California continued to make significant advances towards sustainable water management in 2016, according to an implementation report prepared by several California agencies that details the achievements of the California Water Action Plan that were accomplished by the state last year.
“We built momentum in 2016 that we intend to maintain in 2017 and beyond,” said California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird. “United by the Water Action Plan goals and enabled by the Proposition 1 funds, we are making investments that will pay off for generations to come.”
The California Water Action Plan, which was originally released in January 2014 by the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown, serves as a “roadmap for the first five years of the state’s journey toward sustainable water management.” Goals of the plan include making conservation a California way of life, protecting and restoring important ecosystems, managing and preparing for dry periods, and providing safe water for all communities, among others. The plan is the foundation for expenditures under Proposition 1, which was a $7.5 billion water bond passed in Nov. 2014.
Prepared by the California Natural Resources Agency, California Department of Food and Agriculture and California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Water Action Plan Implementation Report provided a summary of accomplishments from 2016. These achievements include investing hundreds of millions of dollars of Proposition 1 funds in local projects that recycle water, improve farm irrigation water efficiency, capture storm water, and stretch and safeguard supplies; launching dozens of habitat restoration projects around the state; and implementing regulations to carry out the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014.
“This plan is critically important beyond the year-to-year fluctuations we experience in precipitation. Looking ahead, we know that we must work together to make every drop of water count in California,” said California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.
“The drought has highlighted the challenges California faces under climate change,” added California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Matt Rodriquez. “The Water Action Plan serves as an invaluable guide to ensure that our short-term responses to the drought are also being translated into actions that make our water system more sustainable and resilient over the long term.”