Speakers included Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Paul Gosselin, Deputy Director of Sustainable Groundwater Management, Department of Water Resources Erik Ekdahl, Deputy Secretary, California State Water Resources Control Board

The Water Blueprint for the San Joaquin Valley (The Blueprint) held its large group meeting with over 100 stakeholders at Fresno State yesterday to outline its priorities to achieve accessible and reliable water supplies for industries and the communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

The Water Blueprint for the San Joaquin Valley (Blueprint) is a coalition of local leaders, water agencies, community-based organizations, farmers, commodity groups, and industry engaging to identify common-sense water solutions for our community and state.

Outlined during the meeting, stakeholders provided a framework with a diversified approach that could grow water supplies and improve water conveyance so that the San Joaquin Valley can be more resilient to climate change while also being resourceful in the years of high precipitation.

Strategic investments in infrastructure in the near-term are highlighted below as a part of needed implementation plan:

  • Interregional Water Planning ($10 million)
    • Continued collaborative region planning to ensure the development of a multi-beneficial water strategy for the Valley.
    • Studies and pilot projects to identify best practices for diverting surplus flood water from the Delta.
  • Conveyance ($835 million)
    • Allocate $585 million to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) for grants to repair Central Valley conveyance facilities impacted by subsidence.
    • Apportion $250 million to DWR for grants to support local and regional water conveyance projects.
  • Regional Resilience and Sustainability ($1.5 billion)
    • There have been 150 groundwater sustainability projects that have been identified to expedite that will capture local storm water, increase groundwater recharge, and build resiliency, along with incentivizing water recycling.
  • Multi-Benefit Land Repurposing ($1 billion)
    • Allocate funds to groundwater sustainability agencies to acquire and repurpose land contributing to subsidence that affects infrastructure such as canals, drinking water wells and transition those areas to land trusts and other non-governmental organizations. These firms would acquire land for ecosystem restoration.

About the Water Blueprint

The Water Blueprint serves as the united voice to champion water resource policies and projects to maximize accessible, affordable, and reliable supplies for sustainable and productive farms and ranches, healthy communities, and thriving ecosystems in the San Joaquin Valley. The purpose of the Blueprint is simple; divert a portion of water in high precipitation years, to have as groundwater storage use in dry years. This principle will help prepare our region during periods of drought, while ensuring supplies for the agricultural and local communities.

waterblueprintca.com

Rachel Glauser 661.488.7297 rachel@provconsult.com