OPINION – Local Agencies Need More Than “Words on Paper” From The State to Help Fight Drought and Flood

A Tulare County official who’s faced multiple droughts and devastating floods over the past decade appreciated the California Water Commission’s latest “policy paper” on how best to respond to such calamities but she had some advice of her own for the state.

State Deepens Water Supply Cuts as Drought Continues

The California Department of Water Resources is cutting its water allocation for the State Water Project to 5%—down from its earlier promised allotment of 15%.

The agency cited dropping reservoir levels and reduced snowpack amid California’s continuing drought.

The March 18 announcement marked another setback for farmers and others who rely on state surface-water supplies.

California Reservoir, With Estimated $3.9B Cost, Gains Funding Approval

California is taking steps toward a 2024 start of construction on the 1.5-million-acre-feet Sites Reservoir thanks to new funding.

The California Water Commission in December determined the Sites Reservoir, located on the west side of the Sacramento Valley, is eligible for funding through the state’s 2014 voter-approved Proposition 1 Water Storage Investment Program, thereby opening access to $800 million, about 20% of the project’s $3.93 billion price tag.

New $2.3 Billion Dam Planned Near Pacheco Pass Gets Big Boost From State

A plan to build a new $2.3 billion reservoir in southern Santa Clara Couty passed a significant milestone on Wednesday when a key state agency ruled that it continues to qualify for nearly half a billion dollars in state funding.

Major New Reservoir Proposed for Santa Clara County Faces Key Vote

After more than four years of planning, study and political debate, a proposal to build a $2.3 billion reservoir in Santa Clara County — the largest reservoir constructed in the Bay Area in more than 20 years — will reach a make-or-break moment Wednesday.

The California Water Commission, a 9-member panel appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, is scheduled to vote on whether the project, which would be located near Pacheco Pass, will continue to be eligible to receive $496 million in state funding.


San Diego Attorney’s Appointment to California Water Commission Moves Forward

The state Senate’s Rules Committee Wednesday approved Gov. Gavin Newsom’s appointment of San Diego attorney Fern M. Steiner to the California Water Commission. Sen. Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego, who chairs the committee, said Steiner has a record of negotiating major agreements in the public and private sectors.

“As we face another year of drought and the growing impacts of climate change on our water supply, having experienced problem-solvers like Fern on the California Water Commission is more important than ever,” Atkins said in a statement.

Steiner, an employment lawyer, is on the San Diego County Water Authority’s board and serves as a trustee for San Diego Youth Services. Her appointment now goes to the full Senate for confirmation.