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Gov. Newsom Releases Plan to Expand Water Supplies


August 11, 2022

(Mercury News)~Gov. Gavin Newsom released a 19-page plan directing state agencies to increase financial assistance to local water projects as the state struggles with drought.

Newsom wants to expand the water supplies by building recycled water facilities, new reservoirs and desalination plants to address worsening water shortages.

The plan sets various targets and goals, many of them aiming to capture more water in wet years.
Newsom wants to double the amount of recycled water produced in the state and increase stormwater capture by nearly 80%, both by 2030.

He also wants to accelerate the construction of seven storage projects with funding approved by Proposition 1. The plan aims to expand supply by roughly 6 million acre-feet by 2040.

One acre-foot equals about 326,000 gallons, or enough water to cover an acre of land, about the size of a football field, one foot deep. An average California household uses between one-half and one acre-foot of water per year for indoor and outdoor use.

It also calls for increasing water conservation by setting a goal of $1 billion in state and local spending by 2030 to expand programs that pay people to voluntarily replace lawns with water-efficient landscaping.
And it also gives the State Water Resources Control Board the power to draw up mandatory conservation budgets for cities and water agencies next year if California faces another dry winter.

After three dry years in a row, the state’s largest reservoir, Shasta, is just 36% full. Lake Mead, a key water source for millions of people from Las Vegas to Phoenix to Los Angeles, is just 28% full.

Californians are concerned; a recent survey found 25% of residents said water supply and drought are the state’s top environmental issues, and 63% say water supply is a big problem in their region.