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May 6, 2014 > Water Conservation and Emergency Drought Relief Legislation

Water Conservation and Emergency Drought Relief Legislation

Submitted By Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-East Bay)

Although precious rain recently fell on our local communities, I have had scores of conversations over the last few weeks and months with local residents at farmersÕ markets, town halls and community events about a topic that remains at the forefront of our minds: CaliforniaÕs drought.

Unfortunately, the recent rainfall has only minimally impacted our depleting water supply. Further aggravated by a low snow pack, CaliforniaÕs severe water crisis has prompted Governor Jerry Brown to declare a Drought State of Emergency. California State Senate leadership accepted the GovernorÕs call to action by developing a proposal allocating over half a billion dollars to implement shovel-ready water projects in communities throughout the state, assist agricultural communities and prevent drinking water shortages. Fortunately, the legislation passed quickly through the Legislature and the Governor promptly signed it so we can deliver much needed relief to local communities. The Tri-Valley water agency, Zone 7, is receiving only 5% of its normal water allocation from the state, for example.

As a longtime advocate for our environment and local communities, I will continue working closely with my colleagues in Sacramento to address pertinent water issues to help secure CaliforniaÕs water future. It is crucial that we recognize local water districts that have responded quickly and appropriately to address water reliability and conservation.

The Governor has instructed state agencies to begin water conservation efforts and has recommendedÑthough not yet mandatedÑthat state residents reduce their water use by 20%. State water agencies must work collaboratively with stakeholders and residents to manage CaliforniaÕs water supply, while simultaneously assist farmers and communities that are most impacted by the drought. As a result of the ongoing dry conditions, the state has begun a statewide public awareness campaign called ÒSave our H2O.Ó

As Californians, we can conserve water by implementing some of the daily tips offered by ÒSave our WaterÓ at, such as:
* Take shorter showers, use a low-flow shower head and turn off water whenever possible.
* Place mulch around plants and combine with a drip system to conserve gallons of water each time you water outdoors.
* Plant drought-resistant trees and plants that are most appropriate for your climate.

Please also consult my Senate website at where I have posted additional important informationÑboth in English and SpanishÑregarding water conservation and drought measures.

You can find more information at the following websites from water agencies and water districts in the 10th State Senate District:
* Alameda County Water District:
* City of Hayward:
* City of Milpitas:
* City of Pleasanton:
* City of Santa Clara:
* East Bay Municipal Utility District:
* San Jose Water Company:
* Santa Clara Valley Water District:
* Zone 7 Water Agency:

I encourage each of you to take immediate action and begin conserving water. I have heard recently from some constituents that they are worried that they may be penalized for voluntarily cutting back on water use, if and when, water rationing becomes mandatory, as it has in some communities in the 10th District and in other parts of the state. Water districts assure me that is not the case, so please continue to do your part to help our state and local communities.

As the State Senator representing the 10th District, I am committed to combating the droughtÕs impact on residents, communities and our environment and I look forward to partnering with you to address CaliforniaÕs long term water needs.

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