SACRAMENTO, CA (July 14, 2008) – California Senate President pro Tem Don Perata and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass today announced their intention to send critical water conservation legislation to Governor Schwarzenegger this year. AB 2175, a water conservation bill, is co-authored by Assembly Members John Laird and Michael Feuer, and sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The legislation directs the state to reduce per capita urban water use 20 percent by 2020 and would require agricultural water users to implement efficient water management practices.
“California can be smarter and more efficient in the way we use water,” said Ronnie Cohen, senior policy analyst at NRDC. “Water efficiency can help assure safe and reliable drinking water supplies, save consumers and businesses money, and help us build a stronger economy. Increased water conservation will be particularly important as we face the likely impacts of global warming on California’s water supply.”
Also in the legislative package announced today is SB 1xx (Perata), which appropriates more than $800 million from existing bonds to improve water supply reliability, water quality, flood management, conservation, and ecosystem restoration.
“Improving California’s water management requires smart investment now,” said Cohen. “Thanks to the generosity of California’s voters, the state already has real money available to take action. SB 1xx is needed to make a difference now.”
AB 2175 implements Governor Schwarzenegger’s call earlier this year for a 20 percent reduction in per capita water use. AB 2175 is endorsed by the editorial boards of the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Jose Mercury News, as well as receiving prominent support from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, the League of Women Voters, and numerous environmental organizations. The bill passed the Assembly with bipartisan support earlier this year and will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee in August 2008.