Though the coronavirus pandemic has dramatically altered legislative priorities and the way we live, the Southern California Water Coalition’s vision for a resilient water supply for California remains clear. Our Legislative Task Force sees five key needs for funding should lawmakers advance a Climate Resilience Bond for the November 2020 ballot.
Five recommendations for the 2020 Climate Resilience Bond:
- $750 million to $1 billion for grants and low-interest loans for recycled water as a standalone program, administered by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).
- $500 million for repair of state-owned water conveyance facilities that are failing due to land subsidence.
- Implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA).
- $500 million to $1 billion for treatment of Constituents of Emerging Concern.
- Include salinity management and desalination projects that treat brackish water and seawater on the list of eligible projects for regional or inter-regional funding to build resilience from flood or drought.
Enormous challenges lay ahead of us with projected extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, depleted groundwater basins, and aging infrastructure. Each of these challenges is consequential on its own. Together, they pose a grave threat that is only intensified by seismic vulnerabilities and sea level rise due to climate change. To address those impacts at a statewide, regional and local level, we must have new financial resources available to make critical investments quickly and efficiently.
Local and regional water agencies should be trusted and empowered to manage their water resources and plan for the future. We strongly support regional supply diversification that achieves multiple benefits. Significant investments by the state are necessary for DWR and the SWRCB to promote a climate resilient supply.