PCL Insider – October 2019

Water Portfolio Recommendations Submitted

Earlier this year Governor Newsom called for input for a Governor’s Water Resilience Portfolio to be issued by the end of the year. PCL convened and sponsored an entirely ad hoc and un-budgeted effort called the Portfolio Recommendations Group. It brought together opinion leaders from state and local governments, urban water agencies, environmental groups, irrigation districts, environmental justice groups, fire leaders, flood agencies, businesses and watershed groups.

We had two objectives. The first was to identify recommendations that have broad support. The second, equally important, objective was to build and foster relationships among diverse parties that do not usually, if ever, speak directly with each other.

We started by creating a website (portfoliorecgroup.org) where anyone could post recommendations. Next, the group broke into subgroups to identify the top-tier potential recommendations in six categories: Human Right to Water, Diverse Water Supplies, Healthy Waterways, Climate Resilient Watersheds, Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta, and Groundwater. Over the course of three months, they were refined by the subgroups.  Participants were able to identify which sets of recommendations they support.

On September 19, the final recommendations were submitted to the Newsom administration. You can see them at portfoliorecgroup.org.

In the time available, there were many other very important issues that the group just could not address. Nonetheless, important progress was made.

We believe that significant progress was also made on the second objective, building and fostering relationships among diverse parties that do not usually, if ever, speak directly with each other. It would be worthwhile to find ways to continue this type of meaningful dialogue. That would be useful for creating additional areas of agreement as well as assisting the Administration to actually implement the recommendations.

This ad hoc, unbudgeted work benefitted from overall facilitation provided by Toby Briggs, Engagement Coordinator, Friends of the River; Subgroup facilitation provided by Marguerite Patil, Contra Costa Water District, Jodie Monaghan, JM Consultants, Gardiner, Catalyst Group; and meeting facilities provided by Shaw / Yoder / Antwih, Inc..

For more information or to discuss how the dialogue can be continued, contact Jonas Minton, Convener, Portfolio Recommendations Group, at jminton@pcl.org.