PCL Foundation’s Water Policy Program seeks to reform how the state manages its water resources by developing and implementing sustainable policies. These policies promote water conservation and encourage innovative new supply options, such as water recycling and groundwater cleanup.
PCL, in partnership with the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, facilitates Water Summit, a collaborative forum bringing together groups throughout California to identify innovative solutions for pressing water issues. These issues include: improving water quality, increasing watershed restoration, meeting California’s growing water demand, and determining the underlying causes of fish declines. Since its inception in 2008, more than 100 individuals have participated in Water Summit, including representatives of legislative offices, business associations, water agencies, and conservation and environmental justice groups.
Affordable Solutions to California’s Water Crisis
Utilizing our 2005 Investment Strategy for California Water report (PDF) that identifies the most cost-effective and environmentally beneficial water management strategies, the League has developed a new set of policy proposals entitled 8 Affordable Water Solutions for California (1MB PDF). These solutions will help our state rebuild our collapsing fisheries, restore critical watersheds, and provide clean drinking water for existing residents and well-planned growth.
Strengthen Statewide Water Planning
The state has a number of major planning efforts underway, including the California Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) State Water Plan Update 2013 that will help guide water planning throughout the state over the next 5-10 years. The State Water Plan has significant potential to influence policy makers and water managers, but has historically been only a great source of water information rather than a vision for the future. As part of the Advisory Committee for Update 2013, PCL is working to ensure that the Water Plan Update sets a clear vision for California’s water planning, including goals of:
- Establishing water supplies that are affordable
- Protecting environmental and public health
- Fostering regional self-sufficiency
- Prioritizing a ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ approach to water management.
Advance Positive Solutions for the Bay-Delta
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta region has been at the heart of water conflicts for decades. A triad of intertwined planning processes will have extensive impacts on the Delta ecosystem:
- Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan
- Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP)
- State Water Resources Control Board’s Water Quality Control Plan.
In their current forms, these planning efforts focus on adopting 20th century solutions to solve 21st century problems; in particular, BDCP will likely be environmentally devastating and unfeasibly expensive. PCL is utilizing our own expertise and the coalition of allies we have worked with over the past nine years to develop more sustainable long-term management strategies for the Delta. We are also working on a positive consensus-based approach to promote near-term actions that can help protect and restore the Delta, through our participation and leadership in the Coalition to Support Delta Projects.