On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) unveiled a series of updated water management plans while issuing a dire warning that the state’s supply is predicted to decline by up to 10% by 2040.
A 16-page action document focused on “adapting to a hotter, drier future” by reevaluating state priorities “based on new evidence and accelerated climate change” was released by Newsom in advance of these deficiencies.
Plans for increasing water storage and recycling capacity, eliminating water waste, and implementing innovative technology are some of the measures.
At a press conference on Thursday in the Bay Area community of Antioch, Newsom stated, “The science and the facts leads us to now realize that we will lose 10% of our water supply by 2040 — if all else remain equal, we will lose an additional 10% of our supply by 2040.
The governor went on to say, “As a result of that deeper respect, that better knowledge, we have a renewed sense of urgency to handle this issue head-on. But we approach it from a variety of angles and approaches, rather than just from a scarcity viewpoint.
According to the supply strategy document, one of these methods entails building a facility that can store up to 4 million acre-feet of water. The state would be able to “capitalize on huge storms when they do come and stockpile water for dry periods” if this were done, the document claims.
Another plan in the study calls for recycling and reusing at least 800,000 acre-feet of water annually by 2030, which may make the best use of the wastewater that is currently discharged into the ocean.
The Water Education Foundation estimates that a typical California family uses between half and one acre-foot of water annually. According to U.S. Census data, there are 13.1 million households in California.
The governor’s plans also call for completely eliminating water waste and using water more effectively to free up 500,000 acre-feet of water per year for new uses.
These methods are “moving away from a scarcity attitude to one more of plenty,” according to Newsom.
She claimed that the new approach “means we have to do everything.”
Esquivel emphasized the significance of developing and investing “in a 21st-century approach,” adding that there is a “road forward.”
One such method calls on California to “move smarter and quicker” in order to update its water systems. More than 8.4 million households could have enough water thanks to this renovation project.
The document states that additional water might be made accessible by desalinating ocean water and salty — or brackish — water in groundwater basins, as well as by absorbing stormwater, diversifying sources, and maximizing high flows during storm events.
The location of the news conference on Thursday was close to the future location of a $110 million brackish water desalination facility. Lamar Thorpe, the mayor of Antioch, noted during the news conference that the facility would be the first of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Delta.
Newsom advised Californians to adjust to a changing reality while pointing out that the new initiatives have “concrete targets with explicit dates and cost amounts.” The desalination construction site could be seen in the background.
And those funds, he added, will come from the $2.8 billion surplus from this year and the $5.2 billion excess from last year.
According to Newsom, Californians will use these funds “to realize, not simply advocate” these important water supply plans. They will move these projects forward quickly without “waiting for the voters.”
“Money isn’t the problem. Because we have a strategy, we can draw in those funds by being more aggressive in our efforts to do so, the governor continued.
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