Sacramento, CA — The California legislature reconvened today, and District 14 Senator Tom Berryhill expects water to be a major topic of debate over the coming weeks.
“I think water is going to be front and center,” said Berryhill, in an interview from Sacramento. “I don’t think the Governor wants it to be front and center, but I don’t think we can ignore it anymore.”
Berryhill’s District 14 covers both Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties.
“I would love to see us come out with a water bond that guarantees above ground storage, and guarantees us some water rights both up in the Mother Lode and down in the Central Valley,” he adds. “Those will be key issues as we move forward.”
The first Sierra Nevada Snowpack survey of the year showed that water content is only 19% of average for this time of year. “We’ve turned into crisis managers up here, and this is the biggest drought that we’ve seen in our lifetime,” says Berryhill. “Can we get the ‘March Miracle’ (rain and snow), sure, but to count on those types of things happening is very dangerous. I would love to see us do something that is proactive.”
Berryhill noted that he will also push for changes to the California Environmental Quality Act again this session, and push for legislation to help hydraulic oil fracturing, better known as “fracking.”