By: Alex Breitler

Portions of a bill first proposed three decades ago are back on the table.

That’s California water for you.

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, has introduced a bill that would require a series of “safeguards” be put in place before officials can move forward with construction of a peripheral canal or tunnel.

Her Senate Bill 200 takes much of its language directly from the 1980 legislation that first authorized a canal and other changes to the state’s water delivery and storage systems. The original SB 200 made it into law and was signed by then- and now-Gov. Jerry Brown, but was overturned by public referendum in 1982.

“Now a new canal or tunnel is being proposed at the highest levels with even weaker protections than we were promised before, so it’s time to have those critical guarantees written into state law,” Wolk said Friday.

Those guarantees include improved water quality in the south Delta; development of groundwater supplies to make other portions of the state more self-reliant; and restoration of fish species and assurances that large fish screens on new water diversion structures will protect species.

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