listen LIVE on the web !

 http://www.ksyc1039.com/live

Broadcast on KSYC 103.9 FM Yreka, CA

At 5:45 p.m. on the Joe Show

And KSIZ 102.3 FM at 7:45 a.m.

from Mt. Shasta, CA

News in Jefferson Country from Pie N Politics.com Editor Liz Bowen: Recently, local rancher Richard Marshal attended a meeting of the Auburn Dam Council down by Sacramento and learned that the council supports more water storage throughout the state including keeping the Klamath Dams in place.

“The Auburn Dam Council supports the water storage and flood control managed by the Klamath dams,” said Marshall, who also heard Congressman Tom McClintock speak about the most recent Task Force demanding removal of the Klamath dams. McClintock discussed Oregon Senator Ron Wyden’s Task Force that is pushing for the destruction of the Klamath dams; and McClintock said Wyden will never find enough federal funds to pay for Klamath dam removal.

McClintock and California District 1 Congressman Doug LaMalfa sit on the House Natural Resources Committee and both have said that no funding will be coming from the House of Representatives to the Senate for Klamath dam removal. It is the House that appropriates monies, so Wyden’s U.S. Senate Bill will likely be left sitting high and dry.

Both California Congressmen are strongly opposed to wasting money on Klamath dam removal.

Siskiyou County citizens voted in 2010 that they were against Klamath dam removal. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors have sent letters to Washington D.C. to Wyden’s Task Force and the House Natural Resources Committee showing significant science and reasons the well-maintained hydro-electric Klamath dams benefit the Klamath River Basin.

With the vocal good support for keeping the dams, Marshall was also pleased to hear that the Auburn Dam Council is also supporting saving the Klamath dams. “California needs more reservoirs for water storage, not less,” said Marshall.
# # #

For more “News in Jefferson Country” go to Jefferson News Service.com:

www.JeffersonNewsService.com

 

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Regulation Judge Makes Precedent-Setting Sacramento Ruling On Groundwater

Agriculture - California, State gov, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Remember this is not a done-deal. This will likely have to go to the CA Supreme Court, cuz under CA Water Law, the water under your property is yours. — Editor Liz Bowen

Court Could Give Control of All Groundwater to the State

CA Political Review

San Luis Obispo County has put a moratorium on new uses for groundwater. If you expand a home, hotel or farm, the water used must come from a current user. Democrat Senator Pavley has a bill to give the management of all the groundwater in the State to Sacramento. In textbooks that is called fascism—you still have private ownership—but government controls the use of the product or service.

Now a judge may have superseded the legislature and ruled that government MUST regulate groundwater, “to protect a river”. That is the end of private farming since farmers would have no incentive to maintain, expand or build new wells, since government will control the use of the water. If this decision is upheld, California will quickly see the end of all farms, new building (homes and commercial). Only government desired and approved plans will be allowed—since it will own all the water in the State.

“Attorneys on both sides say it’s the first time a California court has ruled the “public trust doctrine” applies to groundwater. The doctrine says the State of California holds all waterways for the benefit of the people.

The lawsuit claimed groundwater pumping in the Scott River Basin is partly responsible for decreased river flows – limiting the public’s use of the river and harming fish habitat.”

ManInWater

Regulation Judge Makes Precedent-Setting Sacramento Ruling On Groundwater

Ed Joyce, capradio, 7/16/14

A Sacramento Superior Court judge issued a ruling Tuesday requiring regulation of groundwater pumping to protect a river in Siskiyou County.

Attorneys on both sides say it’s the first time a California court has ruled the “public trust doctrine” applies to groundwater. The doctrine says the State of California holds all waterways for the benefit of the people.

The lawsuit claimed groundwater pumping in the Scott River Basin is partly responsible for decreased river flows – limiting the public’s use of the river and harming fish habitat.

Jim Wheaton with the Environmental Law Foundation was lead attorney for the plaintiffs. He said the ruling is “a monumental decision.”

