Salas Introduces Water Bill Package to Address Drought

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Sustainable Water Key to Long Term Solutions

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) introduced several bills focused on groundwater management, including Assembly Bill (AB) 935 which would provide funding for the planning, design, and construction of a local and regional conveyance project, the Sustainable Water Conveyance Project, to move water to and from the California aqueduct.

“Last year, we took a major step to combat dry years by passing a historic water bond, but more needs to be done if we are going to solve the water crisis,” said Assemblymember Salas.

AB 935 will support regional and interregional connectivity and water management throughout the Central Valley.  Adequate facilities for water conveyance are critical in order to both optimize storage and facilitate operations.  This project would help increase water availability and expedite deliveries of surplus water in wet years to groundwater and banking facilities.

AB 939 and AB 938 focus on increasing local input regarding groundwater sustainability agencies.  These bills would: 1) provide local agencies with additional needed time to provide data 2) clarify that a groundwater sustainability agency may be established by a single agency or a collaboration of local agencies.

Salas also introduced, AB 936, related to the California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) Program Eligibility.  This bill would ensure grant and loan funds are available to help local entities meet the CASGEM requirements.

“California needs to focus on sustainable groundwater management,” said Assemblymember Salas.  “We need to encourage cooperation between state and regional agencies and ensure that all policies in place are effective.”

Assemblymember Salas also introduced AB 937 to address additional groundwater sustainability related issues.