AB's 1806 and 2175 to be heard by Senate Appropriations Committee on August 4th
by Jerry Neuburger
July 16, 2008. Lois Wolk's bill AB 1806, a bill endorsed by CSPA, will be reviewed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 4th. Ms. Wolk's bill, developed in conjunction with input by John Beuttler, CSPA's Conservation Director, is extremely important for the health of the delta fisheries including the Chinook salmon, the striped bass and the delta smelt. The bill requires full mitigation by those water districts drawing from the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project for damage to the delta fisheries by the infamous Clifton Court Forebay pumps.
This bill could mean millions of dollars for fisheries enhancement which might include establishment or expansion of hatcheries, in-stream spawning bed improvements, improved release methods, better screening of pumps and other actions and improvements to improve the survivability and increase the populations of delta fisheries.
If this bill clears the Appropriations Committee, CSPA will quickly institute a letter campaign asking all those interested in the fisheries of our state to write individual senators, asking them to approve the bill's passage. It is expected the bill will be opposed by many of the water districts who would bear the costs of mitigation. They, with their paid staff and large budgets, will likely have lobbyists working the senate halls full time asking that the bill be defeated.
Another bill to be reviewed by the Senate Appropriations Committee is AB 2175. This bill sets a 20% target for water conservation by urban water agencies by 2020. The bill. authored by assemblymen Laird and Feuer, in which Mrs. Wolk was one of the co-authors, is supported by a coalition of assemblymen and senators, led by Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles).