Regional Water Authority 2013 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda
APPROVED BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT OF RWA MEMBERS – January 15, 2013
The Regional Water Authority (RWA) and its members support improvements in water supply reliability, water quality, and the environment for all of California. Our highest priority is to
sustainably provide high quality water to our customers at affordable rates, both now and in the future to support a vibrant economy, while also promoting the environmental and recreational
needs for water in the region. To this end, we will promote and support legislative and regulatory actions that are consistent with, and may oppose such actions that are inconsistent with the
following objectives and principles.
Water Rights Protection
- Support and enhance the area-of-origin protections provided in California law and policy.
- Maintain the current water rights priority system and not diminish the current definitions of reasonable and beneficial use. We oppose any involuntary or uncompensated reallocation
of water rights and entitlements.
- Support expansion of opportunities to put our water supplies to beneficial uses within the region.
- Except as otherwise agreed as parties to a negotiated package, assure that no new or modified flow or diversion requirements are placed on upstream water users as a result of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and that the current and future water supplies of RWA’s members are not diminished as a result of modified operations of state and federal projects.
- Require an open, transparent public process that is supported by sound scientific understanding in setting flow requirements related to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
- Support locally cost effective actions to improve water supply reliability.
- Support local and regional agreements to balance water supply and environmental needs.
- Support water transfers between willing sellers and buyers.
- Streamline the process for exchanges and transfers of water among water users, particularly within an integrated regional water management planning region.
- Recognize the importance of local and regional actions in the Sacramento River watershed in providing benefits to the Bay-Delta system. Recognize the inherent difference in “net”
water use between those users within a watershed and those who import water from another hydrologic region.
- Recognize the current and ongoing self-reliance on local supplies of water users in the Sacramento region.
- Promote increased development of groundwater storage and conjunctive use programs.
- Support opportunities to take voluntary water management actions that are mutually beneficial to our region and other parts of the state.
Water Use Efficiency
- Ensure that conserved water credit is available to benefit the conserving user.
- Implement water conservation requirements in a manner that is equitable and locally and regionally feasible.
- Recognize that improvements in water use efficiency that provide water to meet future demands in a region represent an increase in regional self reliance.
- Promote the “beneficiary pays” concept for Delta activities and other actions.
- Streamline state regulatory activities to reduce the burden on fee payers.
- Except as otherwise agreed as parties to a negotiated package, require the direct beneficiaries of the BDCP to pay for facilities and all related mitigation measures. No other water supplier should be required to contribute to the funding of: (1) facilities proposed by BDCP; (2) any related mitigation, restoration or physical improvements; or (3) any related federal or state agency actions.
- Halt the trend toward shifting costs of state agency operations to new or increased regulatory fees. Do not impose unreasonable fees on local agencies to fund state agency activities intended to benefit the public generally.
- Limit the potential fees assessed on “Delta stressors” to those impacts that can be adequately demonstrated through sound scientific evidence and appropriately quantified. Ensure that all stressors are addressed to ensure equitable contributions. Do not assess impact fees on activities that are already regulated through one or more regulatory mechanisms or impose multiple state fees on the same local agency activity.
- Use general obligation bond funds or the general fund to promote projects and programs that provide public benefits at a statewide level.
- Reduce the cost of providing water supply while ensuring protection of human health and the environment.
- Promote local water provider authority to plan for and implement local and regional water supply projects and programs.
- Promote local water provider control of water rates, property tax revenues, and other financing mechanisms.
- Support locally cost effective financial tools to promote projects and programs that provide local, and regional, and statewide benefits.
- Support local agency efforts to protect the security of water facilities and infrastructure.
Water Quality and Regulatory Compliance
- Ensure that water quality standards are developed through an appropriate public process with a sound scientific and economic basis.
- Streamline regulatory and environmental processes to reduce costs and improve the timeliness of water management actions.
- Streamline and/or consolidate state and federal regulatory processes.
- Streamline, consolidate or reduce reporting requirements wherever possible.