Capitol Insider

Updates and analysis on water issues in Sacramento and Washington

Bay-Delta San Joaquin County, California

Water Agencies Help Avoid Tax on Drinking Water

After years of effort, water agencies across San Diego County and the state have helped to prevent an unprecedented tax on drinking water while ensuring funding for clean water initiatives in disadvantaged communities. On July 24, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that provides $130 million annually for the next 10 years to clean up […]

Safe Drinking Water Fund Passes California Legislature

California Legislature Passes Safe Drinking Water Fund

The state Assembly and Senate passed legislation to provide $130 million to provide safe drinking water for Californians lacking access to healthy water. The state Senate approved the bill 38-1 Monday. The Assembly passed the bill 68-0 on July 5. The legislation now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature. No water tax Newsom […]

Pumped Hydro 2 - SanV-WaterAuthority-May 2019

Water Authority Supports Bill to Spur Pumped Storage Projects

A bill that the San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors voted to support in March is scheduled for a hearing Thursday in the state Senate Appropriations Committee. The proposed state legislation promotes the development of pumped hydroelectric storage projects to help meet state energy and climate goals. Senate Bill 772 by Sen. Steven […]

The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors supports a statewide solution to provide safe, reliable drinking water to all residents. Photo: Traphitho-Cesar-Augusto-Ramirez-VallejoPixabayCC

Water Authority Seeks Statewide Solution to Drinking Water Woes

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on March 28 threw its support behind a coordinated statewide approach to ensure that all communities in California have daily access to safe, reliable drinking water. The California State Water Resources Control Board has identified 329 water systems statewide that serve contaminated drinking water or cannot […]

A bill in the California state Legislature aims to boost jobs for vets to help meet the needs of the aging water industry workforce. Photo; Water Authority

Water Authority Bill Aims to Boost Water Industry Jobs for Veterans

July 10, 2019 update: Assembly Bill 1588 passed the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on a 6-0 vote July 9 and will be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 12. May 29, 2019 update: Assembly Bill 1588 passed the state Assembly on a 78-0 vote on May 23 and is now under consideration by […]

Agency managers challenge the ‘tax con job’

Two water agency general managers in San Diego County have co-authored an opinion piece in the Escondido Times-Advocate that opposes a proposal in the state Legislature to add a “voluntary donation” to water bills. The new approach is designed to sidestep opposition to a water tax, which failed this summer to get necessary support in […]

Water Service Shut-Off Bill Opposed by Water Authority

A coalition of organizations, including the San Diego County Water Authority, is opposing proposed state legislation that would change existing water service shut-off procedures used by public water agencies when customers become significantly delinquent on water bill payments. Senate Bill 998 by Senator Bill Dodd (Napa) would replace current shut-off processes, which are tailored by […]

Water Authority General Manager Maureen Stapleton, State Sen. Ben Hueso, Water Authority Board Chair Mark Muir, and Christy Guerin, chair of the Water Authority’s Legislation and Public Outreach Committee (left to right). Photo: Water Authority

State Sen. Hueso’s Interest in Water Runs Deep

San Diego County is a leader in water conservation and management strategies that will become even more critical in coming years, state Sen. Ben Hueso (San Diego) said during an Aug. 1 Legislative Roundtable at the San Diego County Water Authority’s headquarters. “San Diego is really a model in the state,” Hueso told an audience […]

Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, chairwoman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, officials from the San Diego County Water Authority and several of its member agencies, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, the Industrial Environmental Association, and more than 30 agencies and organizations have voiced strong opposition to any effort by state legislators to impose a drinking water tax.

San Diego Coalition Remains Vigilant on Water Tax

Due in part to vigorous statewide opposition by a coalition of business, civic, and water industry officials, a proposed $135 million per year tax on drinking water in California has failed to advance in the state Legislature. But opponents of the bill said their victory should be considered temporary, and the anti-water-tax coalition in San […]

California State Capitol Building Dome

Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose Proposed Water Tax

California voters overwhelmingly oppose state legislation that would create a new tax on drinking water, according to a recent poll of likely 2018 voters around the state. In all, 73 percent said they opposed Senate legislation that would impose a tax on residential customers across the state in order to fund safe drinking water for […]

California State Capitol Building Dome

State Waits for New Water-Efficiency Proposals

SACRAMENTO – Stakeholders statewide are reviewing and analyzing recently released new legislative language for two water-use efficiency bills that generated opposition by water agencies, including the Water Authority, when they were introduced last year. The companion bills – AB 1668 authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (Burbank) and SB 606 by Sen. Bob Hertzberg (Van Nuys) […]

California State Capitol Building Dome

Water Authority Board Approves Bill Concepts

SACRAMENTO – Water ratepayers across California would benefit from three concepts approved by the San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors for legislation in 2018, and agency staff is seeking to turn the ideas into reality. One bill – AB 2371 – would advance a series of consensus recommendations by a state Independent Technical […]

California State Capitol Building Dome

New Water Tax on Tap in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO – A controversial state Senate bill that would impose new taxes on California water customers is back in the legislative hopper after water agencies helped prevent its passage in 2017. Senate Bill 623 (Monning) proposes taxing fertilizer, dairy products and water customers around the state to address groundwater pollution largely  in agricultural regions of […]