Governor Newsom Releases Final Water Resilience Portfolio

Governor Gavin Newsom released a final version of the Administration’s blueprint for equipping California to cope with more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, declining fish populations, over-reliance on groundwater and other challenges.

The Water Resilience Portfolio outlines 142 state actions to help build a climate-resilient water system in the face of climate change. The actions tie directly to Administration efforts to carry out recent laws regarding safe and affordable drinking water, groundwater sustainability and water-use efficiency.

A draft of the document was initially released in January this year and has had input from more than 200 separate individuals and organizations helped shape revisions, including the addition of 14 new actions. The revisions give greater emphasis to tribal interests and leadership, upper watershed health and cross-border water issues.

Given the recent drastic downturn in the state’s budget situation, the final version acknowledges that the pace of progress on the actions in the portfolio will depend upon the resources available.

The Portfolio outlines the following priorities:

  • Implementing the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Act of 2019
  • Supporting local communities to successfully implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014
  • Achieving voluntary agreements to increase flows and improve conditions for native fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its watersheds
  • Modernizing the Delta water conveyance system to protect long-term functionality of the State Water Project
  • Updating regulations to expand water recycling
  • Accelerating permitting of new smart water storage
  • Expanding seasonal floodplains for fish and flood benefits
  • Improving conditions at the Salton Sea
  • Removing dams from the Klamath River
  • Better leveraging of information and data to improve water management

State agencies intend to track and share progress on portfolio implementation with an annual report and stakeholder gathering.

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