Newsom: Desalination Project Should be Approved — “We Need More Damn Tools in the Toolkit”

Citing California’s worsening drought conditions, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday made a powerful new push for a controversial $1.4 billion desalination plant on the state’s coastline.

The proposed oceanfront facility in Huntington Beach has been under debate for more than 20 years, and its fate could set a course for other desalination plants on the state’s coast. The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to take a final vote on the project in two weeks.

“We need more tools in the damn tool kit,” Newsom said during a meeting with the Bay Area News Group editorial board when asked about the project. “We are as dumb as we want to be. What more evidence do you need that you need to have more tools in the tool kit than what we’ve experienced? Seven out of the last 10 years have been severe drought.”

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.


Salton Sea Habitat Restoration Project Touted

An ongoing species conservation habitat project at the Salton Sea’s southwestern shore is serving as a reminder that the sea’s restoration remains a key priority for Gov. Gavin Newsom.

So, too, is a tour that dozens of state, federal and local stakeholders took of the project site where the New River enters the Salton Sea several miles west of Westmorland on Friday, Dec. 10.

Among those present was California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot, who said the tour was an acknowledgement of the ambitious Salton Sea Management Program’s progress and the overall work that remains to be done.

Opinion: Governor’s Drought Solutions: Too Little, Too Late

Four words sum up Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest effort to ease the impact of the drought: too little, too late.

California needs to take far more aggressive action to ensure a reliable source of water for 2022 and beyond. Newsom’s administration is targeting unreasonable waste by urban users, who consume 20% of the state’s water. It’s time for him also to get aggressive with Big Ag, which sucks up the other 80%.

California Drought: Wasting Water? You Could Be Hit With a $500 Fine

Hosing off the driveway. Watering lawns within 48 hours of a rainstorm. Washing a car without a shut-off nozzle.

Any of those wasteful practices could soon be illegal in drought-stricken California, with fines of up to $500 for violators.

Seven months after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for most counties in California, his administration is moving forward with something water conservation experts said should have happened long ago — crafting statewide rules to ban the egregious wasting of water.

Water Restrictions Coming to Bakersfield to Address Drought

Bakersfield’s two largest water providers will soon implement new restrictions to head off the potentially dire impacts of an extended drought.

On Dec. 14, the city of Bakersfield and California Water Service plan to limit the days customers can use water for outdoor landscaping. Other restrictions, like no longer automatically serving drinking water at restaurants, will also go into effect as officials attempt to meet or exceed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call to reduce water usage by 15 percent.

Opinion: Global Leaders Lag California, San Diego Officials on Climate Action

The city and county of San Diego are doing something the United States and most of the world’s most powerful nations have not: committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2035. That’s the same year Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ban on gas-powered automobiles sales in California fully kicks in. The governor also has taken action to prohibit new permits for fracking and greatly restricting where new oil and gas drilling can take place. Those are things the U.S. and many big countries have not done, either.

Opinion: Conservation Is Critical During Drought, but Not the Only Solution

Gov. Gavin Newsom has extended the drought emergency statewide and called on all Californians to redouble their efforts to conserve water. His call to action is critical even with the storms that recently soaked California, because we know that a lot more rain and snow will be needed to lift the state out of the drought.

The Governor’s approach to statewide conservation is laudable, as well, because it continues to empower water managers with matching local water supply conditions with conservation, rather than relying on statewide mandates. While conservation is a critical tool for saving water during a drought, it is only one of many actions that must be taken to address drought. Investing in water infrastructure and the ability of local water managers to diversify supplies are also essential to building climate resilience throughout the state.

Opinion: Newsom Says Mandatory California Water Restrictions Can Wait Six Weeks. Gee, Wonder Why?

Surveying the recently scorched earth of Big Basin Redwoods State Park with the nation’s top environmental official this week, Gov. Gavin Newsom acknowledged that it might be time for mandatory statewide water restrictions — in six weeks or so.

What is he waiting for?