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OPINION: California’s New Water Rationing Law Is A Tax In Disguise, Complete With Fines

Last week’s column about California’s new water rationing apparently upset some of the Golden State’s swamp. This columnist pointed out that a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown set new “standards” of water usage. Here’s what their water-rationing bill (now law) says, in language everyone can understand: “The bill, until January 1, 2025, would establish 55 gallons per capita daily as the standard for indoor residential water use. … The bill would impose civil liability for a violation of an order or regulation issued pursuant to these provisions, as specified.”

LA Is Doing Water Better Than Your City. Yes, That LA

The frantic phone calls to the Community Water Center began in the summer of 2014. In the 7,000-strong unincorporated community of East Porterville, nestled against California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, homeowners’ wells were failing amid a historic drought. Folks were hauling water from their workplaces or from agricultural wells. Parents were sending their kids to shower at the local high school. Residents with still-functional wells were snaking hoses over fences to nourish their neighbors.

Senate GOP Drops ‘Poison Pills’ From Key Spending Bill

Senate Republicans are ridding a key spending bill of controversial environmental provisions opposed by Democrats in an attempt to avoid the annual year-end budget pileup. Tuesday’s move by Sen. Lisa Murkowski extends an olive branch to Democrats and could allow the first floor debate on a key spending bill for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency since former President Barack Obama’s first year in office. It’s all part of an effort to avoid a catchall “omnibus” spending bill.

Judge Sides With City Of Fresno, Says City Can Impose Water Fees For New Development

A Fresno Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the city of Fresno and upheld new water fees that ensure new homes will have enough water after some of Fresno’s largest developers filed a petition against the fees. Judge James M. Petrucelli issued his ruling May 30, saying attorneys for Granville Homes, Wathen Castanos Peterson Homes and Lennar Homes failed to show the fees exceeded reasonable costs, that they would be used for another purpose or that the fees are unlawful.

Ventura County Farmers Celebrate The Launch Of California’s First Water Monitoring Program

Farmers and public officials celebrated the launch of a historic water monitoring program during a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday afternoon in Oxnard. Monday’s celebration, part of the multi-phase Advanced Metering Infrastructure and Water Market program, installed telemetry hardware on an agricultural well owned by Oxnard farmer Fred Van Wingerden. The technology will precisely monitor the amount of water used by the farm. Previously, farmers would self-report their water usage, which raised questions of accuracy.

Inspector General: 2 US Dams At Risk Of ‘Insider Threats’

Two dams critical to U.S. national security are at high risk for “insider threats” that could impair operations because of poor computer security practices such as too many employees having access to administrator accounts and failures to routinely change passwords, according to a new inspector general report.