California Governor unveils major water plan

More News Today's Headline Top Stories
California Governor unveils major water plan

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday released a new plan to help adapt the state to hotter and drier conditions that includes capturing, recycling and desalinating more water.

The announcement comes amid a historic drought that is being amplified by global warming, and that continues to severely affect he agricultural industry in the key production region.

The governor’s new water-supply strategy lays out a series of actions aimed at preparing the state for an estimated 10% decrease in California’s water supply by 2040 because of higher temperatures and decreased runoff.

The plan, which is detailed in a 16-page document, focuses on accelerating infrastructure projects, boosting conservation and upgrading the state’s water system to keep up with the increasing pace of climate change.

"The hots are getting a lot hotter, the dries are getting a lot drier and ... the wets are getting wetter," Newsom said in announcing the plan at a desalination plant under construction in Antioch, 45 miles (72 km) inland from San Francisco, that will turn brackish water into drinking water.

The state has reportedly budgeted more than $8 billion in the past three years to modernize water infrastructure that Newsom said would generate enough water for 8.4 million households in a state of 40 million people.

Newsom also announced the appointment of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a former gubernatorial rival, as his new infrastructure czar.

The state plan calls for expanding water storage capacity above and below ground by 4 million acre-feet; expanding groundwater recharge; accelerating wastewater recycling projects; building projects to capture more runoff during storms, and investing in desalination of ocean water and salty groundwater.

The projected loss of 10% of the state’s water supply within two decades translates to losing 6 million to 9 million acre-feet per year on average.


Subscribe to our newsletter