Water district bill escapes Assembly

May 28, 2014

vineyardsA 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.

 


22 Comments

  1. pasovino says:

    Sue Luft Likes being associated with power and money- She is IN Business now! And WAY over her head. She is nothing but a pawn used in this water grab for corporate Ag.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Pelican1 says:

    For those who aren’t sure about the idea of a growing bureaucracy, in this case intended to manage water, take a drive up I-5 between Kettlemen City and Sacramento and look how well water has been managed by our beloved government.
    As the Central Valley farmers so accurately describe it…it’s now become a dust bowl.
    Lets not let that happen here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. SLOthinker says:

    Here is a link to the text of the bill:
    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB2453

    The bill say’s the board will be 9 members. 2 elected by landowners with greater than 400 acres. 2 from 40-400, 2 from less than 40 and 3 from residents.

    So the big land owners will control from 2-4 votes, with residents and small land owners controlling the rest.

    Now this doesn’t sound so bad at first glance. But lets look at who will be voting as a resident. The bill says they are all the residents in the district. Here may be the problem:

    http://www.praags.org/files/PRAAG_36x31_WaterDistrictBoundary_091213.pdf

    That is a link to the proposed boundaries from PRAAGS. You will notice that most of Paso is excluded from the district. So the board may end up being controlled by the big landowners.

    Think about the elections will go in the future after the dust settles. If the district is only rural voters, there won’t be a large pool of voters. Most of the voters that don’t have a lot of land won’t even pay attention. The big land owners can finance some slick campaigns. Nobody that would represent the greater population will bother to run.

    The bills says LAFCO will form the district boundaries, so the real fight here needs to be to make sure that LAFCO forms boundaries that includes a larger population pool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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