TITLE

Water Supplies Finally Take Center Stage in the Land Use Planning Arena

AUTHOR(S)
Volker, Jamey
PUB. DATE
August 2008
SOURCE
Ecology Law Quarterly;2008, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p573
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Water supply has long been a pivotal issue in California land use, and is now more critical than ever. With growing strains on the state's water supplies, Californians are faced with the consequences of the state's rapid urbanization and agricultural development and the challenge of ensuring adequate water supply in the long run. In addressing these issues, two of the major questions are how much and in what form the availability of water should direct land use development. The California Supreme Court entered into this complicated debate in its recent decision, Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cordova, by setting standards for water supply analyses done in environmental impact reports under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In this Note, I argue that the court's decision in Vineyard will spawn increasing reliance on urban water management plans (UWMPs) in CEQA water supply analyses. And, with some important caveats, increasing reliance on UWMPs should have the concomitant effect of deepening the connection and communication between land use planners, water providers, and developers. However, UWMPs are by no means a panacea. Many additional measures are necessary to ensure sustainable land use that does not outstrip California's limited water supplies, including a policy of mandating curtailment of new development where water supplies are shown to be unavailable or sufficiently uncertain.
ACCESSION #
35648859

 

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