June 10 —The Association of California Water Agencies recommended a series of strategies and actions June 10 for building a statewide water management system more resilient to drought.
Included in a report that offers a snapshot of the current drought's regional impact and local vulnerabilities should 2015 be another dry year, the recommendations echo ACWA's prior calls for action to shore-up the state's aging water infrastructure, create new surface and groundwater storage, streamline water transfers and reduce the red-tape for innovative technologies like water recycling and desalination.
“This is snapshot in time,’’ ACWA President John Coleman said during a press call announcing the report, “2014 Drought: Impacts and Strategies for Resilience.’’
Coleman said the report is not intended to be a comprehensive analysis of impacts, but rather a look at local vulnerabilities in the water system exposed by the drought.
Citing estimated from an earlier report by the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis, ACWA's report said California's nearly $45 billion a year agricultural industry stands to lose $1.7 billion from the drought. About 400,000 acres of farmland is expected to be idled this year due to lack of water.
Mandatory water restrictions are in place in many local communities, and lower river flows pose threats to endangered fish, such as the Chinook salmon, the report said. The extremely dry conditions have resulted in a nearly year-round wildfire season, the report said.
Topping the list of ACWA's recommendations is a call for federal and state officials to provide funding and technical assistance to implement shovel-ready water infrastructure projects, Dave Brent of Sacramento's utilities department said.
For example, Orange County has a groundwater replenishment system ready to go, and Sacramento needs to install new water intakes because water levels are so low, Brent said.
ACWA's report also recommends:
The Natural Resources Defense Council and Pacific Institute released a separate report June 10 saying California could save as much as 14 million acre-feet of water a year through aggressive conservation efforts, reusing water and capturing stormwater.
The report, “The Untapped Potential of California's Water Supply,’’ looks at how modern irrigation technologies and practices can cut agricultural use of water by 17 to 22 percent, or 5.6 to 6.6 million acre feet a year. Improved efficiency, stormwater capture and greater water reuse in urban areas can save from 5.2 to 7.1 million acre feet a year, the report said.
“As climate change brings more extreme weather, including droughts, ramping up forward-thinking solutions now will help us be more resilient,’’ Peter Gleick, president of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute, said in a statement. “With widespread adoption of available water conservation and efficiency improvements, demand can be met more readily, less expensively, and with less pressure on tapped-out rivers and groundwater basins. Moreover, water reuse and stormwater capture can boost local supplies.
During the ACWA press call, the organization's executive director Timothy Quinn said the water savings estimates in the NRDC-Pacific Institute report were “inflated.’’
“ACWA members … are doing these things,’’ Quinn said of the water saving measures outlined in the NRDC-Pacific Institute report. “We need comprehensive solutions.’’
To contact the reporter on this story: Carolyn Whetzel in Los Angeles at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)