Newsom Loosens Rules to Allow More Floodwater to Flow Into Underground Reservoirs

As another round of heavy storms battered California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that he would ease state rules to allow local water agencies to more easily redirect floodwaters to replenish the state’s severely depleted groundwater supplies.

The move comes amid criticism that California has flushed trillions of gallons of water out to sea during this winter’s repeated deluges. Water agencies and experts say the state’s strict rules that limit who can take water from streams and creeks have prohibited the local agencies from capturing the excessive flows, though California desperately needs to bank water for its next drought.