Update from the Pacific Institute California Drought Response Group – October 13


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This week in… Governor Brown’s Office

On Friday, October 9th, Governor Brown signed 24 bills related to water management and use. Among these, the following are particularly notable:

  • SB 555 requires California’s urban water departments and private water companies to audit their systems and report their annual water loss to the state starting in Oct. 1, 2017.
  • AB 1164 bars cities and counties from enforcing laws that prohibit residents from replacing lawns with artificial turf or other drought-tolerant landscaping.
  • AB 401 directs the State Board to report to the Legislature on its findings regarding the feasibility, financial stability, and desired structure of a Low-Income Water Rate Assistance Program. The report will include any recommendations for legislative action that may need to be taken.
  • SB 664 requiring water agencies to assess water infrastructure systems and report on their vulnerability to earthquakes. The bill was authored by state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys
  • AB 617 and AB 939 add some clarifications to last year’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. AB 1390 and SB 226 add special procedures and clarifications to the groundwater adjudication process.
  • AB 606 will require state properties to modernize irrigation systems and to implement drought tolerant landscaping, with an emphasis on native plants. This bill was proposed earlier this year by the pupils in Ms. Laura Honda’s fourth grade class at Manor Elementary School in Fairfax, CA.

In other news…

California Drought Status

Drought Monitor

Drought conditions remain unchanged from two weeks ago.

Reservoir Conditions

Statewide, California’s major reservoirs (representing 27.3 million acre-feet of storage) are at 27% of capacity and 48% of group average.