Water Resilience Portfolio Efforts

On July 28, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom released a final version of the Water Resilience Portfolio, 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.

Gov. Gavin Newsom in August 2022 released a new water supply strategy the Newsom Administration is taking to adapt to hotter and drier conditions caused by climate change.

The 19-page “California’s Water Supply Strategy, Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future” focuses on increasing and diversifying the state’s water supply as part of the Administration’s more focused approach to address water shortages and modernize California’s water systems.

The goals and actions of the document are divided into four main categories as outlined below.

1. Develop new water supplies

  • Reuse at least 800,000 acre-feet of water per year by 2030 and 1.8 million acre-feet by 2040.
  • Expand brackish groundwater desalination production by 28,000 acre-feet per year by 2030 and 84,000 acre-feet per year by 2040.

2. Expand water shortage capacity above and below ground by four million acre-feet

  • Expand average annual groundwater recharge by at least 500,000 acre-feet.
  • Work to complete the seven Proposition 1-supported storage projects and consider funding other viable surface storage projects.
  • Expand San Luis Reservoir by 135,000 acre-feet.
  • Rehabilitate dams to regain storage capacity.
  • Support local stormwater capture projects in cities and towns with the goal to increase annual supply capacity by at least 250,000 acre-feet by 2030 and 500,000 acre-feet by 2040.

3. Reduce demand

  • Build on conservation efforts to reduce annual water demand in towns and cities by at least a million acre-feet by 2030.
  • Help stabilize groundwater supplies.

4. Improve forecasting, data and management including water rights modernization

  • Improve flexibility of current water systems to move water throughout the state.
  • Modernize water rights administration for equity, access, flexibility and transparency.

ACWA staff is reviewing the document and will work with members to support local approaches  and address policy issues in the state’s implementation of the strategy. Staff will provide input to the Administration as these actions are implemented.

ACWA Resources

Association of California Water Agencies’ Comments regarding the Draft Water
Resilience Portfolio – Feb. 7, 2020

ACWA Recommendations to the Newsom Administration for the Water Resilience Portfolio – Sept. 9, 2019

Communications Advisory: ACWA Engaged with State’s Water Resilience Portfolio Effort – July 1, 2019

Working Group

ACWA created a 28-member Water Resilience Portfolio Working Group comprised of subject matter experts and water industry leaders from within all 10 ACWA Regions. The Working Group helped guide the work of ACWA staff in developing recommendations for the Portfolio.

Leadership

Chair – Steve Lamar, ACWA Vice President
Vice Chair – Scott Petersen, San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Agency

Policy Leads

Topic Name Role in ACWA/Agency Region
Agriculture Michelle Reimers Turlock Irrigation District 4
Jason Phillips Friant Water Authority 7
Climate Change Steve LaMar ACWA Vice President 10
Marlaigne Dumaine East Bay MUD 5
Delta Conveyance Roger Patterson MWD of So. Cal. 8
Jim Peifer Vice Chair, Fed. Affairs Comm. 4
Ecosystems Grant Davis Sonoma Water Agency 1
Lewis Bair Reclamation Dist. 108 2
Flood Management Curt Aikens Yuba Water Agency 2
Antonio Alfaro Santa Clara Valley WD 5
Funding Brian Poulsen Chair, State Leg. Comm. 3
Groundwater John Woodling Chair, Groundwater Comm. 4
Eric Averett Vice Chair, Groudwater Comm. 7
Deanna Jackson Tri-County Water Authority 6
Headwaters Willie Whittlesey Chair, Headwaters Work Group 2
Infrastructure Patrick O’Dowd Chair, Fed. Affairs Comm. 9
Scott Petersen San Luis Delta-Mendota W.A. 6
Water Reuse Paul Jones Eastern MWD 9
Regional Self Reliance Larry McKenney Co-Chair, IRWM Subcommittee 10
Lance Eckhart Co-Chair, IRWM Subcommittee 9
Safe Drinking Water Larry McKenney Chair, DAC Task Force 10
Steve Bigley Vice Chair, Water Quality Comm. 9
Brad Coffey MWD of So. Cal. 8
Storage Ted Trimble Vice Chair, Water Mgmt. Comm. 2
Jerry Brown Contra Costa Water District 5
Voluntary Agreements Curt Aikens Yuba Water Agency 2
Michelle Reimers Turlock Irrigation District 4
Water Supply Paul Shoenberger Chair, Water Mgmt. Comm. 10
Jennifer Burke City of Santa Rosa 1
Water Use Efficiency Elizabeth Lovsted San Diego County W.A. 10
Debbie Liebersbach Turlock Irrigation District 4

Background

Governor Gavin Newsom on April 29 signed an executive order directing the secretaries of the California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to identify and assess a suite of complementary actions to ensure safe and resilient water supplies, flood protection and healthy waterways for the state’s communities, economy and environment.

The order seeks to broaden California’s approach on water as the state faces a range of existing challenges, including unsafe drinking water, major flood risks that threaten public safety, severely depleted groundwater aquifers, agricultural communities coping with uncertain water supplies and native fish populations threatened with extinction.

To learn more about the portfolio, please visit the State’s Water Resilience Portfolio website. You may also read the Governor’s Executive Order at the link below.

Link to Governor’s Executive Order

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