BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                    AB 2373


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          2373 (Gray)


          As Amended  May 9, 2016


          2/3 vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Water           |12-0 |Levine, Gallagher,    |                    |
          |                |     |Dababneh, Dodd,       |                    |
          |                |     |Cristina Garcia,      |                    |
          |                |     |Gomez, Lopez, Mathis, |                    |
          |                |     |Medina, Olsen, Salas, |                    |
          |                |     |Williams              |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Appropriations  |14-0 |Gonzalez, Bloom,      |                    |
          |                |     |McCarty, Bonta,       |                    |
          |                |     |Calderon, Daly,       |                    |
          |                |     |Eggman, Eduardo       |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia, Roger         |                    |
          |                |     |HernŠndez, Holden,    |                    |
          |                |     |Quirk, Santiago,      |                    |
          |                |     |Weber, Wood           |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 









                                                                    AB 2373


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          SUMMARY:  Appropriates $45,000 from the General Fund to the  
          Merced Irrigation District (MID) to implement on-farm irrigation  
          system and water use efficiency improvements for small communal  
          farms in Merced County.  Additionally, requires MID to report to  
          the Legislature by April 30, 2018, for the purpose of  
          determining the effectiveness of the appropriation and the  
          cumulative impact on the County of Merced.


          EXSITING LAW:


          1)Appropriates $35 million to the Department of Water Resources  
            for agricultural water efficiency programs.


          2)Requires agricultural water suppliers to develop water  
            management plans and implement efficient water management  
            practices.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According the Assembly Appropriations Committee,  
          this bill appropriates $45,000 from the General Fund to MID.


          COMMENTS:  The 2015-16 proposed budget for MID was $78 million  
          with $86 million in revenue.  MID encompasses 164,000 gross  
          acres.  Total irrigable lands in the MID are 138,000 acres.  In  
          2007, 88,000 acres of land were supplied with water from MID.


          According to the author, dozens of Hmong refugee families have  
          come together to share the cost and labor of farming.   
          Unfortunately, these families lack capital to invest in their  
          farms.  Water pumps are in disrepair, which hinders the  
          efficiency and energy use of irrigation.  The modest sum  
          appropriated in this bill will provide significant reductions in  
          energy, fuel, and water use.








                                                                    AB 2373


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          The 2015-16 budget appropriated $35 million to the Department of  
          Water Resources to implement agricultural water efficiency  
          programs.  The Department of Water Resources has made $30  
          million available through competitive grants.  The guidelines  
          for these grants were completed January 27, 2016, and  
          applications were due by March 30, 2016.  Irrigation districts  
          are among the eligible applicants for these grants.  Project  
          types to be funded are those that will produce potential  
          benefits to the State including:  technical assistance,  
          training, education and public outreach.


          It is not clear if the communal farms that this bill would  
          provide funding for would win an agricultural water use  
          efficiency grant.  However, MID is in a position to apply for  
          future grants and appears to have the resources to apply.  


          Additionally, if there is concern that a grant application  
          focused solely on communal farms would not receive funding the  
          potential exists for MID to build a larger application.  A  
          larger application could include communal farms and additional  
          efficiencies such as addressing the 75% of the 825 miles of  
          water distribution facilities that MID operates that are earthen  
          lined channels.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Ryan Ojakian / W., P., & W. / (916) 319-2096   
          FN: 0003064













                                                                    AB 2373


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