Assemblymember Gray released the following statement regarding Governor Newsom’s Executive Order directing the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to develop a water resilience portfolio that meets the needs of California’s communities, economy, and environment by reassessing priorities contained within the 2016 California Water Action Plan, updating projected climate change impacts to our water systems, identifying key priorities for the administration’s water portfolio, and identifying how to improve integration across state agencies to implement these priorities.
“California has not had a real water plan in decades. Real plans require real decisions, and previous administrations have refused to take on this tough issue. California’s aging water infrastructure as paid the price. That is why I introduced Assembly Bill 638 earlier this year to force the state to actually address the very real impacts that climate change will have on our dams, canals, aqueducts, and levies.
“The shrinking Sierra snow pack acts as California’s largest natural reservoir, but that reservoir is projected to shrink by half in as little as twenty years. That means less snow and more rain. Unless we take action now, we will watch millions of gallons of what used to be irrigation and drinking water wash out into the ocean.
“I don’t expect Governor Newsom and I to agree on every detail of a water plan, but I appreciate that he is not afraid to have the difficult conversations that we must have in order to get one. The Governor’s Executive Order is a critical starting point to get everyone to the table and to put those who would rather ignore this problem on notice. Whether they like it or not, the state will have a plan for water going forward.”