California Lawmakers Eye New Trims to Judicial Process to Sidestep Environmental Red Tape

A debate in California’s Assembly about whether to fast-track bills looking to trim down the state’s notoriously laborious environmental review process caused some pushback on behalf of public transparency.

State lawmakers convened the last in a series of informational committees serving as the first public hearings on Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed policy and budget package for the coming year.

Bill to Create Salton Sea Conservancy Moves Forward in State Legislature

Legislation introduced by Sen. Steve Padilla of San Diego to create the Salton Sea Conservancy moved forward this week with a unanimous vote in the state Senate.

Senate Bill 583 would create a new state agency to unify California’s efforts to expedite preservation, protect residents’ health, and foster ecological recovery of the shrinking sea.

“The environmental calamity at the Salton Sea is decades in the making,” said Padilla. “It is going to take unprecedented collaboration at all levels of governmental to adequately address this challenge.”

Legislation to Curb Water Use for Irrigation Clears California Assembly

A pair of California bills aimed at curbing water use for landscaping has cleared the California State Assembly.

On Wednesday, AB 1573, which requires the use of California native plants, and AB 1572, banning the use of potable water for irrigation on non-functional turf, passed onto the Senate.

San Diego Leaders Call for Critical Investment into Water Infrastructure

For years, water infrastructure in California has awaited critical repair. In the midst of perpetual drought and water unavailability, the state has been unable to repair the storage facilities that store water when it does finally rain.

Water is Expensive in California. A New Bill Could Change That

Last month, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot warned Bay Area residents to brace for a fourth dry year in a row. As the state’s drought continues to compromise the drinking water supply of millions of people across the state, for some Californians, scarcity isn’t the only reason they can’t access water.

For California’s low-income communities, the cost of potable water is increasingly out of reach.

Opinion: This Proposed Ballot Measure Would Make You Pay for the Ag Industry’s Water Inefficiency

Whoever coined the phrase “Whisky is for drinking, water is for fighting” didn’t have things quite right.

In California, water is for scamming. The newest example is a majestically cynical ploy being foisted on taxpayers by some of the state’s premier water hogs, in the guise of a proposed ballot measure titled the “Water Infrastructure Funding Act of 2022” — or, as its promoters call it, the More Water Now initiative.

Water Authority Gets $36 Million Back in Rate Dispute with Metropolitan Water

The Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District will pay damages and interest totaling $36 million to the San Diego County Water Authority in a long-running dispute over water transport charges.

The decision by Metropolitan Water’s board followed a California Court of Appeal decision upholding earlier rulings in favor of San Diego. The latest payment will bring the San Diego authority’s cash recovery on behalf of local ratepayers to more than $80 million. Compensation for attorney fees is also possible, potentially bringing the total to $94 million.

In Response to Western Drought, a Flood of Legislation

Las Vegas visitors can still snap selfies with the mermaids swimming among tropical fish in the Silverton Casino’s massive aquarium and gaze at the colorful dancing water displays of the iconic Bellagio fountains — for now.

But southern Nevada and much of the American West are struggling to cope with a worsening drought that has strained municipal water supplies, agricultural operations and wildlife populations.

Proposed Federal Grant Program Could Bolster Lake Mead Water Levels

Water officials in Las Vegas are backing a federal bill that could help pay for a California project that would leave more water in Lake Mead.

Calif. Senate Advances Bill to Spend $785mil to Repair Valley Canals

A bill aimed at improving the Valley’s two largest canal systems from continued subsidence-driven damage advanced through one house of the California State Legislature on Friday.

Senate Bill 559, a top priority for legislators on both side of the aisle in the San Joaquin Valley and led by Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Sanger), seeks to dedicate $785 million in spending for improvements to four sets of waterways, spearheaded by two canals servicing the Central Valley Project: the Delta-Mendota Canal and the Friant-Kern Canal.