A Climate Resilience Bond must invest in California’s water future

  • by Dave Eggerton and Rick Callender
  • Jun 14, 2024
  • Voices on Water

The evidence is overwhelming. We are experiencing the impacts of climate change now. Our wet years are becoming warmer and wetter. Our dry years are becoming drier, warmer, and more frequent. This extreme weather creates dangerous and costly consequences in the Bay Area and across California.

In the past 12 years, California has endured two multi-year droughts, including a stretch from 2020 to 2022 that was the state’s driest three-year period on record. California also experienced two of the wettest winters on record, fueled by a parade of atmospheric rivers that caused flooding in Santa Clara County and across the state. If we fail to invest in infrastructure now, we all will face serious challenges with disadvantaged communities bearing the worst through unaffordable water and increased flooding.

That’s why Valley Water and the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) are advocating for a Climate Resilience Bond to be placed on the November ballot with two-thirds of the funding going to water infrastructure. If passed by voters, this general obligation bond would fund investments that protect California from the impacts of climate change, including infrastructure for water, drought and flood preparedness, protection from wildfires and sea level rise, and other critical natural resource issues.

Extended droughts and less snowpack in the Sierra Nevada are in our future. We must capture precipitation during warmer, wetter years. We need improved conveyance facilities to move water to storage for beneficial uses for people and the environment. We also need to strengthen our existing dams and reservoirs to withstand seismic events for public safety and to regain access to their original capacities to store essential water supplies in preparation for drought.

Whether it is drought, flood, or sea level rise, Valley Water is on the frontlines in the fight against climate change. Our work to rebuild Anderson Dam, the largest drinking water reservoir in Santa Clara County, will enable us to safely store water for drought and better respond when intensified storms threaten downstream flooding. Valley Water is also working to expand our county’s reliance on recycled and purified water to meet at least 10% of our county’s water demands. We must develop large-scale purified water as a drought-proof supply.

Let’s not forget that rising temperatures also increase the need for flood protection. Studies indicate that San Francisco Bay will experience a 13 to 23-inch rise in sea level by 2050, leaving the Bay Area at great risk of coastal flooding. Valley Water continues to work on the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project, which will provide coastal flood protection to businesses, residents and other critical infrastructure all while restoring and protecting wetlands. Despite the Shoreline Project’s critical importance, full funding is still not secured.

All these projects are costly and necessary in our efforts to become climate resilient, and they total more than local water ratepayers and taxpayers can fund on their own. Environmental justice is served with a Climate Resilience Bond that more equitably funds projects that protect communities from flooding and provide Californians access to safe and affordable drinking water.

Our state, regional, and local water systems were not designed for extreme weather. Because water infrastructure projects often take decades to design and construct, the Legislature must act now. Our children, grandchildren and future generations are counting on us.

Rick Callender is the Chief Executive Officer of Valley Water. Dave Eggerton is the Executive Director of the Association of California Water Agencies.

Suggested Resources

15 RESOURCES prev next
Priority Issues Bulletin

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Comment Letter — Proposed Making Conservation a California Way of Life Regulation

To: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter — Proposed Making Conservation a California Way of Life Regulation Letter excerpt: […]

Making Conservation a CA Way of Life Toolkit

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Making Conservation a CA Way of Life Fact Sheet – July 2024

The State Water Resources Control Board is expected to adopt the proposed Making Conservation a California Way of Life regulation […]

Regulatory Roundup

The following document is released each month and includes policy updates from ACWA’s Regulatory Department. Click on the below link […]

Quench Toolkit Summer 2024

ACWA’s statewide public education campaign, Quench California, has released new social media graphics and customizable posts to help member agencies […]

Draft Clean Transportation Program Investment Plan and Advisory Committee Meeting

Agency: California Energy Commission Subject: Association of California Water Agencies’ Comments on Draft Clean Transportation Program Investment Plan and Advisory […]

Climate Resilience Bond Coalition Letter

To: California Legislators Subject: Climate Resilience Bond Coalition Letter Letter excerpt: The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and the […]

