On August 11, 2022, Governor Newsom announced an emergency four-pointed plan (called California’s Water Supply Strategy) that addresses the intensifying drought by creating additional water supplies. Originally detailed in California’s water master plan titled the Water Resilience Portfolio. The strategy calls for:
- Creating 4 million acre-feet of water storage space to capture from large storms when they occur.
- Reusing and recycling at least 800,000 acre-feet of water per year by 2030
- Freeing up 500,000 acre-feet of water for new purposes each year by permanently eliminating water waste
- Desalinating ocean water and salty water in groundwater basins.
To implement these goals, the Administration has identified various steps per goal that require jurisdictional coordination, streamlining regulatory processes and technical assistance to the entities taking conservation efforts. While the plan points to many specific actions, CCM highlights the most pertinent actions that affect the citrus industry and agriculture as a whole:
- Reuse at least 800,000 acre-feet of water per year by 2030 and 1.8 million acre-feet by 2040, with most of that additional recycling involving direct wastewater discharges that are now going to the ocean.
- Expand brackish groundwater desalination production by 28,000 acre-feet per year by 2030 and 84,000 acre-feet per year by 2040 and help guide location of seawater desalination projects where they are cost effective and environmentally appropriate.
- Expand average annual groundwater recharge by at least 500,000 acre-feet.
- Expand San Luis Reservoir by 135,000 acre-feet.
- Rehabilitate dams to regain storage capacity with current funding.
- Help stabilize groundwater supplies for all groundwater users, including a more drought-resilient agricultural economy.
- Modernize water rights administration for equity, access, flexibility, and transparency.
To read the administration’s strategy plan, click here.
For more information: gov.ca.gov