Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan of Orinda has filed a measure aimed at halting water grabs by hedge fund investors and venture capitalists.
She amended a spot bill last week to sketch out an early concept for the proposal. If an investment fund sells, transfers or leases a water right on ag lands, it would no longer be considered a reasonable or beneficial use, according to the bill. That would essentially nullify their claim to the water right.
It is unclear how the state would determine when such investors own the land.
Last year two senators requested the U.S. attorney general investigate potential water profiteering during the drought. They worried hedge funds were buying up land for the water rights through anti-competitive practices.