As water levels in California’s rivers and reservoirs drop, farmers increasingly rely on groundwater. That’s causing land to sink in the San Joaquin Valley. And the state’s reliance is likely to grow.
“They’re may be permanent damage going on to some of our groundwater basins," says Matt Rodriguez, Secretary for the California Environmental Protection Agency.
"We’re seeing subsidence in portions of the state, those are situations where state action may be warranted,” he says.
Governor Brown’s budget would fund more staff and spend almost eight million dollars on managing and monitoring groundwater use. Kathryn Phillips with the Sierra Club is pleased.
“Groundwater is something that we haven’t monitored very well in this state we haven’t regulated very well and this is a case where more regulation is needed,” she says.
Rodriguez says the state would only step in if local or regional agencies are unable or unwilling to manage groundwater.
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown is throwing the full weight of his office behind his push for a new state budget reserve by calling the legislature into special session next week. Republicans say he’ll have to strengthen his proposal to win their support.
Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg wants to exempt vehicle fuels from California’s cap-and-trade system, which they’re currently set to enter next year. Instead, he wants a carbon tax at the gas pump.
Affordable housing projects in California lost their most reliable funding source when the state dissolved redevelopment agencies a couple of years ago. Now, there’s growing support to find money for affordable housing once again.
Governor Jerry Brown says California’s different regions make it hard to develop water policies that would satisfy the entire state. Meanwhile, a lawmaker wants to quintuple state funding to the California Arts Council.
Governor Jerry Brown has landed a big win in court. The three judge panel overseeing state prisons has given the Brown Administration an additional two years to downsize the inmate population by another 5,000 inmates.