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Senate committee approves bills to modernize state water system

Posted: April 29, 2014 1:28 p.m.
Updated: April 29, 2014 1:28 p.m.
 

SACRAMENTO – The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved two bills in a package of legislation by committee chair Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) to modernize California’s water system.

“With 38 million people and a warming climate, California is pushing up against the limits of our finite water supply,” Senator Pavley said. “Meeting the challenges of the future will require more reliable, sustainable approaches to water and greater regional self-sufficiency.”

Senate Bill 1259 directs the Department of Water Resources to measure sediment in state reservoirs and identify locations where sediment removal would be most cost-effective. Researchers estimate that sediment has reduced nearly 190 reservoirs to less than half of their capacity and more than a 120 reservoirs to less than a quarter of their capacity. The diminished capacity adds up to an estimated 1.7 million acre feet, enough water for about 3.4 million families.

Senate Bill 1036 authorizes urban water management plans to document energy use and include energy considerations in water planning. Water-related energy use consumes nearly 20 percent of the state’s electricity.

In addition to the two bills approved Tuesday, the following legislation was approved by the committee April 22:

• SB 985: Refocuses stormwater planning to encourage the capture and use of stormwater and dry weather runoff.
 
• SB 1049: Updates the Integrated Regional Water Management Plan process to incentivize the development of energy and climate change models.

• SB 1168: Calls for local and regional groundwater management and authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board to manage groundwater under certain conditions.

Note: The Signal delivers press releases from reliable sources to provide up-to-the-minute information to our website readers. Information from these releases has not been vetted by The Signal news room. It may appear subsequently in news stories after it has been vetted.

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