10 Key Recommendations For California’s Drought Resilience

Though the full story of Califorinia’s drought continues to unfold, the effects are being felt across many sectors of the state, according to the Association of California Water Agencies’ (ACWA) “2014 Drought Impacts And Strategies For Resilience.” California’s $44.7 billion agricultural economy is facing significant impacts, while ripple effects are extending to everything from ports to equipment dealers to the landscape industry.

As historic dry conditions emerged in January of this year, the Association of California Water Agencies established a Drought Action Group to share information and develop recommendations to address the current drought and prepare for future dry times. The Drought Action Group, composed of 40 water community experts from throughout the state, compiled information on drought impacts around California and identified future vulnerabilities if dry conditions continue in 2015 and beyond.

This report summarizes that information as a snapshot in time and describes significant drought impacts across the areas of agriculture, wildlife protection, ecosystems, commercial industries and trade. It also identifies 2015 vulnerabilities and recommends strategies and priority actions to address this and future droughts.

Overall, the report finds the current drought has exposed key vulnerabilities in California’s water management system that must be addressed now if we are to avoid facing even more dire challenges in 10, 15 or 20 years. A variety of strategies and actions must be pursued to improve the resilience of the state’s water supply system, including investments in backbone water storage and conveyance infrastructure. These investments must be made as part of a comprehensive plan that includes expanded water conservation, water recycling, storm water capture and reuse, local and regional water storage, groundwater management and other strategies to ensure water supply reliability and ecosystem health in California.

As summer gets under way and agencies begin to prepare for 2015, the water community urges state and federal agencies to take action in partnership with local agencies to put California on a path to resilience.

Even if California receives above-average rainfall next winter, vulnerabilities exposed by this drought must be addressed. The work simply must begin today.

Following are the 10 key recommendations identified by ACWA’s Drought Action Group:

  1. State and federal agencies should facilitate construction of shovel-ready water infrastructure projects by providing funding and technical assistance as soon as possible.
  2. Consistent with ACWA’s Recommendations for Achieving Groundwater Sustainability, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) should identify ways to reduce impediments and provide funding and technical assistance for projects that create new surface and groundwater storage and improve conveyance around the state to help address the state’s groundwater challenges.
  3. State and federal agencies should continue to move toward using real-time data for operational decisions to allow for greater flexibility and efficiency in getting water to the state’s economy. Examples include using flexibility under existing law to maximize water supplies from the Delta while remaining consistent with species protection requirements; maintaining a one-to-one ratio in April and May for water transfers and exchanges involving the San Joaquin River; monitoring turbidity to allow for increased water deliveries while avoiding jeopardy to adult Delta smelt due to entrainment at state and federal pumping plants; and accelerating review of temporary barrier and operable gates to help manage salinity and improve water quality in the Delta.
  4. The state should work with stakeholders and explore opportunities to further streamline transfers including additional collaboration with the federal government and a careful review of the recent report from the Streamline Our Agency Regulations (SOAR) Water Transfers Action Team.
  5. The state should facilitate and/or expedite regulations or permitting processes that encourage innovative technologies including water recycling and desalination.
  6. The state should work with local agencies to review opportunities for more closely coordinating planning documents in drought conditions. The state also should facilitate long-term solutions for agencies that indicate sustainability concerns in the applicable water management plans.
  7. The state and federal government should provide funding and technical support in partnership with local agencies to develop long-term water infrastructure projects that will help ensure reliable water supplies for both the economy and the environment.
  8. The state and federal government should disburse funding approved through state drought emergency legislation passed earlier this year and other federal programs so projects can move forward and assist impacted communities. The state and federal government also should work to ensure additional funding is available, including through a 2014 water bond, for projects and programs that will improve California’s aging water infrastructure and further the coequal goals.
  9. The state should acknowledge that local water systems are best equipped to determine which water conservation programs are most effective for their customers. In addition, the state should provide funding for water use efficiency activities in disadvantaged communities and support programs that are not locally cost effective but contribute broad benefits to California.
  10. The state should review its overall 2014 drought response and look for opportunities to improve coordination in future dry conditions or other extreme weather events.
Topics:

