Blog: 5 Things to Know about SoCal Water Now
September 4, 2019

By Charley Wilson, Executive Director, SCWC

September means back-to-school days and a traditional end to the lazy days of summer. However, this summer has been more lively than lazy at the Southern California Water Coalition and for those working on California water issues.

Topping our list of must-dos this summer were our suggestions to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Water Resilience Portfolio Initiative. The initiative is a joint effort by the state’s Natural Resources Agency, Environmental Protection Agency and Dept. of Food and Agriculture to develop a comprehensive strategy for meeting future water needs and ensuring statewide resilience in the face of climate change.

SCWC Weighs in on Water Resilience Portfolio

Our submittal articulates our support for Delta Conveyance as the cornerstone of a future resilience plan for California. A modern conveyance solution through the Delta is long overdue, has been studied for more than a decade, and should be moved forward in a timely manner in order to secure the state’s water supply from seismic vulnerabilities, sea level rise and other climate realities. 

When paired with ongoing investment in local and regional supply projects like desalination, recycling and stormwater capture, Delta Conveyance is a critical component that just makes sense. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be attending listening sessions throughout the region to discuss our response and perspective on these important matters. Read our response HERE.

Senate Bill 1 Continues to Move Through Legislature

Last Friday, Senate Bill 1 (Atkins) advanced out of the California Assembly Appropriations Committee and is headed to the Assembly floor with a series of amendments that don’t address concerns SCWC and others have raised about its creation of rigid mandates for water management that would undo voluntary negotiated agreements and override collaborative science-based approaches to environmental issues. We’ll continue our work with the California Chamber of Commerce, Metropolitan Water District and others to make the bill work for long-term water reliability as the Sept. 13 deadline for bills to be passed fast approaches.

Nearly a Quarter Billion Dollars Authorized for Safe, Affordable Drinking Water

On August 20, the State Water Resources Control Board authorized $130 million in funds this year and annually for the next decade for drinking water quality improvements within disadvantaged communities. It marks a milestone on the path to fixing one of California water’s more intractable problems: what to do about water systems that routinely fail to meet water quality standards.

For us, the innovative and creative deal struck to finding funding for this historic solution provides hope that some of the other vexing problems impacting the state’s water supply can also be achieved soon.

Stormwater Workshop Sept. 27

Planning is underway by our Stormwater Task Force for our Sept. 27 workshop and white paper publication. Make your plans to attend this informative day of knowledge sharing and networking as the region’s leaders in stormwater capture discuss case studies, cost-effective project delivery and funding strategies. The work wouldn’t be possible without our event hosts Los Angeles County Public Works and Jacobs. Learn more and get tickets HERE.

SoCal’s Best Water Event of the Year

The annual SCWC dinner and meeting brings together an amazing group of leaders from across Southern California to network, share ideas and learn more about the challenges facing California’s water supply. We’re planning this year’s dinner for Thursday, October 24 at the Long Beach Hilton.

The evening’s festivities not only shine a light on the work we do but will also help us further the education and advocacy we conduct about the region’s water supply challenges and opportunities.

Reserve your tickets HERE. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Julie Ackman at jackman@socalwater.org. We hope to see you there!

The weather may still feel like summer, but we can’t afford to make these lazy days. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to advance Southern California’s interests in the state’s water supply picture. It’s important work that must continue. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events.