Kern River

In early January, the Governor Newsom’s Administration issued it’s Water Resilience Portfolio.  According to releases, “the California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Food and Agriculture developed the draft to fulfill Governor Gavin Newsom’s April 29 executive order calling for a portfolio of actions to ensure the state’s long-term water resilience and ecosystem health.” 

The agencies stated that the portfolio was “shaped by months of public input; the draft portfolio outlines more than 100 integrated actionable recommendations in four broad areas to help regions build water resilience as resources become available, while at the same time providing state leadership to improve infrastructure and protect natural ecosystems.”

Mixed reaction was had by different stake holders in the water world.  Below are a few comments that have been shared.

A step in the right direction but fails to protect rural farming communities

The Newsom Administration’s highly anticipated Water Resilience Portfolio presents an impressive suite of actions that will certainly advance California water management. The Natural Resources Agency, CalEPA, and California Department of Food & Agriculture’s plan offers new opportunities to improve the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem by enhancing monitoring and incorporation of adaptive management based on the best available science, enhancing conveyance and storage, and addressing the impacts of
climate change.

“The Coalition for a Sustainable Delta remains concerned, however, that the portfolio fails to address the growing impacts of water scarcity on rural farming communities throughout the Central Valley of California. While the portfolio recognizes land fallowing resulting from implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and increasingly limited surface water supplies, it stops short of providing real solutions to address the impacts to residents, farms and small businesses that depend on reliable water supplies,” said Bill Phillimore, Coalition for a Sustainable Delta President. “The state needs to provide more concrete solutions to a problem that will have far reaching impacts on millions who live and work in these regions.”

State Water Contractors

“We are pleased to see that many of the suggestions provided in the State Water Contractors comment letter on September 5, 2019 have been included in the portfolio, including upgrading infrastructure to improve conveyance and investing in existing infrastructure management and maintenance to address the impacts of climate change and population growth among other challenges — while protecting the Delta ecosystems.”

“The draft portfolio released today recognizes the importance of building a water supply that is more sustainable and more resilient to the increasing impacts of climate change. We stand behind the state’s commitment to address the important issues facing the Bay-Delta and our state, including the need to complete a voluntary agreement and modernize conveyance, as a part of a broad package of local and regional water actions to benefit all Californians,” said Jennifer Pierre, General Manager of the State Water Contractors. “If we are to meet the challenges ahead, we must work quickly and collaboratively, basing management actions and decisions on the best available science.”

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