Delta Water Protection Bill Passes Senate Committee

April 29, 2013

SACRAMENTO— Last week, Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) presented Senate Bill 449 to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water. The bill passed committee on a 7-2 vote. SB 449 would prohibit the Department of Water Resources from allocating state funds for water projects that are unable to demonstrate that they are reducing their dependence on the Delta.

 “The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act of 2009 established as state policy the goal of reducing reliance on the Delta in meeting California’s future water supply needs,” said Senator Galgiani. “The goal of my bill is provide guidance to water agencies on how to comply with these existing statutes as new water projects are being undertaken”.

The bill faced heavy opposition from different water contracting agencies largely from Southern California. During committee, Senator Galgiani pledged to work with the opposition in crafting a balanced approach to Delta conservation that would not have unintended consequences.

As noted in the committee analysis, the 2009 water package recognized that state policy is to reduce reliance on the Delta by implementing a statewide strategy to improve regional water supplies.  SB 449 recognizes that each region that depends on water from the Delta shall seek to improve its regional self-reliance through investments in efficient water management practices. 

Senator Galgiani has vowed to use Senate Bill 449 to ensure that Delta protection and the responsible use of limited water resources is an integral part of her legislative priorities in the Senate.