From the San Jose Mercury News:
Gov. Jerry Brown's determination to shrink the size of government could spell the end for a board overseeing a nationally watched set of proposed agricultural water rules, according to a proposal being circulated by Brown's office.
According to sources familiar with the plan, Brown recently proposed restructuring California's nine regional water quality boards, including eliminating the Central Coast board weighing the controversial rules. While the plan hasn't been formally announced, critics say Brown, with barely a week left in the 2011 legislative session, is proposing a radical change with potentially huge implications for local drinking water.
Brown's office declined to comment on the plan, which was outlined by several sources familiar with the details. A spokesman said the governor does not discuss pending legislation, but the plan is filtering through agricultural, environmental and political circles.
It would clear up persistent conflict problems among the nine boards by removing designated board seats for farmers, water quality experts, the public and others. It also would reduce the number of members on each board from nine to five.
But the plan also would cut two boards, combining them with nearby districts.