Reform CEQA to help live with drought

The first CEQA reform bill of the year, SB122, was introduced by state Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and co-authored by state Sens. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Richard Roth, D-Riverside. The bill only proposes a change to CEQA’s litigation procedures but, by including substantive yet commonsense changes in requirements and review, SB122 could be made into a real reform bill.

I urge you to contact your elected representatives in the Legislature to share your concerns about the need to build water use considerations into our key environmental law. While CEQA reform will be a significant step forward, building in drought resilience will not solve the state’s water woes. It will, however, go a long way toward ensuring the resources we have are used effectively.

Kristina D. Lawson is a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, where she specializes in land use and environmental law and policy. She is also the former mayor of Walnut Creek. To comment, submit your letter to the editor at


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