“Because California is famously the only western state that has no regulation of groundwater pumping at all. And so this decision for the first time is going to say that well at least where that groundwater pumping affects surface waters, you’ve got to regulate it and control it so you don’t do harm,” said Wheaton.

The lawsuit named the California State Water Resources Board and Siskiyou County.

Attorney Rod Walston represents Siskiyou County. He said under current state policy, groundwater regulation is a local responsibility.

Walston said the ruling by Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner fundamentally changes that system.

“By requiring, not allowing or permitting, but rather requiring counties to regulate groundwater by application of public trust principle,” said Walston.” He said the trial court ruling will likely be appealed and the final decision may be made by the California Supreme Court.

The ruling comes as California is in the third year of a drought which has brought calls for an organized groundwater management system.

July 15 Siskiyou County Groundwater Ruling

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Drakes Bay Oyster Company weighing next steps in legal fight

Agriculture - California, Federal gov & land grabs, Lawsuits

Press Democrat.com

By GUY KOVNER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

July 5, 2014, 6:30 PM

Attorneys for Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the Interior Department are set to meet with a federal district judge Monday in Oakland to discuss the next steps in the case following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to consider the Marin County oyster farm’s appeal.

The high court’s action extinguished oysterman Kevin Lunny’s right to continue doing business in Point Reyes National Seashore, exposing him to an imminent eviction order from the National Park Service.

A new filing jointly submitted by attorneys for both sides said their preliminary discussions have concerned, in part, “the prompt and orderly wind-down” of Lunny’s operation, which harvests $1.5 million worth of oysters a year from Drakes Estero, a 2,500-acre inlet in the national seashore.

Still, Lunny has suggested he may continue his legal battle to remain in operation. He still has the right, even if he is evicted, to pursue his claim that former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision in November 2012 not to renew the farm’s permit was flawed.

That claim is now back before Federal District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will preside over the case management conference Monday afternoon involving lawyers for Lunny and the government.

“The judge will ask what’s going on,” said Peter Prows, a San Francisco attorney representing Lunny.

Prows said he has received a letter from government lawyers stating their outlook on the case and the prospects for Lunny’s eviction. Prows declined to release the letter, describing it as “confidential,” but said he has been in discussion with the Interior Department’s legal team.

The case status update filed by both sides said they would be able to give Judge Rogers “meaningful information about how the case is likely to proceed.”

The results of their discussions will be announced in court, Prows said.

Rogers and judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco have rejected Lunny’s bid to stay in business three times, but each time he has been granted an extension pending appeals, which ended with the Supreme Court’s action on Monday.

(page 2 of 2)

“It’s not the end,” Lunny said in a news conference hours after the high court made its decision public. “It’s not over until the last oyster’s shucked.”

Neither he nor Prows elaborated on what their next step might be.

Amy Trainer, executive director of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin based in Point Reyes Station, said the park service should give Lunny a month to get out of the estero.

“I think 30 days is plenty,” she said, noting that Lunny has had the opportunity to harvest about $2 million worth of oysters during the 19 months his permit was extended by the courts.

Salazar’s decision not to renew the farm’s permit, which triggered the prolonged court battle that gained national attention, gave the oyster farm 90 days to shut down.

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, said he met Monday with Kevin and Nancy Lunny, but declined to give details, calling it a “confidential discussion.”

In an interview, Huffman said his intention is to help negotiate with the park service a “soft landing” for the family-owned business and its roughly 30 employees.

“My hope is they (park officials) will be reasonable and respectful,” said Huffman, whose district includes the oyster farm. He has remained neutral on the case.

Wilderness advocates, including Trainer’s group, have insisted that the nearly pristine estero, home to extensive eelgrass beds and a harbor seal colony, should be freed from commercial activity. The oyster farm’s supporters say it is a model of sustainable agriculture that benefits the estero.

The park service now has the authority to evict the oyster farm, but Congress holds the ultimate control over use of federal lands. Huffman, a former environmental attorney who is becoming a congressional Democratic leader on environmental matters, said he would not introduce a special bill giving the Lunnys a new permit.

