By Risa Johnson, Chico Enterprise-Record
POSTED: 04/24/18, 9:02 PM PDT
Sacramento >> A bill proposed by Assemblyman James Gallagher which would take the State Water Project out of the hands of the state Department of Water Resources passed unanimously on Tuesday through a legislative committee.
Assembly Bill 3045 passed 15-0 through the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee and is now headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This comes just over one year after the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway, a component of the State Water Project which is operated and managed by DWR.
Gallagher, R-Yuba City, represents residents downstream who evacuated on Feb. 12, 2017 during the Oroville Dam crisis. A total of about 188,000 people were ordered to evacuate that day.
The State Water Project supplies water to about 26 million people from Northern to Southern California. The bill, as amended by the committee, would shift the responsibilities of operations and maintenance of the facilities that move that water from DWR to an independent agency under the California Natural Resources Agency or a division under the California Water Commission.