Signing message from Governor Brown
To Members of the California Legislature:
I am signing AB 1739, SB 1168 and SB 1319, which taken collectively establish a new structure for managing the State’s groundwater.
These bills accomplish a number of goals described in the California Water Action Plan, a five-year plan to sustainably manage our water resources. When combined with other elements outlined in the plan — conservation, water recycling, expanded storage, safe drinking water, wetlands and watershed restoration — and the passage of Proposition 1, we can take giant strides to secure California’s water future.
A central feature of these bills is the recognition that groundwater management in California is best accomplished locally. Local agencies will now have the power to assess the conditions of their local groundwater basins and take the necessary steps to bring those basins in a state of chronic long-term overdraft into balance.
The State’s primary role is to provide guidance and technical support on how to plan for a more sustainable future and to step in on an interim basis when, but only when, local agencies fail to exercise their responsibilities as set forth in this legislation.
My administration will work closely with all affected groups to ensure that the statute is fairly implemented. Further, I will submit for legislative consideration during the next session a proposal to streamline judicial adjudications of groundwater rights.