Long-Term Conservation Legislation Maintains Appropriate Local Control

By May 18, 2018News, News & Info

John Woodling, Executive Director of the Regional Water Authority, which represents 21 water providers serving 2 million people in the Sacramento region, issued the following statement regarding bills AB 1668 by Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) and SB 606 by Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for signature. The legislation would, in part, authorize the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt a variety of enforceable water use standards, including standards for outdoor residential use, and contain new requirements for drought planning.

“Over the past two years, the Regional Water Authority has been working with a broad coalition of water suppliers, associations and business groups to develop and shape legislation on long-term water efficiency and drought planning that strikes the right balance between making water efficiency a California way of life and maintaining local control over water management decisions that impact our economy and quality of life.

“AB 1668 and SB 606 establish a water use efficiency and drought preparedness framework that assigns appropriate roles for the state Legislature, state agencies and urban water suppliers.

“The legislation retains local authority to define water conservation measures that are appropriate for our community and requires state regulatory agencies to adopt variances that account for unique local conditions rather than handing permanent, unchecked power to regulators to set and enforce water use targets.

“The bills also strengthen drought planning while recognizing the need to protect and incentivize investments by local water providers and their customers in building reliable water supplies rather than mandating a one-size-fits-all approach that would ration water even when local supplies are secure.

“The Sacramento region is committed to supporting long-term water efficiency as an important part of a comprehensive approach to creating a reliable water supply for California. AB 1668 and SB 606 create the right framework and path forward.  We commend the bills’ authors for their efforts, and especially want to recognize Assemblymember Blanca Rubio who was critical to getting key amendments across the finish line.

“Now that the lengthy process to develop legislation is near its end, we look forward to working with the State Water Board and Department of Water Resources to define the details of implementation.”

John Woodling is Executive Director of the Regional Water Authority, a joint powers authority representing two dozen water providers and affiliates in the greater Sacramento area. Its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources.

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