Bills on Drinking Water, Rainwater Capture Clear Senate Committee

ACWA-supported legislation aimed at expediting funding for safe drinking water projects and allowing homeowners to install and operate rainwater capture systems cleared the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on July 2.

AB 2529 by Assembly Members Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Jim Beall (D-San Jose) would authorize the California Department of Public Health to adopt interim regulations and take other actions to expedite the process of providing funds for drinking water projects, including projects in severely disadvantaged communities. The Brown Administration is sponsoring the bill.

AB 1750 by Assembly Member Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) would authorize residential, commercial and governmental property owners to install and operate rainwater capture systems that comply with specified requirements. The bill includes language recommended by ACWA and others to protect against backflow into potable water systems.

The Senate Environmental Quality Committee also approved a bill that would require the Department of Public Health (DPH) to consider municipal service reviews performed by local agency formation commissions (LAFCOs) as DPH funds certain drinking water projects.

AB 2238 by Assembly Member Henry Perea (D-Fresno) had previously included new mandates on LAFCOs related to municipal service reviews. Based in part on ACWA’s concerns, the author deleted the proposed mandates and changed the bill to instead require DPH to consider the reviews as it approves funding under its Safe Drinking Water Revolving Fund program. The change allowed ACWA to drop its opposition.