A handful of California law professors and former state officials have presented lawmakers with a set of recommendations for updating water laws to address drought and climate change.
“This is not a ‘blow up the water rights boxes’ approach,” they wrote in a new report. “It is a focused approach to updating existing laws, regulations and funding.”
The group includes Tam Doduc, who resigned from the State Water Resources Control Board last year in protest to growing momentum for voluntary agreements over freshwater flows into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta.
The recommendations reflect her views by encouraging the state water board to adopt the second half of the controversial Bay-Delta Plan and to dedicate a portion of freshwater flows to supporting fish populations. They suggest updating the water code to allow the state water board to better investigate claims to water rights and to push local groundwater agencies to prioritize domestic wells in sustainability plans.
The report also calls for more funding for monitoring water flows and various other needs and more attention to environmental justice.