Increased pressures on California’s water supply, including from population growth and intense periods of drought exacerbated by climate change, are leading to the overuse of surface water and groundwater. But with existing technology and conservation methods, the state can take vital steps to improve its resilience to drought and plan for a more sustainable water future. This issue brief, produced in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council, is a statewide analysis of the potential for improved efficiency in agricultural and urban water use, water reuse and recycling, and increased capturing of local rainwater.
Earlier today, President Biden announced the first components of his proposed $2 trillion national infrastructure plan to rebuild failing, aging, and outdated water, energy, transportation, and communications systems. While the current information provides only the broadest outlines of his proposals, and the details will have to be worked out in specific legislation to be debated in Congress, it is clearly the most ambitious plan to have been put forward in many years.
Nature-based solutions use or mimic natural processes to meet societal and environmental needs. They can be used to restore, manage, or protect water resources while also increasing biodiversity and providing additional social and economic benefits. Yet there is no standardized method to identify, estimate, and monitor the benefits that nature-based solutions can provide, making it hard to build the case for investments in these solutions.
In 2012, California’s Human Right to Water was passed, calling for safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water for all citizens. Then in 2016, the California State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted a Human Right to Water Resolution, making the Human Right to Water a primary consideration and priority across its programs.
A recently launched water futures market in California drew global attention, from Wall Street to the United Nations. While news of the market has brought both skepticism and speculation, much of the coverage has failed to address the fundamental question: what actually is a water futures market?
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