Weather Extremes Drive Home the Case for Water Infrastructure

  • by Cindy Tuck
  • Jan 23, 2023
  • Voices on Water

As if we needed more proof, the long series of atmospheric rivers that have soaked California not only provided a deadly and destructive reminder of how our climate is changing, they also drove home the fact that the planning for, and investment in, water infrastructure are critical to securing California’s water future.

California’s existing water infrastructure was not designed to sustain our cities, communities, farms and environment through the intense drought and flood patterns brought on by climate change. Successfully adapting to this new reality requires continued and increased investment in water infrastructure, including above- and below-ground storage. 

Nothing expresses this critical need more clearly than California simultaneously being in declared drought and flood emergencies.

This call to action is being heard, and ACWA advocacy in collaboration with our member agencies has had a lot to do with getting this message across. With support in Washington D.C. and action by California’s leaders, the past few years have seen important appropriations of funding for water infrastructure at the federal and state levels. Local and regional public water agencies and their customers will continue to do their part. But additional funding assistance is needed to provide climate and water resilience for California’s future. ACWA is pleased that the governor wants to explore the advancement of a natural resources bond. Working with the ACWA State Legislative Committee, ACWA is already engaged in this topic.

California also needs more investment in other water management tools such as groundwater banking and groundwater recharge projects. One challenge is getting flood water to where it will do the most good, including at critically overdrawn groundwater basins. This is where we need to continue investment in conveyance, such as in the repair of California’s canal system. The integration of storage and conveyance is not only critical for returning groundwater basins to sustainability, it is also critical for collecting water for use during dry times.

California needs to continue research into atmospheric rivers. Modern tools such as Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations can utilize forecasting advancements to protect against floods or to retain water in storage when it is safe to do so. 

ACWA member agencies have a valuable tool in building public support for water infrastructure investment. ACWA’s Quench California campaign – www.QuenchCA.com – gives water agencies a way to both share and customize messaging for outreach to their communities. 

ACWA will continue to work with policy makers in Sacramento and Washington D.C. for water infrastructure funding that California needs to be climate resilient. As the impacts of the drought and the recent storms have shown, the stakes could not be higher.

Suggested Resources

15 RESOURCES prev next
Dam Safety Fact Sheet

ACWA, along with the California Municipal Utilities Association and California Alliance for Jobs, has released a Dam Safety Fact Sheet, […]

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

  ACWA’s Making Conservation a California Way of Life Fact Sheet provides a summary of the State Water Board’s draft regulatory […]

Comment Letter on Sacramento/Delta Draft Staff Report

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Sacramento/Delta Draft Staff Report Letter excerpt: The Association of California Water […]

Comments on Proposed Updates to the Drinking Water Cost Assessment Model

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Proposed Updates to the Drinking Water Cost Assessment Model: Other Essential Infrastructure, Admin Needs, […]

Draft White Paper: Proposed Updates for the 2024 Drinking Water Needs Assessment

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Draft White Paper Discussion On: Proposed Updates for the 2024 Drinking Water Needs Assessment […]

Division of Drinking Water Reporting Toolkit

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

ACWA 2023 Fall Conference Presentations

Presentations from ACWA’s 2023 Fall Conference & Expo held November 28-30 in Indian Wells are available below. Please note that […]

Request for Extension of Public Comment Period for Lead and Copper Rule Improvements

Agency: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Subject: USEPA Lead and Copper Rule Improvements EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0801 – Request for Extension of Public Comment Period […]

Joint Comment Letter Regarding Proposed Hexavalent Chromium MCL

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Joint Comment Letter regarding Proposed Hexavalent Chromium Maximum Contaminant Level and Addendum to the […]

2024 ACWA Scholarship Toolkit

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

ACWA 2023 Fall Conference Attorney Programs

Presentations from the Attorney Programs held during ACWA’s 2023 Fall Conference & Expo Nov. 28-30 in Indian Wells are available […]

Motion to Consider Renewal of the Electric Program Investment Charge Program

Agency: California Public Utilities Commission Subject: A.19-10-005: Order Instituting Rulemaking on the Commission’s Own Motion to Consider Renewal of the Electric […]

Comment Letter – Tulare Lake Subbasin Probationary Hearing Draft Staff Report

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Comment Letter – Tulare Lake Subbasin Probationary Hearing Draft Staff Report Letter excerpt: The […]

2023 Summary of Legislation

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

Federal Legislative Matrix

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

Suggested News

15 Articles prev next
California’s Go Golden Initiative Brings Millions to Disadvantaged Pass Area Communities

BEAUMONT — The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) awarded San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency (SGPWA) $2 million in grant […]

Water Agencies Explore Innovative Deal for Drought-Proof Water

The San Diego County Water Authority and the Moulton Niguel Water District are exploring a potential transfer of drought-resilient water […]

Zone 7 Invites Residents to Save Water and Win Big

LIVERMORE – Zone Water Agency, in partnership with California Water Service, Dublin San Ramon Services District, the City of Livermore, […]

Latest Snow Survey Shows Improvement for Sierra Snowpack

SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today conducted the third snow survey of the season at Phillips Station. […]

Water Capture Breaks Century Record

REDLANDS — With February’s atmospheric rivers dumping inches on the southland, the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District announced its […]

Deadline Extended to March 8 for ACWA’s Spring Awards

ACWA is still accepting applications for its 2024 Spring Awards Programs. To give members a little more time, ACWA is […]

WVWD Names Sheryl Shaw, P.E. as New General Manager

Walnut Valley Water District is pleased to announce a significant transition in leadership as Erik Hitchman, P.E., retires from his […]

PV Water Secures $74 Million Loan with US EPA to Fund Sustainable Water Projects

WATSONVILLE – PV Water is announcing that it has secured the funding necessary to complete the construction of the College […]

Over 15,000 JCSD Customers to Receive Bill Credits in Joint Initiative with Jurupa Valley

JURUPA VALLEY – Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD) is proudly partnering with the City of Jurupa Valley in the American […]

Colorado River Online Tool Offers Insight for Local Residents

ROWLAND HEIGHTS – Rowland Water District (RWD) has launched a Colorado River public outreach campaign, helping customers learn more about […]

Yuba Water’s Chief Dam Safety Engineer Elected to United States Society on Dams Board

Tim Truong, Yuba Water Agency’s chief dam safety engineer, has been elected to the board of directors for the United […]

Local Water Districts and the City of Ukiah Create New Ukiah Valley Water Authority

UKIAH — Millview County Water District, Redwood Valley County Water District, and the City of Ukiah took a series of […]

PWD Board Appoints Local Nurse to Fill Vacant Seat

PALMDALE – Cynthia Sanchez, a nurse at Kaiser Permanente, is the new Palmdale Water District (PWD) Board Director representing Division […]

Central Coast Agencies will use $5.5 million from DWR for Local Projects

As part of our continued partnership with local experts to make strategic investments in water supply resilience projects across the […]

Bureau Announces Initial Allocations for CVP Contractors

SACRAMENTO – The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Feb. 21 announced initial 2024 water supply allocations for Central Valley Project […]