- $1.5 billion for new California Water Trust to acquire lands with senior water rights from willing sellers.
- $500 million to the Department of Conservation for acquisition and repurposing of lands to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
The Senate Water Rights Proposal contains four elements:
- Fund permanent acquisition of senior water rights in highly stressed watersheds with the water dedicated to the environment or to drinking water supplies for disadvantaged communities. This will entail purchasing land or easements that allow the land to be converted to low water use–habitat, grazing or other guaranteed reductions in water use. Includes both coastal and valley. Acquisitions prioritized based on environmental needs, maximizing benefits.
- Strengthen water rights quantification and enforcement at SWRCB. Currently the state does not have a reliable quantification of water rights or the ability to effectively enforce.
- Grants to SGMA agencies to repurpose farm lands to lower water use to balance groundwater supply and demand. This is the groundwater equivalent of the #1.
- Mitigate third party impacts. Taking land out of production creates local and regional impacts that need to be mitigated through grants.
- $400 million for the Sacramento River and tributaries, including:
- Funding to acquire water, prioritizing additional flows to enhance habitat, land retirement, floodplain restoration, provide water for state and federal refuges, sustainable groundwater management/recharge, and conditional multi-year water lease agreements. Strong oversight and enforcement mechanisms are included to assure that water purchased with public dollars is providing public trust benefits.
- Funding to measure streamflow, including gages and other reporting devices, that improve understanding of flow conditions.
- $500 million for coastal water sheds, including:
- Funding for multi-benefit water management projects including sustainable groundwater management/recharge, floodplain restoration, and stream flow enhancement. Funding is prioritized to watersheds with an approved recovery plan. Funding may be used for short- and long-term acquisitions.
- Funding for monitoring including stream gages.
- $100 million for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, including:
- Funding for voluntary projects that create wetland habitat and improve flood protection. This program shall be designed to provide multiple benefits for ecosystem restoration, including refuge water supplies and flow enhancement actions beyond those included in Phase 1 of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Update. The program will use the Delta Independent Science Board to provide monitoring and oversight.
- $100 million for the San Joaquin River and tributaries, including:
- Funding for voluntary projects that create wetland habitat, floodplain restoration, sustainable groundwater management/recharge, and provide water for state and federal refuges. This program shall be designed to provide multiple benefits for ecosystem restoration, including refuge water supplies and flow enhancement actions beyond those included in Phase 1 of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Update.
Maestu, R. 2020. Water Rights Types by Watershed HUC6 SENIOR RIGHTS
Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Subcommittee on Senate Budget Subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection and Energy. 2022. May 10, 2022 Agenda. p 5-10.
U.S. Department of the Interior. 2005. Land Retirement Demonstration Project