Water issues are notoriously difficult for California governors. Just look at former Gov. Jerry Brown’s floundering tunnels proposal for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Yet two factors suggest that Gov. Gavin Newsom must make water a priority.
First, California needs more climate-resistant water supplies. Climate change is making California’s weather more extreme. For the past decade, most years have brought drought or the risk of catastrophic floods. And looking forward, scientists warn that climate change will reduce the water we get from our rivers.
Second, major aquatic ecosystems are in crisis. The Salton Sea is collapsing, threatening waterbirds as well as children in nearby communities who suffer from rising asthma rates caused by blowing dust from a drying sea bed. The San Francisco Bay-Delta is similarly declining — and with growing toxic algae blooms. Without action on water, coming years could bring extinctions, lost fishing jobs and growing human health impacts.
The new governor needs ideas for water sustainability. Fortunately, a growing chorus of voices is offering new water solutions.
Newsom should take a page from California’s campaign to fight climate change. The state’s climate-driven energy policy includes AB32 (a comprehensive […]