Sacramento's Hopeful Catch-22

Policymakers are closer than ever to coming to an agreement on comprehensive water legislation. They've agreed on major parts, but have yet to officially finalize the details.
October 22, 2009, 12pm PDT | Alek Miller
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The major components of the legislation have been agreed upon, but the legislation hasn't been written yet. Before it's written, they want a firmer agreement on the details of the legislation. Before they can agree, it has to be written.

"Negotiators are on the brink of achieving the most comprehensive California water legislation in half a century. They're also in danger of an embarrassing belly flop."

"San Francisco and East Bay interests also are suspicious that the grand plan would endanger their water rights. Negotiators will try to satisfy them with non-guaranteeing 'comfort language.'

There's a debate about how stiff the penalties should be for illegally diverting water.

An ambitious groundwater monitoring program had been controversial, but has been resolved. Rather than state workers checking on farmers' wells, that would be left to local officials. If they were lax, the local areas wouldn't qualify for state bond money.

But the biggies basically are settled: the canal, dams, delta restoration, a new governing structure for the estuary and the conservation concept."

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Published on Thursday, October 22, 2009 in Los Angeles Times
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