May 31, 2022

Water Grab Legislation AB 2639 Defeated in California

AB 2639, a bill that would have accelerated the adoption of the Bay-Delta Plan, was defeated in the California Assembly last week due to a coordinated effort of ag and water stakeholders working with key legislators.

The bill, authored by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) additionally would have prohibited the State Water Board from issuing any new water rights permits, putting the Sites Reservoir project in danger.

“I appealed to my colleagues on a very personal level,” said Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced). “There is no other region of the state that would be as heavily impacted by this bill as my district and the people I represent. I asked my colleagues to consider what they would ask of me if their districts were similarly targeted. I told the story of the decades-long fight my community has waged against the water grab, and how the State Water Board has decided that the impacts to our economy and our drinking water are ‘significant, but unavoidable.’ I asked them if the Assembly was prepared to make the same decision.”

Forty four members of the Assembly either abstained or voted no on the bill, denying it the 41 votes it needed to pass.