Anyone who wants to create underground water storage in Madera County, Calif., will have to pay nearly $21,000 to process their permit, under a proposal presented recently to the county's Water Oversight Committee.

The water committee voted to give a final draft of its county water-banking ordinance an urgent reading. If the final adjustments to the plan meet committee members' approval, it will be recommended that the supervisors vote it into law. In written advisories about the latest revisions to the proposed ordinance, one of the county's hired consultants told the committee there's an urgent need to get the ordinance in place.