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More critical water storage is finally coming to California. It took nearly 40 years.

California officials have been pushing for more natural water storage since the last large-scale facility was built in 1979. Now they’re finally going to get it, thanks to political pressure, President Donald Trump and some congressional creativity.

The House approved several provisions Thursday that help fund water storage projects. The Senate is expected to concur shortly, and Trump is expected to sign the legislation into law next week.

Republican Rep. Jeff Denham and Democrat Rep. Jim Costa have been pushing for additional water storage for the state for years in constantly-at-risk-of-drought California. Since 1979, California’s population has grown 70 percent.

2 Years of Progress On Water Issues

When I started my term as Board Chair of the San Diego County Water Authority in October 2016, California was mired in drought but the San Diego region had sufficient supplies regardless of the weather.

Thankfully, just a few months later, epic rain and snow significantly improved water supply conditions statewide, but not before validating our long-term strategy to develop a drought-resilient portfolio of water resources that protect the region during dry times. In fact, we had enough water to store 100,000 acre-feet of water for the future — a testament to regional foresight, coordination, hard work and investments by ratepayers.

Being able to assure residents and businesses that we had sufficient supplies to sustain our economy and quality of life was the biggest accomplishment of my two-year term as chair, which comes to an end on Sept. 30.

OPINION: More Conservation, Cooperation Vital To Our New Era Of Water Shortages

The agency tasked with managing water and power in the West recently issued its annual report on projected future water levels at Lake Mead, the reservoir that provides water to Arizona, Nevada and California. This report by the Bureau of Reclamation confirmed that it will not impose mandatory water cutbacks in 2019. But it also projected a more than 50 percent chance of cutbacks in 2020 if water levels in the lake continue their decline and fall below 1,075ft.

OPINION: Ready for California’s next emergency? We hope so

America is ready for Florence’s visit. That’s what President Donald Trump told us Thursday. We hope his confidence is justified and that people and provisions are in place to respond to this emergency.

We don’t want this to become another Hurricane Harvey, that destroyed 300,000 buildings in Texas. Or, worse, another Hurricane Maria, which killed maybe 64 people (the initial, now-discarded, estimates) or maybe 1,417 (a number supported by statisticians) or even 2,975 (which George Washington University is using now).

Global Climate Action Summit puts stress on action

This has been a big week for advocates who fight climate change. Business leaders, mayors, governors and activists from around the world rallied in San Francisco at the Global Climate Action Summit to advance their agenda in the face of a defiant White House.

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an order Monday announcing the goal to eliminate carbon emissions in the state within 27 years. He also just signed a bill into law, making the state’s electricity completely emissions-free by 2045. Brown signed as the White House reportedly enacted another policy to stymie such efforts, this time by relaxing methane emission regulations.

For advocates pressuring big pension funds, companies and investment firms to deploy their money with the environment in mind, a good return looks to be the best motivator.