California legislation targeting ag wells shelved for now

Irrigation in Kern County, CA
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A bill aimed at making it more difficult to drill agricultural wells in California has been shelved for now.

CalMattersOpens in a new tab. reports that the bill, which was introduced by Assemblymember Steve Bennett (D), “would have added hurdles to obtain a permit to drill an agricultural well. Though the bill cleared the Senate on Monday, Bennett elected to not bring it up for a final vote in the Assembly before the Legislative session timed out Wednesday night. He said California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office told him the bill was no longer viable because of changes made.”  Quoting former assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D), CalMatters writes that “The bill would have been the biggest change to California’s groundwater managementOpens in a new tab. since the state’s landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was enacted in 2014, during the height of the last drought.”

Agriculture accounts for approximately 80 percent of all the water used in California, according to the state’s Department of Water ResourcesOpens in a new tab. but also brings more than $20 billion into the state’s economy.  California is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world.


Irrigated farms in Kern County along  the California Aqueduct, in the southern San Joaquin Valley, Wikimedia CommonsOpens in a new tab..  Alfred Twu, August 2014.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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