Riverside County supervisors approved a resolution this week calling on the governor to "secure California's water future" by adopting a 15-step action plan that emphasizes the preservation of local water supplies and the need for improved management of resources statewide.
At the urging of Supervisor Marion Ashley, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted in support of the Association of California Water Agencies' Statewide Water Action Plan, which was submitted to Gov. Jerry Brown in October.
"Long-term water supply reliability and improved ecosystem health are the hallmarks of the ... plan," Ashley said in an introduction to the resolution. "The (plan) lays out guiding principles to ensure actions benefit the entire state."
The 15 items recommended by the ACWA are:
-- upgrade or construct water storage infrastructure statewide to ensure enough supplies can be tapped to sustain the state in a multi-year drought;
-- increase funding for water efficiency programs managed by the California Department of Water Resources and local agencies;
-- preserve landowners' water rights;
-- prescribe efforts to prevent reservoirs from being exhausted to the point of becoming "dead pools";
-- expand support for increasing local water supplies via stormwater capturing, recycling, desalination and groundwater purification projects;
-- implement protective measures to spare headwaters from wildfire damage;
-- support efforts to protect the quality of surface water;
-- move the Bay Delta Conservation Plan forward, while minimizing its potential "adverse impacts";
-- repair and bolster levees around waterways to reduce flooding risks, especially in the San Joaquin Valley;
-- develop an "emergency response plan" in the event massive wildfires, floods and earthquakes disrupt water availability;
-- ensure that the State Water Board takes the lead in coordinating implementation of the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan related to the Delta;
-- resolve conflicting regulatory guidelines that disrupt groundwater storage opportunities;
-- improve communication between state and federal officials to expedite water projects;
-- establish policies and procedures that accelerate water reclamation efforts; and
-- encourage voters to pass a multibillion-dollar water bond proposed for the November 2014 election.
"The Statewide Water Action Plan provides ... strategies to secure California's water future," according to the resolution. "When implemented together, this suite of actions will serve as a sustainable path forward in California."
—City News Service