The governor’s budget also would allow DWR to better monitor the groundwater resources that provide more than one-third of California’s supplies in dry years, and supports the development of a state backstop for sustainable groundwater management practices by the State Water Resources Control Board, should local efforts to do so not materialize.
“Together, the Governor’s proposed budget and this finalized plan provide the State with practical solutions to the state’s most critical problems; the proposals on groundwater are a good example,” said Cal/EPA Secretary Matt Rodriquez. “Data collection and monitoring are crucial to sustainable management of our unseen but incredibly important aquifers.”
All of the near-and long-term actions in the plan center on sustaining supplies of water for people, the environment, industry and agriculture. This year’s severe dry conditions highlight the stakes. Drought threatens to force the fallowing of hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland, throw thousands of people out of work, and potentially raise supermarket food prices.
“Our severe dry conditions are alarming for California’s agricultural industry,” said California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross. “In the near term, we must do all we can to keep our fields productive. In the long term, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make the investments that will allow us to stay productive in the face of a changing climate.”
Key actions identified in the Plan include:
• Make conservation a California way of life.
• Increase regional self-reliance and integrated water management across all levels of government.
• Achieve the co-equal goals for the Delta.
• Protect and restore important ecosystems.
• Manage and prepare for dry periods.
• Expand water storage capacity and improve groundwater management.
• Provide safe water for all communities.
• Increase flood protection.
• Increase operational and regulatory efficiency.
• Identify sustainable and integrated financing opportunities.
The report is available here