Leave a Reply

Management Stories

ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agriculture State of the Industry Style Report
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More
ManagementTalking Responsible Ag
April 13, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the Responsible Ag program with director Bill Qualls. Read More
ManagementFMC-DuPont, Crop Plantings, and UAV Updates
April 6, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Jackie Pucci discuss the purchase agreement between DuPont and FMC, the 2017 crop acreage mix and Read More
Trending Articles
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teaching Fertilizer Education
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
Latest News
ManagementAn Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tooteli…
April 20, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses An Inside Look at Award Winning Ag Retailer Gar Tootelian Read More
Students Soybean Field
Industry NewsMACA Announces 2017 Young Leader Scholarship Recipients
April 19, 2017
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) Board of Directors selected 11 college students to receive the MACA Young Leader Scholarship Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
SoftwareKnoa Software Solution Helps GROWMARK Boost System Perf…
April 19, 2017
Knoa Software, a leading provider of user experience management (UEM) software, has announced that GROWMARK, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative Read More
Crop InputsFBN Publishes ‘Voice of the Farmer’ Agricul…
April 17, 2017
Farmer’s Business Network (FBN) released today its “The Voice of the Farmer”, which the company is describing as “a special Read More
ManagementTalking Responsible Ag
April 13, 2017
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the Responsible Ag program with director Bill Qualls. Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Crop InputsWhat do Roundup and Mickey Mouse Have in Common? Califo…
April 13, 2017
(SOURCE: East Valley Times) Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup and many other weed killers, is being added Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSource: ChemChina to Divest Assets to Adama Following S…
April 11, 2017
China National Chemical Corp. plans to redistribute agrochemical assets to its Adama unit after the $43 billion takeover of Syngenta Read More
Farming drone air
Eric SfiligojThe Interest in UAVs for Agriculture Grows
April 10, 2017
At times, it seems as if experts have been predicting “big things” for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for several years Read More
OpinionOpinion: Taking On The Farmers Business Network
April 8, 2017
Well, another round of venture capital funding has come to Farmers Business Network (FBN), followed up with the obligatory feature Read More
Drone
EquipmentFarming Drones: The Future Of Agriculture?
April 7, 2017
Chances are, you already know drones are amazing. After all, this is something DroneLife readers just understand. But if you’re Read More
ManagementFMC-DuPont, Crop Plantings, and UAV Updates
April 6, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Jackie Pucci discuss the purchase agreement between DuPont and FMC, the 2017 crop acreage mix and Read More
Falcon soil sampler
EquipmentSerious Soil Sampling Rigs
April 6, 2017
The industry has seen an increase in automation in sampling equipment, and consultants now often pull cores with an automated Read More
Iowa waterways
FertilizerDow AgroSciences Recognizes Ag Retailers’ Role in Prote…
April 6, 2017
The state of Iowa and its agriculture community have worked for decades to preserve soil health, protect water quality and Read More
Farmer Scouting Weeds in Soybean Field
EquipmentSoil, Scouting Programs Continue To Gain Value
April 5, 2017
How much growers and their retailers utilize soil testing and scouting varies greatly. But they should step up their game Read More
Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
Precision Ag6 Key Takeaways from Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
April 5, 2017
Advisory investment group The Mixing Bowl teamed up with Forbes for its New York-based event this year to discuss technology’s Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsQ&A With Pam Marrone On The World’s First All-Biolo…
April 4, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. and Israel-based Ground­work BioAg in February announced successful field trials of the world’s first all-biological comprehensive Read More
Corn soil
Crop NutritionBiostimulants Clamor For A Piece Of The Row Crop Market
April 3, 2017
The question these days isn’t who is venturing into biostimulants — it’s who isn’t. Or more to the point: The Read More