California Governor Outlines Plan for a ‘Hotter, Drier Future’

With California’s water supply expected to drop by 10 percent in the next two decades, Governor Newsom’s strategy calls for conservation and increased investment in water collection, storage, and desalination infrastructure.

2 minute read

August 12, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

A new plan issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom outlines a strategy for reducing the state’s water use in advance of a projected 10 percent decrease in the state’s water supply. As reported by Ian James in the Los Angeles Times, “The plan focuses on accelerating infrastructure projects, boosting conservation and upgrading the state’s water system to match the increasing pace of climate change, securing enough water for an estimated 8.4 million households.”

“Drought is a permanent fixture here in the American West and California will adapt to this new reality.” — Gov. Gavin Newsom

As stated in the plan, “Targeted state funds and focus will support local efforts to conserve, capture, recycle, and de-salt enough water to allow California communities to prosper in a hotter, drier climate.” The strategy calls for expanding water storage capacity and groundwater recharge, speeding up wastewater recycling projects and runoff capture, and investing in desalination. “The plan includes targets and timelines, such as expanding desalination of brackish groundwater to 84,000 acre-feet by 2040, and boosting the state’s capacity to capture storm water by 500,000 acre-feet by 2040. For comparison, the total annual water use of Los Angeles is nearly 500,000 acre-feet.”

In May, California’s Coastal Commission rejected a governor-backed proposal to build a desalination project in Huntington Beach, dealing a blow to Newsom’s plans to expand desalination in the state. To date, 12 seawater desalination facilities operate in the state, with three proposals for new facilities making their way through the system.

Thursday, August 11, 2022 in Los Angeles Times

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