- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will no longer be the only western state with a pump-as-you-please approach to groundwater.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday requiring local agencies with depleted supplies to begin managing their wells. The state can intervene if necessary.

The worst drought in a generation gave momentum to three bills by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson of Sacramento and Sen. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills, both Democrats.

Groundwater makes up nearly 60 percent of the state’s water use during dry years but is not monitored and managed the same way as water from reservoirs and rivers.

Over-pumping of groundwater has led vast swaths of land to sink.



Republicans and Central Valley Democrats criticized the legislation, saying it punishes well-managed agencies and infringes on water rights.

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