FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2014
Governor Must Sign Historic Groundwater Legislation
Community Water Center and Leadership Counsel urge Governor Brown to sign critical legislation that will benefit all Central Valley, State water users
VISALIA, Calif.— The Community Water Center and the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability issued the following statement urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign into law an historic package of groundwater bills.
“The Central Valley is experiencing the worst and most dire effects of groundwater over-pumping – whole communities with no running water, land literally sinking, and infrastructure being damaged. This is the part of California where it easiest to see the need for responsible, inclusive and sustainable groundwater management. But there are many other areas of the state where it’s needed as well, and this is why we are urging Governor Jerry Brown to sign AB 1739, SB 1168 and SB 1319 into law this week,” said Susana De Anda, Co-founder of the Community Water Center in Visalia, and Phoebe Seaton, Co-founder of the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability in Fresno.
“This legislation came together through a highly collaborative and consultative process, involving months of public meetings and with input from water districts, farmers, business leaders, homeowners, and other citizens across the state. It did not happen overnight. The result of this deliberation is a balanced approach that emphasizes local engagement and local control, and will provide time – at least until 2020 – for agencies and stakeholders to develop comprehensive plans to sustain and enhance groundwater supplies. If the regional agencies fail to demonstrate adequate, measurable progress within 20 years, the state is authorized to intervene. The bills also include language that respects regional differences and protects property and water rights.
“This package of bills creates real, substantive change in the state’s ability to address the needs of communities that lack safe drinking water to meet their basic needs, while protecting our agricultural industry, environment and economy.”