State Agencies Detail Progress Implementing Water Resilience Portfolio

Jan 11, 2022 at 9:35am

California Natural Resources Agency

SACRAMENTO—A new report released today conveys significant progress made in the past 18 months to implement the Water Resilience Portfolio, the Newsom Administration’s water policy blueprint to build climate resilience in the face of more extreme cycles of wet and dry.

The report summarizes work done on each of 142 separate actions called for in the Water Resilience Portfolio. The portfolio was developed by the California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, and California Department of Food and Agriculture in response to Governor Newsom’s April 2019 Executive Order calling for a suite of actions that would help California communities, the economy, and the environment address long-standing water challenges while adapting water systems to a changing climate.

Recent progress includes assisting tens of thousands of Californians who depend on small water systems or domestic wells that have drinking water supply problems, dedicating hundreds of millions of dollars to improve streamflow for salmon and other native fish species, advancing the removal of four obsolete dams that block salmon passage on the Klamath River, providing extensive financial and technical assistance to local sustainable groundwater management agencies, restoring streams and floodplains, and steadily improving the state’s ability to manage flood and drought.

The 2021-22 state budget included $5.2 billion in water resilience investments across California that will build momentum to carry out portfolio priorities over the next several years. On Jan. 10, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed an additional $750 million in water resilience investments, with a focus on water conservation, drought relief, protection of fish and wildlife, groundwater recharge, and support for local agencies bringing groundwater basins into sustainable conditions.

“We’ve made solid progress building drought and flood resilience across the state in the last 18 months,” said Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot. “At the same time, accelerating climate change has driven weather whiplash, worsening drought and flood threats in real-time. Recognizing this urgency, we have to deploy historic funding provided by the Governor and Legislature quickly and effectively, in partnership with local and regional partners. Every part of California has unique water supplies, environmental conditions, user needs, and vulnerabilities. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to our water challenges, and the portfolio recognizes that.”

The portfolio builds upon lessons learned in the 2012-16 drought, which exacerbated a long-standing struggle in many California communities. An estimated one million Californians do not have access to reliable supplies of safe drinking water. Many actions in the portfolio aim to help communities maintain and diversify their water supplies.

Continue reading the article and find the report at the the California Natural Resources Agency