Governor Newsom Announces $5.1 Billion Package for Water Infrastructure and Drought Response

Earlier this week Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a $5.1 billion package of drought response and long-term water resilience investments to address immediate, emergency needs, build regional capacity to endure drought and safeguard water supplies.

“Shoring up our water resilience, especially in small and disadvantaged communities, is imperative to safeguarding the future of our state in the face of devastating climate change impacts that are intensifying drought conditions and threatening our communities, the economy and the environment,” said Governor Newsom.

Newsom’s announcement of the water infrastructure funding, part of the governor’s annual May budget proposal revision, came on the same day that he added 39 counties to the state’s emergency drought proclamation.

The Governor’s proposed four-year investment plan includes:

  • $1.3 billion for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, with a focus on small and disadvantaged communities.
  • $150 million for groundwater cleanup and water recycling projects.
  • $300 million for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation to improve water supply security, water quality and water reliability.
  • $200 million for water conveyance improvements to repair major water delivery systems damaged by subsidence.
  • $500 million for multi-benefit land repurposing to provide long-term, flexible support for water users.
  • $230 million for wildlife corridor and fish passage projects to improve the ability of wildlife to migrate safely.
  • $200 million for habitat restoration to support tidal wetland, floodplain, and multi-benefit flood-risk reduction projects.
  • $91 million for critical data collection to repair and augment the state’s water data infrastructure to improve forecasting, monitoring, and assessment of hydrologic conditions.
  • $60 million for State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program grants to help farmers reduce irrigation water use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural pumping.
  • $33 million for fisheries and wildlife support to protect and conserve California’s diverse ecosystems.
  • $27 million for emergency and permanent solutions to drinking water drought emergencies.

Newsom separately proposed $1 billion to help pandemic-stressed people pay overdue water bills.

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