Current water rights provide California with an allotment of 4.4 million acre-feet annually from the Colorado River. However, California has been using approximately 800,000 acre-feet more than its share. An agreement between the Colorado River water agencies established guidelines that would make California compliant with its requirement. The legislation authorizes $60 million to pay for the impacts that the water-transfer provisions would have on the environment and to fund off-stream reservoirs to store surplus water.
If adopted, California will have 15 years to gradually reduce its use of Colorado River water to the required 4.4 million acre-feet, rather than being forced to comply by 2003.