As climate change continues to threaten the state’s water infrastructure and reliability, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order directing his administration to think differently and act boldly by developing a comprehensive strategy to build a climate-resilient water system.
The order seeks to broaden California’s approach on water as the state faces a range of existing challenges, including unsafe drinking water, major flood risks that threaten public safety, severely depleted groundwater aquifers, agricultural communities coping with uncertain water supplies and native fish populations threatened with extinction.
“California’s water challenges are daunting, from severely depleted groundwater basins to vulnerable infrastructure to unsafe drinking water in far too many communities. Climate change magnifies the risks,” said Governor Newsom. “To meet these challenges, we need to harness the best in science, engineering and innovation to prepare for what’s ahead and ensure long-term water resilience and ecosystem health. We’ll need an all-of-above approach to get there.”
The order directs the secretaries of the California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to identify and assess a suite of complementary actions to ensure safe and resilient water supplies, flood protection and healthy waterways for the state’s communities, economy and environment.
The order directs the state to think bigger and more strategically on water by directing the agencies to inventory and assess current water supplies and the health of waterways, future demands and challenges. The agencies will seek input over the coming weeks and months through listening sessions, information workshops and other public meetings to help inform the water resilience portfolio that will be recommended to the Governor.
A copy of the order issued by Governor Newsom today can be found here.