The following press release was issued by Rep. Levine today.
The Assembly passed AB 1200 by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D- San Rafael) with a vote of 72-0 last week. This bill will study the effects, if any, of storage of recycled water in irrigation ponds in the Los Carneros grape growing region.
“The Los Carneros region is a perfect test case for additional storage of recycled water,” said Levine. “The same recycled water, that this bill would allow to be stored, is already being used for irrigation, frost protection, and habitat restoration. Alternatively, it is a terrible waste to discharge this highly treated recycled water into San Francisco Bay.”
“Recycled water is the only new source of water supply,” said Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbit who is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Water Agency. “We need to enable new water storage facilities. This bill is very important in that effort.”
AB 1200 would, for the next four years, allow the highest level of treated recycled water to be stored in up to four small ponds where that same recycled water is already being used for other purposes. Currently, state law defines recycled water as a waste. Consequently, the practical result is that storage ponds are under-filled and recycled water is discharged unused into San Francisco Bay.
“Storing this water is just common sense,” concluded Levine. “I am gratified by the bi-partisan support and am optimistic that the bill will continue to receive strong support.”
The bill has no opposition and is supported by the California Farm Bureau, Russian Riverkeeper, and Sonoma County Water Agency. AB 1200 now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Assemblymember Levine represents the 10th Assembly District which includes Marin County and southern Sonoma County.