VETOED	DATE: 10/12/2009

To the Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 1242 without my signature.

This bill would declare it to be the established policy of the State
that every human being has the right to clean, affordable, and
accessible water for human consumption.

Existing law establishes that domestic water use has the highest
priority over other water uses.  When California's water laws were
established in 1943, this policy was enshrined in law.

I wholeheartedly support the underlying premise of this bill: We
should be doing everything we can to ensure that our communities have
access to clean, affordable water for our citizens.  But the
language of this bill will undoubtedly lead to potentially costly and
constant litigation.  This moves our limited state resources away
from the day to day operations of achieving our clean water goals and
puts them in the courtroom.

Additionally, while providing safe drinking water is fundamental to
our laws and to human health, this bill would not enhance our current
efforts in achieving this goal.  The State Water Resources Control
Board, the California Department of Public Health, and the Department
of Water Resources are actively awarding grant funds and
implementing policies and programs to protect and improve the
long-term quality of drinking water supplies.  Our most pressing
barrier in achieving this goal is not desire, it is funding.

For this reason, I am signing AB 626 (Eng) and AB 1438 (Conway).  AB
626 makes important changes to existing law that increase funding
from Proposition 84 for disadvantaged communities in each hydrologic
region in the state.   AB 1438 modifies the Safe Drinking Water State
Revolving Fund to provide more resources to water system operators
serving disadvantaged communities that often lack the resources for
vital, costly water system improvements.  I believe these bills will
provide some additional needed tools to achieve the well-intended
purpose of this measure.

The need for additional funding also places heightened importance on
the need for a water infrastructure bond that includes a robust
investment in increasing water quality and water supply reliability.

For these reasons, I am unable to sign this bill.


Arnold Schwarzenegger