Tim Quinn of the Association of California Water Agencies (“big water” in Calif.) frames the state’s groundwater regulation legislation thus:
We recognize there are many serious concerns about the groundwater legislation in the Central Valley, where many drought-weary water managers feel hammered by surface water cutbacks and worry that the door is now open to a state takeover of groundwater. But this is not a state takeover. The fact is the legislation provides a significant and effective shield against state intervention, provided that local agencies develop and implement groundwater sustainability plans as provided in the legislation. That is a reasonable ask in our view, and the legislation provides tools and authorities some agencies have previously lacked to manage for sustainability.