Day of Action Leg Packet & Info
July 5th Day of Action
Meet on July 5th for Team Briefing at 8:15 am in Room 100 of the Legislative Office Building
1020 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Snacks, briefing, and connecting up with your teams!
CONTACT: Johnnie Carlson, PCL firstname.lastname@example.org (916) 206-0837
Lobby Packet Content:
BACKGROUND AND BILL LINKS
Water, just like air, is a public resource – essential to each and every one of us every day of our lives. We changed the way we manage our air starting in the 1960s and we have all benefited in the decades since. Now, in the face of climate change, we must adapt the way we manage our water for the benefit of all.
The understanding and management of water flows, quality, diversions, beneficial uses, and discharge are all essential given California’s limited and potentially dwindling water supply as we face the challenges of climate change and prolonged droughts.
Today, California lacks the fundamental ability to truly assess how much water is available and how much is being used by all water users. Additionally, California water users, planners, and regulators lack the tools needed to address critical shortages to protect downstream water users and the environment. This combined lack of knowledge and tools leads to uncertainty for all water users – unknown and unregulated use by just one diverter can devastate other senior water users downstream as well as the environment.
These three bills are specifically focused on a fair, balanced, equitable, and timely tool set for the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and water rights holders to more quickly address critical shortages in coming droughts and work towards ensuring the most senior water users provide critical information on historical and current use.
These bills are part of a larger strategy California has developed for adapting to climate change. Other efforts underway include groundwater management planning, groundwater recharge projects, urban storm-water capture, water use reduction, reuse, and recycling across all sectors.
We need to build support and momentum for these modest but essential reforms if we are to address climate change and water equity. These bills protect due process rights for water right holders and ensure greater protections for all beneficial uses including housing and farming. The bills seek to protect the rights and access of legal water users against illegal diversions.
Updating California Water Laws to Address Drought and Climate Change. The report contains 11 recommendations to modernize California’s water rights law. Read the full report here – Updating California Water Laws to Address Drought and Climate Change.
Media & News Links
- Water is precious in the American West. California barely even tries to manage it by Dave Owen, Michael Kiparsky, Nell Green Nylen San Francisco Chronicle – Opinion 6-13-23
- California ranchers intentionally violated an emergency water order By Rachel Becker, CalMatters on Capital Public Radio June 10 2023
- Rights to California’s most important resource are built on injustice. New legislation seeks to change that. By Kurtis Alexander, SF Chronicle, June 5, 2023
- Improvised, spotty and belated: Will California reform its oversight of water rights? By Ian James, Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2023
- California’s Water Rights System is Inequitable, Inadequate, and Possibly, About to Change. By Amanda Fencl, Union of Concerned Scientists: May 17, 2023
AB 460 (Bauer-Kahan) Interim Relief
Gives the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) clear authority to limit water diversions from all rights holders when there is a shortage, both during drought emergency and non-drought emergency years, and increases fines for unauthorized water diversions. Co-Authors: Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D) and Assembly Member Laura Friedman (D).
Last/Next Action: Passed Assembly Floor (43 ayes, 20 noes, 17 did not vote). Next: Now a 2-year bill – next action not scheduled.
Fact Sheet: AB 460 Interim Relief
Sponsors: PCL, CalTrout, & Trout Unlimited
Support: CalTrout, Trout Unlimited, PCL, Heal the Bay, NBJWJ, ICARE, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Union of Concerned Scientists, Friends of the Eel, Wholly H20, Friends of the River, Environmental Working Group, Northern CA Council, FFI, EnviroVoters, California Water Research, San Francisco Baykeeper, Laura Stokes Online Art Sales and Gallery, NRDC, Mono Lake Committee, Coastkeeper, GGSA, CSPA, CWA, and trust for Public Land.
AB 1337 (Wicks) Fair Regulation of Water Rights
Grants the SWRCB authority to curtail any diverter, regardless of the basis for their right, when water is not available under the diverter’s priority of right.. Author: Assembly Member Buffy Wicks (D).
Last/Next Action: Passed Assembly Floor (45 ayes, 20 noes, 15 did not vote) Next to Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee July 11th
Fact Sheet: AB 1337 (Wicks) (04-20-23)
Sponsors: PCL & California Coastkeeper Alliance
Support: California Coastkeeper Alliance, Planning and Conservation League, Clean Water Action, Friends of the River, Union of Concerned Scientists, Restore the Delta, Friends of the Eel River, Wholly H2O, Defenders of Wildlife, Ban SUP, League of Women Voters, American Rivers, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Leadership Council, California Water Research, Sierra Club California, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association, Coachella Valley Waterkeeper, Orange County Coastkeeper, Inland Empire Waterkeeper, San Diego Coastkeeper, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, Monterey Waterkeeper, Russian Riverkeeper, Yuba River Waterkeeper, South Yuba River Citizens League, Humboldt Baykeeper. Several other groups have submitted their own support letters including Caltrout, Mono Lake Committee, Trout Unlimited, and California Environmental Voters.
SB 389 (Allen) Surface Water Rights Verification
To obtain a more accurate evaluation of water usage in a given system, SB 389 grants the SWRCB the authority to review, verify, and issue decisions on senior water rights claims not granted via the Water Commission Act of 1913 (the Act), namely pre-1914 appropriative and riparian water rights. Author: Senator Ben Allen (D).
Last/Next Action: Passed Senate Floor (23 ayes, 11 noes, 6 did not vote), next to Assembly Water, Parks, & Wildlife Committee – July 11th.
Fact Sheet: SB 389 Surface Water Right Verification 5.11.23
SB 389 Q & A: SB 389 Q&A
Support: Planning and Conservation League, Wholly H2O, California Coastkeeper Alliance, California Outdoors, Northern California Council, Fly Fishers International, Climate Reality California Coalition, Mono Lake Committee, Climate Reality, California Environmental Voters, Sierra Club California, Natural Heritage Institute, Defenders of Wildlife, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Climate Action California, California Water Research, Friends of the River, Restore the Delta, Trout Unlimited, Union of Concerned Scientists, Coast Action Group.