Tag Archive for: water laws

Opinion: Legislature Must Remake Water Laws for a Drier California

California’s water laws are stuck in the past. The Legislature can—indeed, it must—make the changes to state law necessary to address the 21st century’s complex water challenges.

A recent decision by California’s Sixth District Court of Appeal highlights everything that’s wrong with California water law. The ruling blocks the State Water Resources Control Board’s authority to reduce water deliveries to a group of water districts amid California’s ongoing drought.

San Francisco Sues State Over Bid to Restrict its Sierra Water Supplies

The city of San Francisco is reviving a long-simmering feud with the state over water, filing a lawsuit Friday that charges state regulators with trying to take away the city’s coveted Sierra Nevada water supplies.

The suit claims the state water board is demanding the city forfeit too much water from the Tuolumne River as part of a licensing deal for two dams in the faraway basin. State regulators have said the water is needed to maintain proper river flows and support struggling salmon, but city officials contend the demands would leave Bay Area residents and businesses vulnerable to water shortages.

Everything You Need to Know About California’s Historic Water Law

California began regulating surface water in rivers and streams in 1914, but it took the state another 100 years to look underground.

In 2014, for the first time in its history, California passed a law regulating the use of groundwater – the resource on which 85% of its population and much of its $50bn agriculture industry rely.

Time’s Up on Groundwater Plans: One of the Most Important New California Water Laws in 50 Years Explained

Much of California’s water supply is a hidden asset: Deep below the surface, rocks, gravel and sand store water like a sponge, in an underground zone called an aquifer.

In dry years, this groundwater has been tapped to save farms, keep grass green and provide drinking water to millions of Californians. But over time, people have taken more water out than nature has put back in.