Press Release

Legislation to Make Water Efficiency a Way of Life Passes Assembly Committee

SB 606 follows up on lessons learned from California’s historic 5-year drought, establishes framework for improved water conservation

July 18, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Legislation by Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, and Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, to better prepare the state for future droughts by weaving greater water efficiency goals and drought resiliency requirements into California’s water planning today passed the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.

SB 606 is a bill that will be used to enact the measures necessary to make water efficiency a California way of life. The legislation is part of a two-house package of bills, with leading legislators working with Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration to craft the framework for improved water conservation and planning practices.

“Much of our water infrastructure, planning and resource assessments are managed as they were 50 years ago. Even our consumption practices are antiquated,” Hertzberg said. “We know water supplies will be severely strained in California in the 21st century, and it’s high time to take our water planning and conservation efforts to the next level.”

“Water is something in California we perceive to have an abundance of, but we do not,” Skinner said. “Our goal is to make water efficiency as easy and effortless as California has made energy efficiency."

The committee approved the bill on a 9-0 vote.

California experienced a severe drought from 2012-2016 that is considered to be the driest four-year period in over 100 years. In addition, climate change models predict the state will see continuing cycles of similar harsh droughts.

In May 2016, Brown signed an executive order to “make water conservation a way of life” in California. The order directed administration agencies to develop a conservation framework, and since then several bills have been authored to help flesh out the plan.

SB 606 serves as a vehicle to bring all the legislative and administrative work on conservation planning together.

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Bob Hertzberg, chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, represents nearly 1 million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. See a district map at http://sd18.senate.ca.gov/district.  After serving in the Assembly from 1996-2002, including two years as Speaker, Hertzberg invested in solar, wind and electric-car projects; and worked for structural changes in government through the Think Long Committee of California. Learn more at www.senate.ca.gov/hertzberg.

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew LaMar
Communications Director
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
Capitol Building, Room 4038
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-4018

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