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Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson Advances Water Legislation to Support Flood Control Projects, Habitat Restoration and the Needs of Farmers in Solano County

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law two Assembly Bills authored by Assemblymember Lori D. Wilson (D – Suisun City) that support flood control projects, habitat restoration and the needs of farmers in Solano County.

The first, Assembly Bill 345, is a measure that will provide the Department of Water Resources (DWR) with discretionary authority to utilize an advanced payment option when funding local flood protection and multi-benefit habitat restoration projects was the first to be signed. The bill, which was sponsored by the Little Egbert Joint Powers Agency, provides flexibility which will help push forward a large-scale flood protection and habitat restoration project forward here in Solano County.

“As recent high water events have shown, California remains vulnerable to floods that risk life and property. While our State continues to make progress in flood protection, with the help of local agencies, there remains much work to be done,” said Assemblymember Lori D. Wilson. “Much work remains to implement multi-benefit projects that can both protect our communities from flooding while also improving the environment. Our smaller and local agencies need the advanced payment discretion provided to DWR by AB 345 to ensure that their work can be accomplished.”

“AB 345 allows small and determined local agencies with limited budgets to partner with the State and deliver largescale flood protection and habitat restoration projects,” said Eric Nagy, General Manager of the Little Egbert Joint Powers Agency. “These projects reduce flood risk to our citizens and their property while investing to improve the natural resources we all enjoy.”

The second bill, Assembly Bill 779, adds a requirement that a court take into account the needs of disadvantaged communities and small farmers when entering a judgement. The bill also requires that groundwater pumpers in a basin subject to an adjudication continue to comply with any applicable groundwater sustainability plan.

“This bill is an effort to make the groundwater adjudication process more accessible, efficient, and transparent for all water users, especially small farmers, farmers of color, and historically marginalized groundwater users,” said Assemblymember Lori D. Wilson. “AB 779 will help ensure the process produces an equitable and science-based allocation of water rights to support sustainable, long-term use by all water users in a basin."

“We would like to thank Assemblymember Wilson for her hard work and leadership authoring AB 779,” said David Runsten, Water Policy Director for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. “We would also like to express our appreciation to the Governor for signing this important piece of legislation. AB 779 will assist small family farms as they participate in the adjudication process and support the integrity of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.”