Capitol Alert

July 15, 2014

AM Alert: State water board considers more drought cutbacks

As California’s severe drought continues, so do efforts to conserve what little water the state does have.

Capitol Alert

The go-to source for news on California policy and politics

As California’s severe drought continues, so do efforts to conserve what little water the state does have.

After previously issuing curtailment orders to some rights holders to stop diverting water from streams and rivers, the state has now turned its attention to conservation efforts among urban water users.

The State Water Resources Control Board will consider emergency regulations today that would place prohbitions on wasteful activities such as excessively watering a lawn in a manner that causes runoff, cleaning a car with a hose that has no shutoff valve, and washing down hard surfaces like driveways and sidewalks. Under the new rules, violators could be fined up $500 per day.

Water suppliers will also be affected by orders to implement mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use and submit monitoring reports to the state. The water board is expected to vote on the proposed regulations during its 9 a.m. meeting at the Cal/EPA Building on I Street.

VIDEO: Californians have been trying for decades to split themselves up, and Tim Draper’s latest effort is no more likely succeed, Dan Walters says.

NO FRACKING WATER: Gov. Jerry Brown has already resisted plenty of calls for a moratorium on fracking, so opponents of the contentious oil extraction method are trying a new tactic: using the drought. Arguing that oil companies should also play their part in statewide efforts to conserve water, Californians Against Fracking will urge the governor to ban the drilling process, which involves injecting a mixture of water and chemicals underground to break up rock formations, during a protest at 10:30 a.m. outside the state water board meeting. Concerned that the technique may be polluting groundwater, environmentalists have made an ongoing issue out of Brown’s support of fracking.

GO YOUR OWN WAY: Are Californians ready to go their separate ways and split the state into six? Supporters of the controversial Six Californias initiative sure hope so, and they’re giving voters two years to get behind America’s biggest breakup since the Civil War. Venture capitalist Draper, who has spearheaded the effort, will present signatures to qualify the proposal for the November 2016 ballot, 10 a.m. at the Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections office.

AIR YOU OKAY?: Ambient particle pollution has been linked to increased heart and lung disease, but can it also affect the central nervous system, including the brain? Michael T. Kleinman, a professor of medicine at UC Irvine, presents his research as part of the California Air Resources Board’s seminar series, 1:30 p.m. at the Cal/EPA Building.

READ MORE:

Water cutbacks looming for California farmers, water agencies

Emergency rules would add teeth to California water-conservation rules

Six-states measure would make immediate changes even without congressional sign-off

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