Assemblymember Marie Waldron
The 75th Assembly District, which I am honored to represent in Sacramento, covers the largely rural eastern two-thirds of San Diego County, and is home to much of our agricultural areas and tribal governments. Unfortunately, much of that area lies within a Very High Fire Risk Severity zone and needs reliable, sustainable water infrastructure.
Given our region’s vulnerability to recurring droughts, diminishing groundwater resources and wildfires, I am very pleased to support AB 1567 (Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, and others). Once approved by voters, projects including wildfire prevention, drought preparation, sustainable groundwater, dam safety and tribal water infrastructure projects will move forward.
Last week I joined Assemblyman Garcia, Rincon Tribal Chairman Bo Mazzetti and others at a press conference to speak in favor of AB 1567. This bipartisan legislation passed on the Assembly floor without opposition, and has now been forwarded to the Senate for final approval.
Funding in the bill also includes resources for agriculture, as well as fire mitigation and prevention, both much needed here in rural San Diego County.
Of special significance for our region, San Diego County’s 18 sovereign Indian reservations will also benefit from AB 1567; $200 million will be made available for tribes throughout the state supporting their plans to build critical water infrastructure.
For example, local tribes including Pala, Pauma, Rincon, San Pasqual, and La Jolla are seeking upgrades to their water distribution and sewer systems, along with new water wells and storage tanks. AB 1567 will lead to badly needed water infrastructure upgrades throughout California, allowing tribal nations to modernize their water systems and bring them up to 21st century standards.
AB 1567 is supported by groups as diverse as the City and County of Riverside, Nevada County, San Bernardino County, the California Builders Alliance and The Nature Conservancy. Once the bill receives final legislative approval in the Senate, it will be submitted to California’s voters who will make the final decision about this important initiative.