BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 2717

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          AB 2717 (Hertzberg)
          As Amended August 26, 2002
          2/3 vote

           ASSEMBLY:      67-1     (May 2, 2002)                   SENATE:   
             28-2       (August 28, 2002)    

          ASSEMBLY:      76-1      (August 29, 2002)                  

           Original Committee Reference:   W., P. & W.  

           SUMMARY  :  Requires the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to  
          report to the Legislature on potential opportunities for the use  
          of seawater and brackish water desalination in California, not  
          later than July 1, 2004.

           The Senate amendments  : 

          1)Change the reporting agency from the Legislative Analyst to  
            DWR and add details of the Water Desalination Task Force to be  
            formed to prepare the report. 

          2)Appropriate $600,000 from the Bosco-Keene Renewable Resources  
            Investment Fund (Fund) to DWR for the purpose of establishing  
            the Water Desalination Task Force (Task Force).

           EXISTING LAW  authorizes DWR to conduct a program of  
          investigation, study, and evaluation in the field of seawater  
          desalination, to provide assistance to those seeking to  
          construct desalination facilities, and after submission of a  
          written report and upon appropriation from the Legislature, to  
          finance, construct, and operate desalination facilities.

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill required the Legislative  
          Analyst Office (LAO) to submit a report to the Legislature, no  
          later than July 1, 2003, a study on potential opportunities and  
          existing impediments for promoting the development of seawater  
          desalination in California.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  $600,000 from the Fund to DWR for the purpose of  
          establishing the Task Force.


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           COMMENTS:   The Senate version of this bill achieves the same  
          objective of a study of desalination opportunities in the state,  
          but changes the responsible agency from LAO to DWR, adds the  
          requirement of forming a Task Force, and appropriates funds.


               I am signing Assembly Bill 2717, however, I am  
               reducing the appropriation from the renewable  
               Resources Investment Fund to $100,000.

               This bill would require the Department of Water  
               Resources to convene a Water Desalination task force  
               to make recommendations related to potential  
               opportunities for the use of seawater and brackish  
               water desalination.
               The revenues from the Renewable Resources Investment  
               Fund are below projections and the fund is expected to  
               have a significant shortfall this year.  At a time  
               when the state is dealing with a $24 billion  
               shortfall, any available funds should be used for  
               on-going environmental activities and programs now  
               supported by the General Fund that would otherwise be  
               reduced or eliminated.

               Studying the potential opportunities and impediments  
               for the use of water desalination is an important step  
               toward helping the state meet its water needs.   
               Therefore, I am directing the Department of Water  
               Resources to explore funding partnerships with  
               interested local and private entities to accomplish  
               this goal.

           Analysis Prepared by:     Jeff Volberg / W., P. & W. / (916)  


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