“It’s not a very viable idea,” Huffman said, asserting that neither Congress nor the White House would approve such a measure.

The idea was not discussed in his meeting with the Lunnys, Huffman said.

Prows said that Congress “could issue a new permit tomorrow if it wanted to.” But he declined to say whether the Lunnys would pursue that course.

Huffman declined to say whether the oyster farm should again get 90 days to quit business.

“It’s not my place to say,” he said.

(You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com.)

Attorneys for Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the Interior Department are set to meet with a federal district judge Monday in Oakland to discuss the next steps in the case following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to consider the Marin County oyster farm’s appeal.

The high court’s action extinguished oysterman Kevin Lunny’s right to continue doing business in Point Reyes National Seashore, exposing him to an imminent eviction order from the National Park Service.

A new filing jointly submitted by attorneys for both sides said their preliminary discussions have concerned, in part, “the prompt and orderly wind-down” of Lunny’s operation, which harvests $1.5 million worth of oysters a year from Drakes Estero, a 2,500-acre inlet in the national seashore.

Still, Lunny has suggested he may continue his legal battle to remain in operation. He still has the right, even if he is evicted, to pursue his claim that former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision in November 2012 not to renew the farm’s permit was flawed.

That claim is now back before Federal District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will preside over the case management conference Monday afternoon involving lawyers for Lunny and the government.

“The judge will ask what’s going on,” said Peter Prows, a San Francisco attorney representing Lunny.

http://www.printfriendly.com/print?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pressdemocrat.com%2Farticle%2F20140705%2Farticles%2F140709790%23.U7i0xCNW0YV.printfriendly&title=Drakes+Bay+Oyster+Company+weighing+next+steps+in+legal+fight+%7C+The+Press+Democrat

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California restricts access to water well records

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, State gov, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Hum, not necessarily good news. The Greenies are always spinning the ground water data and shouldn’t have access to it! And under California law, the water under your property is yours. So California law is different than in other states. Better protect your property, cuz others are coveting! — Editor Liz Bowen

4:52 PM, Jul 6, 2014

Redding Record Searchlight

SACRAMENTO, California –  (AP) — A decades-old law barring the public from viewing records of water wells throughout California is drawing criticism amid the state’s drought from those who believe the information locked away could help scientists and water policy specialists better protect the groundwater supply.

While other Western states make well logs widely available, the Sacramento Bee reported Sunday that the California law makes a narrow group of state officials and researchers privy to facts and figures on each well’s depth, diameter and the geological material bored through to hit water.

Records of the state’s rivers and reservoirs are abundantly available, but not for wells in California that provide one-third or more of the state’s water supply and even more in dry years like this one.

“We are living in the Dark Ages with access to basic data,” said Laurel Firestone of the Community Water Center in Visalia, which seeks greater public access. “We’re basically blindfolding ourselves.”

The law passed 63 years ago was designed to create an element of secrecy so drilling companies didn’t tip their competitors to prime places to dig new wells.

Supporters of the law today fear that opening up the logs invite lawsuits, possible restrictions on underground water and even sabotage if the information fell into the wrong hands.

Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau, said he supports the current restriction on the well logs.

“I don’t see a real benefit for throwing a lot of that information out for public demand,” Wenger said. “Those who are in authority and who have a need to know have access to it now.”

In 1951 then-Gov. Earl Warren wrote that by restricting access to the information drillers would provide the state with more complete and accurate information. It appears to have worked, with 800,000 well logs today on record.

John Hofer, who represents well drillers as executive director of the California Groundwater Association, said this is a new day and he favors opening up the records.

“I think the time has come to have better science and regulations,” he said. “We want to be on the cutting edge of the new science.”

