Water for Our Future

Testimony to the Joint Hearing of the California Senate and Assembly Committees
The State of California’s Environment: Obstacles and Opportunities
Water for Our Future

Testimony of Dr. Peter H. Gleick1

March 2, 2005

Honorable Representatives, distinguished guests: Thank you for inviting me to address “Water for our Future” in this remarkable Joint Hearing.

Water is critical for all we do. It is vital for human and ecosystem health, the production of energy and food, industrial and commercial activities, and maintaining healthy and vibrant communities. Let me begin with some bad news, lay out California water myths and taboos, and close with the good news and recommendations.

So here is some of the bad news for California’s water:

• We’ve always fought and argued over water in the western United States, and we continue to do so, pitting farmer against farmer, cities against agriculture, communities against communities, and environmental interests against development.

• There are fears that growing populations and a growing economy require more and more water be taken from our rivers, lakes, and groundwater. Yet it is very apparent to all that we can no longer afford to do so indiscriminately. […]

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