The Department of Water Resources took an unusual step for an agency this year in publicly backing a measure to limit new groundwater wells. The bill was an attempt to fix several problems in Newsom’s drought order in 2022, which unsuccessfully sought to protect drinking water wells.
AB 2079, however, died in committee this week.
Asm. Steve Bennett of Ventura hoped to ease some of the opposition through new amendments to his bill. But they were not enough to sway three Democratic colleagues, who blasted the “blanket approach” to groundwater regulation.
Sen. Susan Eggman of Stockton questioned the need when a system is already in place with SGMA and described the overwhelming opposition to the bill.

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 “I’ve got my counties against it, I’ve got my industries against it, I've got my cities against it. Everybody's against it in my district,” said Eggman. “Nobody's for it.”
Sen. Steve Padilla of San Diego chided the proposal for lacking methodology and rationale for the restrictions.
Response: Bennett pointed his finger at “the powerful water people” opposing the bill, arguing none of them proposed any solutions to the problem. He told lawmakers “the people on the other side, whose wells are going dry, don't have the resources to lobby you week in and week out,” as the opposition parties did.