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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California struggles to manage water rights in drought

Agriculture - California, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Apparently, the government doesn’t know the difference between forms not being returned and NO water. In Siskiyou County, the drought has taken the water. There is no water to report on. Just because the recording forms have not been received by the state doesn’t mean the junior water rights are being used. In a drought, the junior water rights are the first to be lost due to lack of water. — Editor Liz Bowen

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 1, 2014 – 7:32 pm

Six weeks after ordering thousands of California water users to stop diverting from rivers and streams amid the worst drought in a generation, state officials say only 31 percent have bothered to respond by sending back the required forms. Now, their efforts to force the rest to comply are prompting threats of lawsuits and economic chaos.

On Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board held a daylong public hearing in Sacramento on whether to adopt streamlined regulations to cope with the drought. The proposal would allow the board to more rapidly punish water-rights holders who do not respond to a curtailment order. It would sidestep some procedural measures that the board said are “cumbersome,” and create a new penalty of $500 per day for failing to comply.

The hearing, held in a packed meeting room at California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters, stretched for hours as agency officials and attorneys went to the podium to protest the proposal – a response that in many ways underscores the drought’s severity. At Tuesday’s meeting, staff members told the board that water demand during July in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watershed is projected to be five times greater than available supplies.

Foreseeing this shortage, the board on May 16 began issuing so-called curtailment notices to nearly 10,000 water-rights holders statewide, including individuals, irrigation districts and cities. More are expected in the weeks ahead. Such broad curtailments have not occurred since the drought of 1976-77, the worst in state history.

The notices went to those who hold so-called “junior” water rights, ordering them to halt their diversions immediately, and within seven days, to submit a form acknowledging the notice and describing their diversion situation. Only 31 percent of recipients statewide have submitted the form, leaving the state with a large information gap and a huge enforcement task to ensure those diversions have, in fact, been halted.

Junior water rights are those issued after 1914, the year when California adopted a comprehensive system to regulate water diversions across the state. State law requires junior rights to be diverted during times of shortage so that “senior” diversions – those that existed prior to 1914 – have access to any water that might be available. These senior rights also are held by individuals, farmers and cities, with the simple distinction that they were granted earlier in the state’s history.

State officials acknowledged that they don’t have sufficient powers to enforce compliance with curtailments in a timely manner. As it stands now, it is cheaper to ignore a curtailment order than to stop diverting water and suffer the economic consequences, said Diane Riddle, environmental program manager for the water board.

“We expect there will be a high degree of noncompliance during the drought that will impact senior water-right holders,” Riddle said. “Due to the limited penalties and the lengthy process to impose any remedy, we don’t believe the existing process provides an adequate deterrent.”

The board is empowered to fine violators as much as $1,500 per day and $2,500 per acre-foot of illegally diverted water. But state law requires a time-consuming hearing process before fines can be imposed.

The proposed new regulation would allow the board to impose a $500 per-day fine, without a hearing, for failing to heed a curtailment notice. A hearing could be held later, if requested by the water diverter, but the board would not be required to do so.

MORE

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/01/6527849/california-struggles-to-manage.html

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/01/6527849/california-struggles-to-manage.html#storylink=cpy
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rake’s Bay Oyster Company not willing to give up despite U.S. Supreme Court decision

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, Federal gov & land grabs, Lawsuits, Over-regulations

By MARY CALLAHAN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

June 30, 2014, 2:55 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to take up the case of a Marin County oyster farm facing eviction from the Point Reyes National Seashore in what a lead opponent of the commercial operation called “the end of the road for this company.”

Drakes Bay Oyster Co. owner Kevin Lunny struck a defiant position, however, and vowed to battle on, calling the high court’s pass on his petition “a disappointment, but not really a setback.”

“Today, we’ve been delivered news that’s disappointing, but we’ll get over it. It’s not the end,” Lunny said in a news conference hours after the high court made its decision public. “It’s not over until the last oyster’s shucked.”

Lunny and his attorney, Peter Prows, said they are still evaluating additional legal and legislative remedies that might permit Lunny and his family to hang onto their successful shellfish concern in Drakes Estero, an area designated by a 1976 congressional act to become a marine wilderness as soon as the oyster farm’s 40-year-lease expired in 2012.

