For the first time in its history, California will establish statewide management of water pumped from the ground, under legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The package of regulations was heralded by supporters as a long-overdue step in changing the state's laissez-faire approach to underground water sources that can account for up to 60% of Californians' water supply.
"This is a big deal," Brown said at a signing ceremony in the Capitol. "It's been known about for decades that underground water has to be managed and regulated in some way."
Many farming interests, fearing possible limits on their water use, view the new laws as...