The regulation plan is designed to stop the over-pumping of groundwater and to bring those supplies up to sustainable levels.
To do that, the laws are broken up into three parts.
One part instructs local water agencies to create sustainability plans for groundwater. Another measure establishes when the state government can intervene if the agencies don't do their jobs in making the plans.
However, the third part postpones the state's intervention in certain areas where groundwater extraction depletes connected surface waters.
This section was designed to help ease some of the concerns raised by farmers who have become more dependent on groundwater for crops and livestock, as surface water sources have dried up.
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Some 80 percent of water used in California is for agriculture.
The laws don't take effect until Jan. 1, and some water agencies where groundwater supplies are very low have until 2020 to submit their plans for water sustainability.
As bad as that may seem to some observers, it's the right approach to a long-term problem, said Andrew Fahlund, deputy director of the California Water Foundation., a water sustainability group.
"A lot of people look at the time line of this as too slow," Fahlund said. "But it took a long time for us to get into this fix about groundwater, and it will take us a long time to get out."