Bill Text: CA SB366 | 2023-2024 | Regular Session | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: The California Water Plan: long-term supply targets.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Engrossed) 2023-07-11 - July 11 set for first hearing canceled at the request of author. [SB366 Detail]

Download: California-2023-SB366-Introduced.html


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2023–2024 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 366


Introduced by Senator Caballero

February 08, 2023


An act relating to water.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 366, as introduced, Caballero. The California Water Plan: long-term supply targets.
Existing law requires the Department of Water Resources to update every 5 years the plan for the orderly and coordinated control, protection, conservation, development, and use of the water resources of the state, which is known as the California Water Plan. Existing law requires the department to include a discussion of various strategies in the plan update, including, but not limited to, strategies relating to the development of new water storage facilities, water conservation, water recycling, desalination, conjunctive use, water transfers, and alternative pricing policies that may be pursued in order to meet the future needs of the state.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations and state the intent of the Legislature to enact future legislation that modernizes the California Water Plan, including the establishment of long-term water supply targets.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) To thrive as a state, California needs a reliable supply of water for urban, agricultural, and environmental uses that is completely resilient to climate change.
(b) California’s existing water level is highly reliant on capturing the snow melt on an annual basis. That captured water is stored in lakes, reservoirs, and groundwater basins, and is then transported around the state for environmental, residential, business, and agricultural use when needed.
(c) California has the most intricate and elaborate system of water conveyance in the world.
(d) The volume of water used by people in California for agriculture, urban, and environmental purposes ranges from 60,000,000 to 90,000,000 acre-feet per year.
(e) Per-capita water use has declined over time, thanks to water-saving indoor plumbing fixtures and appliances, better leak detection, development of potable and nonpotable water reuse projects, and efforts to reduce outdoor water use.
(f) Over the last two years, scientists and water managers have been alarmed by the accelerating impacts of the warming climate on our water supply.
(g) Hotter and drier weather is estimated to diminish our existing water supply by 10 percent to 20 percent.
(h) A loss of 10 percent of our existing water supply due to hotter and drier conditions could mean the disappearance of about 6,000,000 to 9,000,000 acre-feet of water.
(i) For comparison’s sake, California’s largest reservoir, the Shasta Reservoir, holds 4,500,000 acre-feet of water.
(j) Many rivers, lakes, and estuaries are being impacted by declining water quality, including increases in harmful algae blooms.
(k) The California central valley has a groundwater overdraft of 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 acre-feet of water.
(l) Following more than two decades of “megadrought” in the Colorado River Basin, reservoir levels are so low that near-term supply cuts are likely.
(m) California’s precipitation is changing from seasonal snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to periods of substantial rainfall, including atmospheric rivers.
(n) The shift to drier dry years and wetter wet years makes it imperative that the State of California develop comprehensive wet-year strategies that take full advantage of times of abundance, while also ensuring public safety from floods.
(o) It is imperative that California capture more water from atmospheric rivers and other storms that occur during dry years to help fill groundwater basins and surface storage.
(p) California is the nation’s agricultural powerhouse, accounting for 12 percent of the nation’s agricultural production in 2021, including more than 70 percent of the nation’s fruits and nuts.
(q) The agriculture sector produces annual revenues of more than $50 billion, employs more than 420,000 people, and supports large food and beverage processing industries.
(r) According to the Department of Water Resources, there is the potential for more than 13,000,000 acre-feet of groundwater recharge annually, with more than 2,500,000 acre-feet being possible using existing infrastructure.
(s) The Department of Water Resources describes a statewide capacity in groundwater basins in the range of 1,000,000,000 acre-feet or approximately 20 times the total surface water storage capacity statewide.
(t) California is home to cutting-edge, job-creating industries such as those in Silicon Valley and southern California’s biotechnology industry.
(u) It is essential for our economy, environment, and well-being that California increases the resilience of the state’s water supplies.
(v) California must make a historic change in how water is provided for environmental, residential, business, and agricultural uses.

SEC. 2.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to enact future legislation that modernizes the California Water Plan, including the establishment of long-term water supply targets.
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