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Nov 4, 2009 11:38 AM by Associated Press

California lawmakers approve $11B water overhaul

California lawmakers have passed an $11 billion overhaul of the state's antiquated water system, ending decades of debate over how to supply a soaring population while preserving the fragile environment.

The state Assembly passed a package of water bills and the bond measure to fund them before dawn Wednesday. The Senate - which earlier passed a less costly package - later approved the final version.

The plan calls for restoring the crucial Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

It also provides funding for new dams, groundwater cleanup, conservation and habitat restoration.

Schwarzenegger calls it a historic achievement that will allow California to prosper.

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