The California Legislature approved a budget bill that would grant the state authority to force water systems to consolidate to serve disadvantaged communities where a steady supply of clean drinking water is not available. Senate Bill 88 also would give public water suppliers the power to impose civil fines of up to $10,000 for violations of water conservation programs, impose new measuring and reporting requirements for water diversions, and suspend environmental review for certain drought-related projects.
The bill approved Friday, which can be read here, passed on divided votes of 24-14 in the Senate and 52-28 in the Assembly. It now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.
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