Wyatt Buchanan and Marisa Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle, November 4, 2009
The California Legislature has passed a sweeping, multibillion-dollar overhaul of California's water system that will affect how Californians will receive and use water.
Legislative leaders have worked for weeks on the final deal, which includes an $11 billion bond measure that passed by slim margins in both the Senate and Assembly. The bond must go before the voters to win approval.
The water package consists of five major parts:
- A new seven-member board to oversee the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
- A 20% conservation mandate for urban areas, with credits for cities that have made significant conservation efforts. Agricultural entities will have to follow best practices for water use.
- New regulations to monitor groundwater levels throughout the state.
- Increased penalties for illegal water diversions.
- A $11.1 billion bond to pay for the overhaul, $3 billion of which would be set aside for new water storage, and more than $2 billion for restoration of the delta ecosystem.
Read more in the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times.