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California legislators strike a final water deal

The package includes an $11-billion bond measure, groundwater monitoring and a conservation plan. Some critics call the policy changes weak and harmful to salmon fisheries.

November 05, 2009|Bettina Boxall

She cited a requirement that the state water board set standards for how much water must flow through the delta to maintain a healthy estuary. The measure also makes it official policy that the state reduce its reliance on the beleaguered delta as a water supply.

The urban conservation targets, she added, move water-saving out of the realm of "if I feel like it" to targets and actions.


Times staff writer Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento contributed to this report.



Fine points of the package

Highlights of the water legislation:


Authorizes an $11.1-billion water bond to pay for new storage, ecosystem restoration, water supply improvements and watershed protections. Would go on the November 2010 ballot for voter approval.


Establishes a statewide groundwater monitoring program.


Sets a statewide conservation target of a 20% reduction in urban per capita water use by 2020.


Creates a new oversight council for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta; directs that the delta be managed for the twin goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem protection.


Beefs up the State Water Resources Control Board enforcement staff with 25 additional officers.

Source: Graphics reporting by Bettina Boxall

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