Introduction

On July 30th, 5 subgroups evaluated recommendations that were submitted with the below criteria as a guideline:

  • Impacts CA with 100 years, but is actionable within the next 4-8 years
  • Actionable by the Governor
  • Creates climate resilience
  • Solves problems differently/innovatively
  • Specific not generic.
  • Benefitted by a multi-perspective conversation
  • Not something we are currently doing

Subgroups worked to identify overarching themes and further develop 2-3 of the top tier recommendations in a 1 hr 15 min session. The recommendations below reflect that process. Some are more developed than others. The subgroups will work between Plenary #2 and Plenary #3 to further refine the recommendations.

To participate in the process, please contact the facilitator of the subgroup by email to express your interest.

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Groundwater Recommendations

Facilitator–Jason Peltier (jepelt@me.com)

  1. Establish an investment plan and fund to:
    1. Understand and mitigate economic, environmental and human consequences of groundwater management.
    2. Develop multi-benefit groundwater management initiative.
  2. Pursue local solutions utilizing regional and statewide partnerships (water banking and marketing)
  3. Regulatory stability

 

Safe Drinking Water (Human Right to Water)

Facilitator--Toby Briggs fortobybriggs@gmail.com)

  1. Convene a multidisciplinary task force to identity and recommend funding and programmatic options for a statewide water low-income rate assistance program (e.g. CARE) for water and wastewater rates to present to the legislature.
  2. Direct CA EPA Secretary to take all necessary actions to ensure that the SWRCB, DEpt of Toxic Substances Control and Dept of Pesticide Regulation adopt and implement strong, effective regulation to protect and restore sources of drinking water impacted by agricultural and industrial discharges to avoid unnecessary, costly and energy-intensive drinking water treatment.
  3. Ensure equitable access to safe wastewater service by:
    1. Data collection to determine the extent of wastewater related needs, focused on related health inequities
    2. Increase funding to cover the identified wastewater related needs.
    3. Implementation of exisiting and/or new authority to ensure equitable extensions of sewer service to communities relying on failing septic tanks or any other inadequate wastewater infrastructure.
    4. To homeless populations also (recommendation language needs to be written).

 

Flood/Fire/Watershed & Integration

Facilitator–Jodie Monaghan (jodie@jmconsultants.net)

Overarching Concept:

Quantify watershed resilience by recognizing environmental benefits as assets*, allowing them to be monetized as an environmental resource.

  * Assets include: trees animals, dirt, water, people, environmental functions, etc.

  1. Quantify watershed condition, needs, and resilience in terms of projects, and manage as an infrastructure project.
  •         Treat as a Capital Improvement Project (CIP)
  •         Include real-time monitoring, improved modeling, and better data collection to address climate change impacts.
  •         Allows for better decision-making, planning and management

Problem to be solved: Projects are piece-meal and subject to grants rather than a coordinated effort.

  1. Aggregate existing regional plans within a watershed. Determine:
  •         What’s working?
  •         What’s not working?
  •         What’s missing?
  •         How can plans be improved to achieve a minimum standard?

THEN, coordinate State funding streams and regulations to efficiently implement. Include research, adaptive management modeling and data collection.

Problem to be solved: Too many siloed plans and funding streams.

Additional concepts for further discussion:

  •         Integrated water management
    • o   Need to integrate/coordinate Fire, flood, restoration
    • o   Look at entire watershed
  •         Increased extreme impacts from Climate Change
    • o   Increased floods
    • o   Increased drought
  •         Quantify watershed restoration needs (in the form of projects)
    • o   Treat as an infrastructure project
    • o   Treat as a CIP project 
  •         Real-time monitoring of upper watershed conditions
    • o   Forest health
    • o   Snow pack
    • o   Model Improvements
  •         Build on existing plans – don’t reinvent the wheel. Possibly create an “uber” plan or expand and implement current plans.
    • o   IRWMs
    • o   SGMA
    • o   CVFPP
    • o   SNSIP
    • o   AB1551 
  •         Public education to support integration 
  •         Recommendations that are actionable in 4 – 8 years may be insufficient to create a 100-year plan.
  •         Create a financial model that allows regions to pay for the most effective and efficient projects.
  •         Quantify watersheds
    • o   Recognizes environmental assets as they relate to integrated water management
    • o   Monetize environmental resources
  •         Post fire rehabilitation across jurisdictions
    • o   Include federal lands
  •         Use pilot projects
    • o   Yolo Bypass
    • o   Dam reoperation
    • o   Climate change
  •         Increase us of managed wildfire
    • o   Fireshed mapping
    •         Better operations and maintenance of all natural resources
    • o   Identify needed upgrades
  • 95% of all levees not compliant
    • o   Consider upstream functions to slow down water
    •        Improved modeling of flooding
    • o   Don’t know where to spend our money most effectively

