An important bill is being debated regarding assessment caps for groundwater management districts. That bill is SB 194. Groundwater management districts can impose assessments on landowners in the respective district, along with charges on appropriators of water. Right now those assessments are capped.
The problem is that several groundwater districts simply cannot meet operating expenses given the current assessment caps. Thus, the groundwater districts, along with support from other entities, are lobbying to change the caps.
SB 194 will increase the capped rates from $1 to $1.50 for water used within the respective groundwater management district. It will also increase the rate from $1.50 to $2 if more than 50 percent of the water is used outside the district.
The bill also doubles the assessments on land owned within the district. The bill has already passed the Senate and is now before the House for consideration.