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Questions About Water for Governor Newsom

Borrowing a page from the More Water Now campaign, which unsuccessfully attempted earlier this year to qualify a water funding initiative for the November 2022 ballot, Governor Newsom announced a new water supply strategy on August 11.

Perhaps with the presidency in mind, or perhaps because he really means it, Newsom’s remarks were surprisingly accommodating towards those of us who have been fighting for more water supply infrastructure.

For example, Newsom said “We have a renewed sense of urgency to address this issue head on, but we do so from a multiplicity of perspectives and ways. Not just from a scarcity mindset – so much of the water conversation in this state has been about conservation – but that is a relatively small component of the overall strategy we are introducing here today. What we are focusing on is creating more water, moving away from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance.”

This shift in emphasis, if it is genuine, cannot come a moment too soon. Over the past decade, total water diversions for cities, farms, and to maintain ecosystems totaled 75 million acre feet per year. Every primary source for all this water is imperiled.

California’s reservoirs, most of which are in-stream, cannot be used to store water from early season storms, such as the deluge that fell in December 2021. If early season storms are allowed to fill these reservoirs, should a late-season storm hit the state, there would be no reservoir capacity left to […] Read More