FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2014
Omar Carrillo, Policy Analyst, 916-706-3346 (office), 619-829-3553 (cell), or Omar.Carrillo@CommunityWaterCenter.org
Governor Signs Historic Groundwater Legislation
Community Water Center celebrates the beginning of a new era of inclusive, sustainable groundwater management
Sacramento – Today, Governor Brown signed into law an historic trio of bills to manage state groundwater supplies.
The Community Water Center (CWC) advocated for Assembly Bill 1739 (Dickinson), Senate Bill 1168 (Pavley), and Senate Bill 1319 (Pavley), because this legislation provides an opportunity for sustainable groundwater regulation that would benefit all users.
“Safe, clean, and affordable drinking water is a human right,” said Laurel Firestone, CWC Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director. “These new laws create real, substantive change in the State’s ability to address the needs of communities that lack safe drinking water to meet their basic needs.”
As the last state in the West without groundwater regulation, Californians have been depleting groundwater supplies for decades. Unmeasured and uncontrolled pumping has led to dry wells, drinking water pollution, and land subsidence.
“This legislation came together through a highly collaborative and consultative process, with input from water managers, farmers, counties, cities, environmental groups, community groups, business leaders, homeowners, and many local water leaders from the San Joaquin Valley,” said Susana De Anda, CWC Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director.
The legislation requires regionally controlled groundwater management agencies to develop groundwater sustainability plans. The laws require transparency and include small and disadvantaged communities in the planning and management process. If the regional agencies fail to demonstrate adequate, measurable progress within 20 years, the state is authorized to intervene.
“This legislation is just the first step,” De Anda said. “The hard work to create just, effective, and transparent management plans starts now.”
Read more details about the new groundwater laws here.