Water district bill escapes Assembly
May 28, 2014
A bill to create a water district managing the Paso Robles water basin easily passed the state Assembly today on a 41-8 vote, and now goes to committees of the Upper House for consideration.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo), AB 2453 is a response to efforts of about a dozen advocates of a district to regulate a basin that has been impacted by heavy agricultural irrigation.
When Achadjian’s bill was in its initial test before his own Local Government Committee, there were 10 letters of support, and more than 150 expressing opposition. Advocates, however, claim “widespread support” among community members.
The bill would allow formation of a “hybrid” California water district using a one-acre, one-vote concept. Ultimately the district’s management would be decided in the same manner, critics contend, allowing large landowners primary control.
Opposition to the bill and the water district as presently conceived centers around voting procedures. Diverse groups from the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations to Teamsters of California are lobbying against it.