Monday, August 21, 2017

Bay Planning Coalition applauds California governor's support of groundwater legislation

Bay Planning Coalition applauds California governor's support of groundwater legislation.
The Bay Planning Coalition, which is based in San Francisco, applauded California Gov. Jerry Brown for upholding his pledge to streamline groundwater adjudications, which he did by signing AB 1390 and SB 226, though the coalition did highlight potential pitfalls in the legislation as determined by legal firm Downey Brand.

In California, groundwater adjudication, or the process by which courts determine groundwater rights, can take 10 to 15 years. As part of Brown’s work to overhaul water legislation in the state, he pushed for the adoption of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and pledged to address adjudication when he signed the legislation into law.

The new groundwater adjudication laws include procedural reforms that are likely to achieve the intended purpose of streamlined processes. According to Downey Brand, however, there are some provisions that need to be implemented carefully. Of particular interest to the law firm were the following issues: the State of California’s role in adjudications, how much parties and courts will be able to use new civil procedure law in adjudication resolution, how the courts will exercise their authority and how the courts will satisfy a new mandate that requires them to resolve adjudications quickly and sustainably.

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