Lunny’s team was in touch with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office on Monday and met with Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, as well. Neither lawmaker was available for comment.

Lunny’s original federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior also is still pending in U.S. District Court, though its outlook is perhaps dimmed by a succession of federal court rulings that cast doubt on its potential for success.

The Supreme Court is just the latest — after the district court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal — to rebuff the Lunnys’ bid for a court injunction that would legally permit them to continue their operations until the lawsuit is resolved.

Amy Trainer, executive director of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, said the Supreme Court’s refusal to weigh in should mean quick action by federal officials on a timeline for the company’s withdrawal from the Estero, which has supported oyster farming for more than 80 years.

MORE:

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20140630/articles/140639959#.U7HiCcSnzYA.email

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U.S. Supreme Court turns down Drakes Bay Oyster Company appeal

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, Federal gov & land grabs, Lawsuits, Over-regulations

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

June 30, 2014, 8:00 AM

Francisco Manzo, left, and Francisco Lopez process oysters at Drakes Bay Oyster Company in 2013. (PD FILE, 2013)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from a popular Marin County oyster farm that is facing closure.

The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place lower court rulings against Drakes Bay Oyster Company.

The company operates in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar declined to renew its lease when it expired in 2012. Salazar said the waters of Drakes Estero should be returned to wilderness status.

Lower courts have allowed the oyster farm to keep operating while the case was pending.

The case is Drakes Bay Oyster Co. v. Jewell, 13-1244.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20140630/wire/140639992#.U7GNOAVQnFc.email

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Size of California’s water bond does matter, but how it’s spent matters more

Agriculture - California, State gov, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

California Economic Summit

http://www.caeconomy.org/reporting/entry/size-of-californias-water-bond-does-matter-but-how-its-spent-matters-more

JUNE 27, 2014 BY JUSTIN EWERS

Size of California’s water bond does matter but how it’s spent matters more

Englebright dam on the Yuba River in the Sacramento River Basin. (Photo Credit: Amit Patel/Flickr)

 

