Keywords:climate change, planning and management, water supply
California has seen many flood events, including the most recent flood of 1995 when 48 of 58 counties declared a state of emergency....
California has seen many flood events, including the most recent flood of 1995 when 48 of 58 counties declared a state of emergency. After two years of dry weather and shrinking reservoir supplies, we are reminded once again that nothing focuses Californians’ attention on our limited water resources like drought.
There is broad agreement that the state’s water management system is currently unable to satisfactorily meet both ecological and human needs, too exposed to wet and dry climate cycles and natural disasters, and inadequate to handle the additional pressures of future population growth and climate change. Solutions are complex and expensive, and they require the cooperation and sustained commitment of all Californians working together. To be sustainable, solutions must strike a balance between the need to provide for public health and safety (e.g., safe drinking water, clean rivers and beaches, flood protection), protect the environment, and support a stable California economy. This action plan lays out our challenges, our goals and decisive actions needed now to put California’s water resources on a safer, more sustainable path. While this plan commits the state to moving forward, it also serves to recognize that state government cannot do this alone. Collaboration between federal, state, local and tribal governments, in coordination with our partners in a wide range of industry, government and nongovernmental organizations is not only important—it is essential. The input and contributions received from all of these partners throughout the drafting of this action plan have resulted in a comprehensive and inclusive plan.
California is in the grip of a water crisis of our own making. Like all problems that humans create, we have the potential...
California is in the grip of a water crisis of our own making. Like all problems that humans create, we have the potential to use the crisis as an opportunity to make positive and long-lasting changes in water management. The crisis is not a water shortage – California has already developed sufficient water supplies to take us well into this century – the real crisis is that this supply is not used efficiently or equitably for all Californians, nor is it used wisely to sustain the ecosystems that support us.
The opportunity – and the basis for our positive vision – is that economically and technologically feasible measures are readily available to provide the water needed for our future. Our vision includes providing clean water for families to drink, providing water to improve the environmental health of our once-magnificent rivers, recovering our fisheries from the edges of extinction, fostering healthy commercial and recreational fisheries and a thriving agricultural industry, ensuring that all California communities have access to safe and affordable drinking water, and contributing significantly to the state’s largest industries: recreation and tourism.
This report documents numerous analyses of water efficient technologies and approaches that can save or reduce water consumption in urban areas by as much as 5 million acre-feet a year by 2030 compared with current trends – enough water to support population growth of almost 30,000,000 people.
According to the California Water Plan Update 2009 and Department of Finance projections, the state’s population can be expected to increase by 22,000,000 over the next 40 years if current population trends hold. Clearly, a well-managed future water supply to take us to 2050 is within reach with the current supplies and with an aggressive water conservation program.
In addition, still larger savings can be expected from agricultural water efficiencies, and some of this saved water could be available for urban consumption. All of the water conservation strategies discussed in this report are much less expensive than the new surface storage and conveyance projects being contemplated by state and federal agencies.
Chapter 107, Statutes of 2001 (AB 38, Strom-Martin), requires the Legislative Analyst’s Office to undertake a study of these special districts. In this...
Chapter 107, Statutes of 2001 (AB 38, Strom-Martin), requires the Legislative Analyst’s Office to undertake a study of these special districts. In this review we find that while some individual districts have pursued controversial policies, there is no evidence of a statewide structural governance problem.
California’s water system is facing a series of challenges affecting water availability, reliability, and delivery. Reevaluating how groundwater is managed is necessary if...
California’s water system is facing a series of challenges affecting water availability, reliability, and delivery. Reevaluating how groundwater is managed is necessary if it is to achieve its full potential as a reliable source of water. In this report, we present the Legislature with a series of actions that would be phased in over a period of time to address current and emerging groundwater management issues, including bringing science and law together to accurately reflect the physical interconnection of surface water and groundwater.