Friday, June 19, 2015

Budget battle

State lawmakers move to merge public water agencies

Drought legislation part of budget package. CAPITAL PUBLIC RADIO

Capital Public Radio
BREAKING NEWS:
Legislature passes anti-drought measure imposing fines, water system consolidation

Bloomberg News

California lawmakers are poised to pass a bill allowing regulators to merge some of the state's 8,000 public water systems as a record drought depletes supplies. The legislation, one of two dozen needed to enact the $115.4 billion state budget, has sparked a fight between Gov. Jerry Brown's administration and leaders of tiny water districts. Proponents say the legislation would shore up safe drinking water; the state's water agency lobby say it's an infringement on local control.

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CEQA exemptions for water projects in budget bill

Sacramento Bee

Some drought-related groundwater and water recycling projects would gain exemptions from the California Environmental Quality Act under late-emerging legislation at the Capitol. The language would exempt certain groundwater replenishment projects and the development of building standards by state agencies for recycled water systems. It would also exempt from CEQA the adoption of stricter conditions regulating the issuance of permits for wells.

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Drought's effect: Sinking land puts bridges at risk

KNTV San Jose

As the state's historic drought continues, farmers are straining California's rich groundwaters so fast, the soil is actually sinking. All this pumping depletes ancient aquifers deep underground, causing the earth to compact and sink. One side effect of this is that long, heavy pieces of infrastructure like roads and bridges are sinking as well and suffering damage as the earth buckles around it.

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