California’s water debate was turned on its head twice this week. First, when a $10.5 billion bond, which had grown in size by 50 percent since May in order to win key votes, failed on the Senate floor. Then, when the governor took things in the opposite direction the next day, finally joining negotiations over how to raise the money needed to invest in the state’s aging water infrastructure—and outlining a plan to put a much smaller, $6 billion bond on the November ballot.
These moments of refreshingly public debate—which revealed major disagreements in the Legislature over everything from new dams to Delta restoration and the governor’s tunnel project—had an expected result, with the state’s water conversation quickly moving back behind closed doors. Lawmakers and stakeholders are expected to continue haggling over the bond’s size—and exactly how much borrowing voters will support—before another round of votes next week.
The size of the bond is certainly important, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Whether the final measure is $6 billion or $10 billion, whether it has $2 billion for storage (as the governor has proposed) or $3 billion (as Senate Republicans have demanded), what’s most important to voters is how these funds will be used to ensure billions in water projects solve California’s long-term water issues—and prevent the state from lurching from water crisis to water crisis.
This is the case the Summit has been making since February, when it outlined 11 recommendations for the state to respond to drought in sustainable ways. There’s no question investment in California’s aging water system is desperately needed: As a recent PPIC study found, more than $30 billion is spent every year on water in California, but the state is underfunding a range of vital water projects, from flood control to stormwater management, by $2 to $3 billion every year. This has not only left a million Californians without access to clean drinking water—and many more vulnerable to natural disaster—it is also a measure of the missed opportunity to adopt time-tested approaches to water use that can prepare the state for a drier future.
The goal: Addressing California’s long-term water challenges
For the Summit, though, the water bond has never been about just encouraging certain types of water projects. The governor’s single-page water bond term sheet outlines all of the same kinds of projects detailed in the $10.5 billion bond that failed on Monday—from water recycling and wastewater treatment to storage and ecosystem restoration.
The Legislature’s real task, in crafting a bond, is to ensure billions in funding goes to projects that will address California’s most pressing water challenge: achieving the state’s “coequal goals” of developing a more reliable water supply and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. In its February letter to the governor and legislative leaders, the Summit argued that the best way to accomplish this was by advancing the new paradigm in which the state sets goals and regions compete on a performance basis to craft strategies that deliver results. The letter acknowledged that this would require a comprehensive solution—one that simultaneously reduces demand (via conservation and water-use efficiency, for example), while also improving supply (making integrated water infrastructure investments that better link natural watersheds with storage and conveyance systems).
While not all of these projects can—or should—be funded in a general obligation bond, the Summit urged lawmakers to draft a bond that encouraged water projects to integrate their work across city boundaries—or, even better, entire watersheds—and then allow state agencies to direct public funds to the projects that produce the most benefit at the lowest cost.
So how much water will this week’s versions of a water bond buy—and how effective will they be at addressing the state’s long-term water challenges? “If lawmakers think drought is a good time to borrow money to pay for public projects, they need a good answer to that question,” wrote California Forward’s Jim Mayer earlier this year. “It is probably unreasonable to expect there to be a number in gallons…Still, there should be assurances that the billions spent will be spent on projects that directly increase water supplies and reliability, or heal environmental damage caused by existing or future water supply projects.”
Where the money will go
The governor clearly has his own ideas about how to frame this debate: He refers to his proposal in the broadest possible terms as the “Water Action Plan Financing Act of 2014”—an allusion to his own comprehensive state water strategy, a far-reaching plan for achieving the state’s coequal water goals.
To their credit, though, the authors of the half-dozen bond proposals still floating through the Capitol have also wrestled with these ideas for almost a year—including, in particular, measures authored by Asm. Anthony Rendon (AB 1331) and Sen. Lois Wolk (whose SB 848 was defeated on the Senate floor this week). In both bills, Rendon and Wolk have crafted a number of creative ways for distributing funds to encourage projects that will cost less while doing more to solve the state’s water problems—from making groundwater projects eligible for storage funding to finding new ways to distribute money across watersheds to encourage integrated water management.
As the governor wades into the water debate, the size of the water bond—as well as its impact on his proposed Delta tunnels—may have become the top issue once again.
But as negotiations continue—and the July 3 deadline legislators have to put the bond on the November ballot approaches—lawmakers should keep in mind that, for voters, there is something that may be even more important: how all of this money will be spent.

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$10 Billion Water Bond Measure Moving Through California Legislature

Agriculture - California, State gov, Water, Resources & Quality

Monday, June 23, 2014

Max Pringle, Capital Radio News

This undated file photo released by the California Department of Water Resources shows water making its way south through the Central Valley by way of the California Aqueduct.

California Department of Water Resources

This undated file photo released by the California Department of Water Resources shows water making its way south through the Central Valley by way of the California Aqueduct.

A $10 billion water bond could be headed to California’s November ballot if a bill in the state legislature wins approval. The measure would be a substitute for the $11 billion bond initiative currently on the ballot.

Backers of the proposed water bond say it manages to balance statewide urban, agricultural and conservation needs.

“This bond would provide funding and support the broadest range of projects and programs that would collectively support the state’s moving forward on its water plan,” says Michael Peterson with the Sacramento County Department of Water Resources.

Critics say the bill should be revised to make it easier for local water agencies to pursue their own water recycling, waterway restoration, and water storage programs.

“The latest draft goes in the opposite direction of making it more bureaucratic,” says Timothy Quinn with the Association of California Water Agencies. “It has more red tape and makes it more expensive to apply for state funding under the bond.”

The measure requires a two-thirds vote of the legislature and approval from the Governor to qualify for the November ballot. The full Senate will take it up Monday.

  • Max Pringle, Capital Radio News

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/jun/23/10-billion-water-bond-measure-moving-through-calif/

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