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California Senate Leaders Propose Economic Recovery Plan

San Diego County Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer today praised planning efforts by state Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins of San Diego and other state Senate leaders to help guide California’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The senate plans include funding to create jobs, boost infrastructure investments and to protect renters and landlords.

“We are very appreciative of President pro Tem Toni Atkins’ efforts to advance immediate action on economic recovery and creative solutions to jump-start California’s economy without exacerbating the already-challenging fiscal conditions being experienced at the state and local government levels,” Madaffer said. “We look forward to engaging on the details and partnering with the state to move forward on shovel-ready water and energy infrastructure projects that can help the state’s economic recovery gain traction.”

California State Capitol

California Senate Leaders Propose Economic Recovery Plan

San Diego County Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer today praised planning efforts by state Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins of San Diego and other state Senate leaders to help guide California’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The senate plans include funding to create jobs, boost infrastructure investments and to protect renters and landlords.

“We are very appreciative of President pro Tem Toni Atkins’ efforts to advance immediate action on economic recovery and creative solutions to jump-start California’s economy without exacerbating the already-challenging fiscal conditions being experienced at the state and local government levels,” Madaffer said. “We look forward to engaging on the details and partnering with the state to move forward on shovel-ready water and energy infrastructure projects that can help the state’s economic recovery gain traction.”

The Water Authority pledged to work with Sen. Atkins as the Legislature begins the challenging – but necessary – work of crafting comprehensive and responsible solutions to address the crisis and begin the task of restoring the economy.

Economic Recovery Fund

One of the proposals would create a $25 billion Economic Recovery Fund through establishment of prepaid future tax vouchers from 2024 through 2033. The funds could be used to accelerate infrastructure projects and boost the green economy.

It would also create jobs and provide a myriad of services and resources, from small business and worker assistance and retraining to wildfire prevention response and schools most harmed by campus closures.

In addition senate leaders outlined a budget approach to help the state rebound from COVID-19.

“Our goal is to offer ideas for our state budget and economic recovery that take a responsible approach to planning for our state’s spending, while also keeping in mind the needs of Californians, millions of whom have been adversely impacted by the pandemic,” said Atkins.

Not Sports Podcast: San Diego Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer

Darren Smith: Joining us now in studio is San Diego County Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer.

Smith: “I think some of us we just turn on the shower in the morning and we use the faucet in our home and we never give a second thought as to what it’s coming and where it’s coming from, yet you have all the answers to these questions, don’t you?”

Jim Madaffer: “People do just turn on the faucet, the garden hose and they expect water to come out but yet a lot of folks don’t realize the incredible journey those molecules took to get to that faucet and what it takes to make sure they’re being delivered safe potable quality water and that it’s always reliable and at the best price possible.”

(“Not Sports” podcast with Darren Smith and Jack Cronin is a nightly look at stories that affect San Diego and the greater Southern California region.)

Tijuana River Watershed and Imperial Beach. RE:BORDER 2019.

RE:BORDER 2019 Seeks Transborder Solutions For Water Issues

A two-day conference in San Diego and Tijuana seeks to forge regional solutions for cross-border water issues by breaking down academic, political and administrative boundaries.

The theme of RE:BORDER 2019 is “The Water We Share.” RE:BORDER is a new initiative from San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre that each year will examine a significant transborder issue of the California-Baja California border region in partnership with our Mexican university and community collaborators.

The binational conference kicks off at San Diego State University at 9 a.m. on November 25 and continues the next day at the Universidad Autónoma De Baja California (UABC) in Tijuana.

Water industry officials and elected leaders from the U.S. and Mexico will join university researchers for a series of panel discussions that explore how SDSU, UABC, and regional partners – including the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies – can contribute to innovative solutions for water-related challenges in the transborder region.

RE:BORDER 2019 at SDSU and UABC

RE:BORDER 2019 is a two-day conference in San Diego and Tijuana that seeks to forge regional solutions for cross-border water issues. Graphic: San Diego State University

Water knows no borders

“When we think about water in every dimension, whether it’s the ocean, to the rivers, to the creeks across the Tijuana River Watershed, there are no borders,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “The conference is a first step toward creating solutions that allow both countries to be collaborative and learn from each other.”

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer will deliver opening remarks at SDSU followed by a special presentation by San Diego County Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer. California State Water Resources Control Board Chair E. Joaquin Esquivel is scheduled to deliver the keynote address. State Senator Juan Vargas will close the first day of the conference.

“Water issues and challenges require collaboration on both sides of the border to reach solutions that transcend political boundaries,” said Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer. “The Water Authority and its 24 member agencies continue to develop local projects and explore opportunities that benefit the region, including Mexico and the Southwest.”

Tijuana River Watershed - RE:BORDER 2019 - San Diego

The Tijuana River Watershed covers 1,750 square miles – three-fourths lies in Mexico and includes the cities of Tijuana and Tecate. Graphic: USFWS/NOAA/California State Parks/Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve

Cross border water challenges and solutions

Water reuse, access to a safe water supply, and the political and administrative boundaries in the transborder region are among the topics for discussion at SDSU.

Water Authority Assistant General Manager Dan Denham is one of several panelists who will explore transborder water challenges from the perspectives of regional stakeholders such as farmers, local and state agencies and environmental groups.

Elsa Saxod, a Water Authority board member representing the City of San Diego, will participate in a panel session that looks at the binational management of the Tijuana River Watershed.

Climate change and the transborder region

Topics for Day 2 of the conference in Tijuana include climate change, water security and risks, water and food, and water and equity.

The sessions will examine how the transborder region will be affected by climate change – including greater risks of floods, landslides and wildfires – how reduced water for agriculture impacts the region, and on-going concerns about uneven access to water resources.

“Tijuana and San Diego form a region closely linked by their economies, societies and culture,” said Natanael Ramírez Angulo, director of the Faculty of Economics and International Relations at UABC. “Understanding the problems and challenges involved in the management and use of water, an essential natural resource, must be a priority not only for governments but also for society itself, and we believe that universities can provide valuable knowledge that can help generate programs and policies that help local and federal governments to be successful in addressing this issue.”