BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                              Senator Isadore Hall, III
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:           AB 606           Hearing Date:    6/29/2015
          |Author:    |Levine                                               |
          |Version:   |5/12/2015    Amended                                 |
          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
          |Consultant:|Felipe Lopez                                         |
          |           |                                                     |

          SUBJECT: Water conservation

            DIGEST:    This bill requires the Department of General Services  
          (DGS) and the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to reduce  
          water consumption and increase water efficiencies when  
          repairing, replacing or installing landscaping or irrigation on  
          state properties

          Existing law:
          1)Requires DGS to provide planning, acquisition, construction,  
            and maintenance of state buildings and property, and maintain  
            a statewide property inventory of all real property held by  
            the state.

          2)Requires DGS, in consultation with the State Energy Resources  
            Conservation and Development Commission, and with the  
            concurrence of the Department of Finance, to identify each  
            public building in DGS's state property inventory where it is  
            feasible for that building to reduce energy consumption and  
            achieve energy efficiencies, as specified, and make retrofits,  
            as specified.

          3)Provides that Caltrans has full possession and control of all  
            state highways and associated property.


          AB 606 (Levine)                                    Page 2 of ?
          4)Authorizes Caltrans to perform work required to alleviate or  
            repair damage to property during declared emergencies, as  

          This bill:

          1)Requires DGS and Caltrans to reduce water consumption and  
            increase water efficiencies when repairing, replacing or  
            installing landscaping or irrigation on state properties,  
            where feasible, through any or all of the following:

             a)   Replacement of landscaping with drought-tolerant plants  
               with an emphasis on native plant species.
             b)   Replacement of irrigation timers to permit efficient  
               watering schedules.
             c)   Replacement of spray sprinkler heads with bubblers, drip  
               irrigation, and soaker hoses.
             d)   Implementation of recycled water irrigation.

          2)Defines "feasible" as capable of being accomplished in a  
            successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking  
            into account life-cycle cost analyses, and environmental,  
            social, historical, and technological factors.


          Purpose of the bill.  According to the author, "as we enter into  
          our fourth year of drought, the U.S. Geological Services reports  
          that California reservoirs were 57% below average levels as of  
          September 2014.  These conditions have led Californians to  
          engage in creative measures to reduce water consumption across  
          the spectrum. AB 606 will require state owned lands to reduce  
          water consumption where feasible."`

          California's Response to the Drought.  On January 17, 2014 the  
          Governor of the State of California proclaimed a State of  
          Emergency because of the prolonged California drought and asked  
          all Californians to reduce water consumption by 20 percent.  The  
          proclamation directed local water suppliers to immediately  
          implement local water shortage contingency plans.  In addition,  
          the proclamation directed the California Department of Water  
          Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to  
          accelerate funding for projects that could break ground in 2014  
          and enhance water supplies as well as ordering the SWRCB to  
          consider modifying requirements for release of water from  


          AB 606 (Levine)                                    Page 3 of ?
          reservoirs or diversion limitations so that water may be  
          conserved in reservoirs and maintain water supplies and improve  
          water quality.

          On April 25, 2014, the Governor issued as executive order to  
          speed up actions necessary to reduce the harmful effects of the  
          drought and called on all Californians to double their efforts  
          to conserve water.  At the end of 2014 Governor Brown issued  
          Executive Order B-28-12 to extend the operation of provisions of  
          the previous executive order. 

          On April 1, 2015 Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15  
          and ordered the SWRCB to impose restrictions to achieve a 25  
          percent reduction in potable urban water usage through February  
          28, 2016; directed the California Department of Water Resources  
          to lead a statewide initiative, in partnership with local  
          agencies, to collectively replace 50 million square feet of  
          lawns and ornamental turf with drought tolerant landscapes; and  
          directed the California Energy Commission to implement a  
          statewide appliance rebate program to provide monetary  
          incentives for the replacement of inefficient household devices.

          Prior/Related Legislation
          SB 553 (Wolk, 2015) requires DGS to identify each public  
          property in the department's state property inventory where it  
          is feasible for water consumption to be reduced and water  
          efficiencies to be achieved through implementation of the  
          relevant recommendations made in the model water efficient  
          landscape ordinance and would require DGS to implement relevant  
          recommendations where feasible, except as specified.  (Held in  
          Senate Appropriations Committee)

          SB 552 (Wolk, 2015) requires the SWRCB to report to the  
          Legislature on recommendations for solutions to the managerial,  
          technical and maintenance fund hurdle that small, disadvantaged  
          communities face in building and maintaining water treatment  
          facilities and thereby obtaining funding to do so.  (Pending in  
          Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee)

          FISCAL EFFECT:                 Appropriation:  No    Fiscal  
          Com.:             Yes          Local:          No



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          Ms. Honda's fourth grade class, Manor Elementary, Fairfax, CA  
          Association of California Water Agencies
          California Landscape Contractors Association
          California Municipal Utilities Association
          California Native Plant Society
          East Valley Water District
          Irvine Ranch Water District
          Regional Water Authority
          San Diego County Water Authority
          Sierra Club California
          Sonoma County Water Agency
          The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
          Water Reuse California


          None received

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:    Ms. Honda, 4th grade teacher at Manor  
          Elementary School in Fairfax, California, writes in support of  
          the bill stating that her students helped to inspire and write  
          AB 606.  She argues that the bill focuses on using water  
          efficient irrigation methods and replacing landscaping with  
          drought tolerant plants with an emphasis on native plant  
          species.  Ms. Honda argues that, "this would help our birds and  
          bees and other wildlife by creating pockets of habitat for  

          According to the San Diego Water Authority, "given that  
          landscape irrigation represents approximately 43 percent of  
          urban water use, according to the Department of Water Resources,  
          and that California is prone to cycles of drought and water  
          shortage, such as the prolonged multi-year drought the state is  
          presently experiencing, AB 606 would ensure the state take an  
          important leadership role in implementing water efficient  
          landscape practices."



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