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Senate Leader Drafting Water Legislation

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Sacramento, CA — The Democratic leader of the California Senate is finalizing legislation in response to the ongoing drought.

The Associated Press reports that Darrell Steinberg’s proposal would send $40 million set aside for climate change relief projects, over to water conservation efforts. Also, $50 million in DWR funding would be used on flood relief programs, in an effort to save water.

The legislation also would create a July 1st deadline for state agencies to approve storm water reuse and recycling projects. Also, in order to avoid a delay on conservation projects, Steinberg will push for changes to the California Environmental Quality act, to ensure that the projects are not held up by lawsuits.

California is facing a record drought. As reported last week, the Sierra Nevada snowpack water content is only 12% of average for this time of year. Steinberg is still working with leaders in the Assembly, and the Governor, regarding details of the bill.

The legislation would focus on the short term problem, and it remains to be seen if a large-scale water bond will have enough traction to be approved this session.