The water bills that are being hammered out in closed-door talks between legislative leaders will get a public airing next week, when leaders say they'll hold a hearings on the bills in the works.
Matt Weiser lays out some of the issues still in play in today's Bee.
Major differences continue to block a bipartisan package:
� Democrats want monitoring and regulation of groundwater resources. California is unique in that it does not require this. Republicans are wary of imposing this on farmers suffering from drought.
� Republicans want billions of dollars included in a proposed bond measure to build dams, saying only new surface storage can resolve shortages. Democrats say aggressive conservation and groundwater storage can do the job.
� Both sides want the price of a bond measure whittled down. At one point it stood at $12 billion.
� Northern California water agencies want assurances they won't have to give up water for a controversial canal proposed to divert Sacramento River water across the Delta.
� The five Delta counties are concerned about how the canal will be approved, how thousands of acres of proposed restoration lands will be managed, and whether they'll have an adequate role in both.
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