San Francisco Bay-Delta

Facilitator–Charles Gardiner (charles@catalystgroupca.com)

The Delta is the heart of California’s interconnected water system—a source of water for much of the state’s urban and agricultural water use, the recipient of flows and pollutants from upstream events and activities, the habitat and migratory route for fish and wildlife, the conduit for freshwater flows to San Francisco Bay, as well as the home for productive agriculture, numerous small communities, and recreation for the adjacent urban areas of Sacramento, Stockton, and the East Bay.

  1.       Develop Integrated Outcomes for the Delta and the Water Resilience Portfolio

Actions to address the challenges in the Delta must remain connected to and coordinated with water resilience initiatives in the Delta watershed and in areas served by water supplies diverted from the Delta and its tributaries. Any (re)consideration of Delta conveyance should be closely integrated with planning and implementation of water resilience portfolio actions outside and within the Delta. Specifically, integrated outcomes for the Delta and Water Resilience Portfolio should consider the following:

  1.       Available supplies and timing for water users outside the Delta. Evaluate potential changes in Delta inflows and water availability resulting from climate change and upstream actions.
  2.       Coordinated management approach for (re)evaluating and communicating assumptions, objectives, evaluation, and implementation.
  3.       Potential mechanisms for prioritizing environmental flows, including environmental water budgets.
  4.       Actions to increase wet year storage south of the Delta and reduce water demand on the Delta and its tributaries.
  5.       Securing accessible, affordable water for disadvantaged communities.
  6.       Integrated investment plan for projects and programs in and outside the Delta.
  7.       Enhance Flood and Climate Change Adaptation for the Delta

Climate change is expected to have substantial effects on the sustainability and resilience of the Delta—sea level rise, storm surge, increased flood flows in wet periods, decreased inflows in droughts. Strategies and actions are needed to protect and adapt the resources of the Delta, including the following:

  1.       Update and communicate analyses of future Delta sea level, flood, and drought conditions.
  2.       Halt and reverse subsidence by supporting and incentivizing alternate cropping patterns and ecosystem investments (also has carbon emissions benefits).
  3.       Protect small and disadvantaged communities and critical assets from flooding.
  4.       Develop comprehensive levee program, integrated with Central Valley flood management and ecosystem restoration strategies (e.g., edge habitat on water side of levees).
  5.   Identify dry year water quality strategies.
  6.       Ecosystem/Wildlife Strategy

Restoring the Delta ecosystem is one of the co-equal goals for the Delta. Chapter 4 of the Delta Plan establishes goals and targets for restoration. The EcoRestore program has initiated restoration projects across the Delta. The Water Resilience Portfolio should describe a strategy for continuing to advance Delta ecosystem restoration, including the following:

  1.       Identify strategies and resources for investing in connected, landscape scale habitat restoration, considering endangered species needs.
  2.       Prioritize restoration on the public lands in the Delta.
  3.       Consider strategies to promote sustainable agriculture that provides habitat benefits.
  4.       Maintain connection and integration with water needs for habitat.

Diverse Water Supplies

Facilitator–Marguerite Patil (mpatil@ccwater.com)

 

  1. Accelerate implementation of water efficiency and reuse
    1. direct/indirect potable reuse
    2. Statewide support for incentives
  2. Improve reservoir/system operations
    1. Forecasting
    2. Groundwater/storage
  3. Review system of water rights in response to climate change.

 

Healthy Waterways

Facilitator–Jonas Minton (jminton@pcl.org)

 

Participants did not choose to participate in this subgroup. Please contact Jonas if you have an interest in helping forward recommendations in this area.

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