We must invest in water storage infrastructure

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California had a record budget surplus last year, and most every pet project around the state got some funds from Sacramento. But our outdated and inadequate rain water storage situation remained largely unaddressed. Our reservoirs are now filling, but there is just not enough capacity to reflect the new reality of climate change and unreliable rainfall patterns each year. The “atmospheric river” now dumping over the state is not anything we can plan on with any regularity. 

Without substantial new investments and commitments to capture, store and move water throughout the state, California communities will continue to be subject to water scarcity and farmers will be unable to produce adequate food supplies, threatening food and national security. Over the past 40 years, California has not completed a major water storage project of statewide significance despite the state’s population nearly doubling and industry growing significantly. 

California’s failure to plan for drought conditions is forcing farmers to reduce acreage and take thousands of acres of land out of production. The land is sinking in many parts of the state as wells are tapped and drilled further to reach depleting supplies of fresh water.  

We cannot simply conserve or recycle our way out of current and future droughts. More water storage and infrastructure is a fundamental part of the solution. 

Ward Fredericks, Indian Wells