Capitol Alert

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RPCOSUMNESWATERrELEASE.JPGWith water issues on the agenda for the coming session in the California Legislature, given a pair of 2014 water bond proposals, it's a good time to take a look at groundwater.

Unlike with other bodies on water policy, there is no state-level entity overseeing groundwater withdrawals, despite the pace at which California is depleting some aquifers as well as issues with access to clean drinking water. Some policymakers, particularly those skeptical about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta tunnel project, wonder why we haven't focused more on replenishing and preserving groundwater.

Today the State Board of Food and Agriculture will wade into the issue. A daylong meeting covering everything from local groundwater authority to the role of the Sierra snowpack will marshal a roster of academics in addition to representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County. Starting at 10 a.m. at 1220 N St.

VIDEO: Bills change, and elected officials come and go, but the last couple of weeks have reminded Dan Walters of a constant in Sacramento.

FRACKTASTIC: Just as hydraulic fracturing requires a trade-secret-protected cocktail of different chemicals, a panel at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club today will feature a potentially volatile mix of fracking views. Speakers include Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, author of the controversial new fracking law; Annie Notthoff of the Natural Resources Defense Council, representing the environmentalists who abandoned the bill en masse; and Paul Deiro, who questioned fracking regulation as a lobbyist for the Western States Petroleum Association. The earth-shattering talk kicks off at 6:30 p.m.

BROWN ON BOARD: Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to drop by a meeting of the California State University trustees in Long Beach today. The governor has spent recent visits with the heads of one of the state's public university systems emphasizing students earning their degrees faster and pushing for greater use of online education. Stay tuned to see what he focuses on during this round.

CAREER EDUCATION: The Linked Learning victory lap continues. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, will continue trumpeting a quarter-billion-dollar budget outlay for linked learning, or schools with curricula tailored to specific careers, during an appearance at De Anza High School in El Sobrante this morning.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, who turns 39 today.

PHOTO: Two miles south of Sloughhouse, near Sacramento, water flowing at 40 cubic feet per second is released from the Folsom South Canal into the Cosumnes River on Oct. 17, 2005. The Sacramento Bee/ Randy Pench.


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