Dear Yorba Linda Water District Customer,
As part of the District’s efforts to inform and engage its customers regarding State legislative and administrative actions that impact you, we want to share information about a few bills that are pending in the Legislature that could have a significant impact on the District.
Below we have provided information about two bills supported by the YLWD Board of Directors, AB 1654 and AB 968 by Assembly Member Rubio, which propose reasonable water use efficiency management standards for urban water districts. Two competing bills that are opposed by the YLWD Board of Directors, AB 1668 and AB 1669 by Assembly Member Friedman, would provide the State with greater authority to mandate conservation without regard for local water conditions or investments. We hope that you will take the time to learn more about these bills and express your views to your state legislators.
Senator Newman - http://sd29.senate.ca.gov/contact
Assembly Member Chen - https://lcmspubcontact.lc.ca.gov/PublicLCMS/ContactPopup.php?district=AD55&inframe=Y
To help facilitate this, we have provided draft letters consistent with the positions adopted by the YLWD Board of Directors below. Deadline May 23, 2017
(These bills impact the entire state of California, if you wish to share the letter to individuals outside of YLWD boundaries - please visit, http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov for the correct representatives based on your address.)
May 11, 2017
The Honorable Josh Newman
State Capitol, Room 4082
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax Number: (916) 651-4929
The Honorable Phillip Chen
State Capitol, Room 4177
Sacramento, CA 94249
Fax Number: (916) 319-2155
Re: AB 1654 (Rubio): Urban Water Management Planning - SUPPORT
AB 968 (Rubio): Urban Water Use Efficiency – SUPPORT
AB 1668 (Friedman): Urban Water Management Planning - OPPOSE
AB 1669 (Friedman): Urban Water-Use Efficiency Standards and Use
Reporting - OPPOSE
Dear State Senator Newman and Assemblyman Chen:
As a customer of Yorba Linda Water District, I am writing to express my support for AB 1654 and AB 968 by Assembly Member Rubio, two bills that will significantly improve urban water use efficiency in cooperation with local water districts. Conversely, I would also like to convey my opposition to AB 1668 and AB1669, legislation which proposes one-size-fits-all solutions to local water supply management directed by the State Water Resources Control Board.
AB 1654 would enhance existing reporting and drought response requirements related to water shortage contingency analyses, as called for by Governor Brown. Under the bill, urban retail water districts would report annually to the Department of Water Resources on the status of their water supplies for that year and whether supplies will be adequate to meet projected customer demand. If supplies are not adequate to meet demand, the water district would be required to implement the appropriate responses as described in their water shortage contingency analysis. This gives urban retail water districts the ability to self-certify that their water supplies are sufficient.
AB 968 would establish new water efficiency targets for water districts that makes water use efficiency a way of life in California. These efficiency targets would account for local conditions, while also recognizing and incentivizing sustainable, balanced approaches to water management. AB 968 would also establish a collaborative stakeholder process to continue improvement in water use efficiency beyond 2025, and would preserve the Legislature’s authority and oversight over long-term water use target setting.
Contrary to the positive, collaborative approaches to urban water management proposed in these two bills, AB 1668 and AB 1669 by Assembly Member Friedman would unnecessarily place local water management decisions in the hands of the State, irrespective of local water infrastructure investments, conditions and needs.
AB 1668 would establish arbitrary numeric water supply targets based on a one-size-fits-all approach that does local circumstances, potentially stranding investments in local drought-resilient supplies and negatively affecting local economies. AB 1668 includes enforcement provisions that are vague and appear to subjectively penalize water suppliers. In addition, AB 1668 bill would impose additional drought planning and reporting requirements on water districts as part of their Urban Water Management Plans.
AB 1669 would grant the State Water Board authority to adopt “interim” standards (prior to 2021) for urban conservation via emergency regulation, and unlimited and ongoing authority to adopt long-term standards (2021 and beyond) that “are in addition to, or exceed the standards” initially adopted under these provisions. It also would authorize the State Water Board to issue a cease and desist order and associated penalties for the violation or threatened violation of any regulation adopted by the board. Consequently, the bill would provide the State Water Board with unprecedented permanent authority to limit water use into the future, regardless of local water supply conditions and investments in drought preparedness.
To protect water users and ratepayers, I urge you to do all can to support the passage of AB 1654 and AB 968 and oppose AB 1668 and AB1669.