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California’s governor signs $15 billion climate resilience package

  • California’s governor signs $15 billion climate resilience package

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Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Executive Director Dave Eggerton issued the following statement in response to Gov. Gavin Newsom signing legislation that authorizes more than $15 billion in budget year 2021-22 for climate resilience, including funding for drought response and long-term water resilience:

“ACWA applauds the foresight demonstrated by the Legislature and the Governor in making possible this long-term commitment to building climate resilience. Our ability to effectively respond to the drought we are experiencing today and those to come requires state and federal investment in every tool in the toolbox of local water management. This ranges from conservation efforts to improving the aging infrastructure that stores and delivers our state’s water supplies, as well as enhancing the operation of those systems by embracing innovation such as Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO). The state’s actions today to invest in water infrastructure will ultimately make a generational difference in how we achieve climate resilience by protecting our environment and sustaining our quality of life."

“Today marks a significant step toward successfully answering the many challenges inherent to climate change adaption, and ACWA encourages the investment of additional funding to strengthening California’s water resilience.”

The funding package signed by Newsom includes 24 bills covering a wide range of areas of interest to ACWA member agencies, including water quality, drought resilience and wildfire prevention and forest health. A $1.5 Billion Wildfire and Forest Resilience Package builds on a $536 million early action package in April ahead of peak fire season, and an additional $988 million in 2021-22 will fund projects to reduce wildfire risk and improve the health of forests and wildlands.

The package also includes the following funding allocations specifically related to water and wastewater issues included in SB 170 by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley):

  • $650 million for drinking water projects
  • $650 million for wastewater projects
  • $200 million for small community drought relief
  • $200 million for multibenefit projects
  • $200 million for groundwater cleanup and water recycling projects
  • $30 million for PFAS remediation
  • $197 million for the Urban Flood Risk Reduction Program
  • $180 million for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act implementation
  • $165 million to the California Natural Resources Agency for water resilience projects that improve environmental conditions to promote recovery of native fish species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin watershed
  • $100 million for urban community drought relief
  • $100 million for water conveyance projects
  • $101 million to the Department of Water Resources for immediate drought support
  • $25 million for watershed climate studies
  • $20 million for an Aqueduct Solar Panel Pilot Study
  • $50 million to the Department of Conservation to implement the Multibenefit Land Repurposing Program for groundwater sustainability projects that reduce groundwater use, repurpose irrigated agricultural land, and provide wildlife habitat
  • $40 million for the Salton Sea

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