"SACRAMENTO -- Lawmakers capped months of discussions, weeks of tedious negotiations and years of chasing a water deal with approval of major legislation in a marathon session that ended Wednesday as the sun rose.
The package, which includes an $11.1-billion bond that must go before voters, would nudge California in new directions on water policy while giving something to each of the major factions that have warred over the state's supplies.
The measure, likely to reach the governor's desk early next week, would establish a statewide program that for the first time would measure if too much water is being pumped from underground aquifers. It mandates an overall 20% drop in the state's per capita water use by 2020 and creates a new, politically appointed council to oversee management of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the state's water hub.
The bond measure -- decried as pork barrel by some legislators -- would shower money around the state for new storage, watershed improvements, delta restoration, recycling and groundwater cleanup."