The recent deluge that happened in California emphasizes a decades-long dilemma: A lack of infrastructure to store and shuttle water to growers who produce three-quarters of US fruits and nuts and more than one-third of its vegetables. While the rain and snow are desperately needed after the driest three-year stretch on record and billions of dollars in crop losses, much of the precipitation ends up as runoff, something that doesn’t help the state’s famed almond groves.
California governor Gavin Newsom has vowed to speed up efforts to capture more stormwater in the face of accelerating climate change and dwindling water supplies, but critics say the government isn’t moving fast enough. The state is making investments in water storage, but funding the projects take time and “has been the slowest out the door,” according to the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan think tank.
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