According to Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's office, the $588 million proposal would fund shovel-ready water projects, clear away some regulations and help water agencies use existing supplies more efficiently. More specifically, it would increase the use of clean recycled water, encourage conservation programs and expand the use of captured storm-water
About $470 million would come from Proposition 84 bond funds currently in the governor's January budget proposal; the bill would speed up the use of that money, rather than waiting for the budget to become law in July. The rest of the money would come from Prop 1E bond funds, cap-and-trade revenues and the state's general fund.
The urgency legislation could be unveiled within days – with the goal of enacting it into law in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, Brown had some advice for Californians as he met with water managers in Los Angeles Thursday:
"Don’t flush more than you have to, don’t shower longer than you need to, and turn the water off when you’re shaving or brushing your teeth."
~Gov. Jerry Brown
January brought above-average rainfall and snow to much of California, partly due to El Niño. But forecasters say the ocean warming condition is "taking a break" for the next week or longer.
The U.S. Drought Monitor says, other than a slight reduction in exceptional drought in the northern Sierra, it needs more time to assess impacts of the recent moisture on California's long-term drought.
California regulators have made modest adjustments to water conservation requirements for cities.
The second measurement this winter of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada was 130 percent of average. State water officials say the snowpack will help reservoir recovery.
California's water conservation rate dropped to 18 percent in December. But water regulators say the state continues to meet its long term goals.