Budget Includes Historic Investments in California’s Drought Resilience and Critical Water Delivery Infrastructure
Press Release Provided by the State Water Contractors
On June 28th, the California State Legislature passed the Budget Act for the next fiscal year. As part of the enacted budget, nearly $3 billion has been appropriated to a drought relief package as California faces its driest conditions in decades with about 85% of the state facing extreme drought conditions.
Consistent with the Administration’s Water Resilience Portfolio and the Governor’s emergency drought proclamations, the state’s spending represents a commitment to meet the immediate and future challenges presented by extended drought and climate change by:
Repairing subsidence damage to California’s State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Project (CVP) water delivery infrastructure with a one-time $100 million down payment for this year and a promise of another $100 million next year toward Senator Melissa Hurtado’s SB 559;
Providing access to safe drinking water, building water supply reliability, and funding for sustainable groundwater management;
Providing immediate drought support at local and regional levels;
Enabling improved data collection and forecast improvements; and
Protecting fish and wildlife from drought impacts.
“Droughts don’t come in cycles anymore; they are simply our new normal. Today’s budget is a reflection of that fact. We must continue to invest in California’s State Water Project as the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our communities – supporting 2/3 of all Californians statewide,” said Jennifer Pierre, General Manager of the State Water Contractors. “Back in the 1960’s, California visionaries dreamed big when they built the largest state owned and operated water system in the world to support 16 million people. With 27 million Californians relying on that same system today, we need to continue to invest in this multi-billion-dollar asset to ensure it can meet our state’s water needs as we adapt to our new climate reality.”
“Addressing these realities means making smart investments to repair subsidence damage to this outdated infrastructure like SB 559. It means bringing together varied interests to cooperate on the first ever Voluntary Agreements to improve water management. It means continuing to build and expand local sources of water supplies. It means we all have a stake in California, and the investments outlined in this state budget will help ensure clean, affordable water for all, even as the climate changes.”