Despite his big-city roots, [Gov.-elect Gavin] Newsom understands agriculture is a vital pillar of our economy. More water storage is needed, but unlike so many local politicians (as well as the farmers who own them) he seems to recognize a new dam behind Millerton Lake isn’t the only solution. Nor even the best one.
George H.W. Bush was the first president to sign the U.S. onto a global climate deal, a modest effort recognizing the threat of climate change, and possibly the last to successfully take on a wholesale revision of the Clean Air Act.
Water supply is clearly the most important long-term issue affecting California’s future. It’s also the most politically complicated. Incremental changes in California water policy typically take years, if not decades, to work their way through seemingly infinite legal, regulatory and political processes at federal, state and local levels – and the conflicts often are over the processes themselves.
Each panelist was given an opportunity to make a short “elevator pitch” on water priorities for the governor-elect. Topics included the nexus between water and housing, the challenge of bringing groundwater into balance in the San Joaquin Valley, and improving water management with better data and information technology.
California’s most senior Democrat and most powerful Republican in Washington are teaming up to extend a federal law designed to deliver more Northern California water south, despite the objections of some of the state’s environmentalists. While controversial, the language in their proposal could help settle the contentious negotiations currently underway in Sacramento on Delta water flows — the lifeblood of California agriculture as well as endangered salmon and smelt.
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom has the opportunity to chart his own course on climate change by addressing one of the state’s greatest challenges: the resilience of our water supplies. Newsom didn’t waste any time diving in. On Election Day, he co-authored a letter with Gov. Jerry Brown asking the state water board to delay voting on a plan to increase Delta water flows for salmon so that stakeholders could negotiate voluntary agreements.
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators are negotiating a new water bond that would go before voters in November. If negotiations break down in the next few weeks – and we hope they don’t – voters would decide on a flawed $11 billion water bond crafted in 2009.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a drastically cheaper water bond set off a fresh round of negotiations in the Capitol on Wednesday, as lawmakers and stakeholders seek to craft a plan that addresses the state’s myriad water needs without a bloated price tag.
From U-T San Diego, in a column by Steven Greenhut:
Few issues are more important to the future of California than providing a reliable source of water for the state’s growing population. But despite the sense of urgency caused by this year’s particularly severe drought, legislators still aren’t sure exactly what to do about the problem.
Water bond politics look poised to dominate the remainder of California’s legislative session, with Senate leadership and Gov. Jerry Brown billions of dollars apart on the size of a revised water bond for the November 2014 ballot.
Gov. Jerry Brown told legislative leaders Tuesday that he wants a $6-billion water bond to be put before voters in November — a substantially lower price tag than proposals making their way through the Legislature.
The governor told legislative leaders in private meetings Tuesday that he opposes the existing water bond, which was negotiated by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers in 2009, and wants a $6 billion bond instead.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Gary Polakovic:
It’s been 40 years since the June 20, 1974, opening of “Chinatown,” the fictionalized drama about power, corruption and what is arguably L.A.’s most crucial resource: water. The iconic film was Hollywood’s make-believe version of an undying reality: In L.A., you have to follow the water.
From the PPIC Viewpoints blog, in a post by Emma Freeman and Ellen Hanak:
Much of the current water talk in Sacramento surrounds a new state water bond for the November ballot. Yet as we show in our study Paying for Water in California, most water spending—84 percent—is actually raised locally.
“Wielding two decades of Senate experience and sheer force of will, Sen. Dianne Feinstein overcame environmentalists’ objections and Republicans’ skepticism in pushing through a drought-relief bill that could ship more water to farms and cities and weaken protections for fish.”