Coalition Budget Letter – Oppose Funding Reductions for Voluntary Agreements

To: Governor Newsom, Senate Pro Tem McGuire, Assembly Speaker Rivas Letter excerpt: On behalf of the Association of California Water Agencies […]

Comment Letter – Proposed Making Conservation a California Way of Life Regulation

To: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Proposed Making Conservation a California Way of Life Regulation Letter excerpt: […]

ON DEMAND: 2024 Spring Conference

ACWA’s 2024 Spring Conference ON DEMAND! Thank you to all those who participated in ACWA’s 2024 Spring Conference. This unique […]

ACWA 2024 Spring Conference Presentations

Presentations from ACWA’s 2024 Spring Conference & Expo held May 7-9 in Sacramento are available below. Please note that this […]

ACWA 2024 Spring Conference Attorney Programs

Presentations from the Attorney Programs held during ACWA’s 2024 Spring Conference & Expo May 7-9 in Sacramento are available below. […]

ACWA 2024 Spring Conference Committee Meeting Resources

Resources for ACWA Committee Meetings held during ACWA’s 2024 Spring Conference & Expo are available below.  Agriculture Committee Agenda Work […]

ACWA Climate Change Policy Principles

Climate change impacts in California are occurring, with substantial further effects likely to emerge through this century. Climate change impacts […]

Suggested News

15 Articles prev next
July 19, 2024 ACWA News Available

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Spotlight July 2024: Member Agencies Assist in Boosting Firefighting Air Power

For firefighting helicopters, the fewer minutes between a water source and wildfire is the difference between successful containment and an […]

ACWA Priorities Connect with Water Stewardship and Affordability

ACWA member agencies are stewards of the communities they serve.  In this capacity, they are responsible for the reliability of […]

New Study Reveals Significant Impact of Predation on Native Fish Populations

CENTRAL VALLEY – A groundbreaking five-year study conducted by FISHBIO and a coalition of Central Valley water agencies has uncovered […]

WVWD Begins New Headquarters Transformation

Walnut Valley Water District (WVWD) proudly announces the start of renovations for its new headquarters, marking a pivotal moment in […]

ACWA Continues Advocacy on Advanced Clean Fleets Regulation

ACWA continues to advocate for amendments to the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Advanced Clean Fleet (ACF) regulation to ensure it […]

July 2024 Priority Issues Update Now Available

The July 2024 Priority Issues Update is now available online to members. The update is a summary of the latest […]

EPA Awards PWD $14 Million Loan to Fund Pure Water AV Demonstration Facility

PALMDALE – Palmdale Water District (PWD) is pleased to announce that it has received a $14.8 million Water Infrastructure Finance […]

MWA Family Night Event Brings Water Conveyance To Life

APPLE VALLEY — The Mojave Water Agency (MWA) was filled with the sound of laughter and excitement as families gathered […]

Santa Cruz Water Department Publishes 2023 Water Quality Report in Spanish

SANTA CRUZ – The Santa Cruz Water Department is proud to announce that the 2023 Water Quality Report is now […]

EMWD Celebrates Groundbreaking of San Jacinto Valley Groundwater Treatment Facility

PERRIS — Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) today commemorated the groundbreaking of its new San Jacinto Valley Groundwater Treatment Facility […]

General Manager Supports Cost-Saving Conservation Legislation in Sacramento

ROWLAND HEIGHTS — Rowland Water District (RWD) General Manager Tom Coleman spoke before the California State Assembly Committee on Water, […]

WVWD Enhances Local Sustainability with Expanded Recycled Water Infrastructure

WALNUT — Walnut Valley Water District (WVWD) has taken a significant step towards bolstering local water sustainability through the expansion […]

SCV Water Dedicates Water Treatment Plant after the Late Edward G. “Jerry” Gladbach

SCV Water recently held a dedication ceremony to rename its Rio Vista Water Treatment as the E. G. “Jerry” Gladbach […]

Engaging Digital Report Inspires Water Quality Confidence

ROWLAND HEIGHTS — Rowland Water District (RWD) customers can now explore the District’s Annual Water Quality Report through an interactive […]