Priorities for California’s Water 2020
California Trout is pleased to share a recent report by our partners at the PPIC Water Policy Center on the Priorities for California’s Water. CalTrout is a proud sponsor of this report which highlights our commitment to using innovative science to influence policy for the benefit of wild fish and healthy waters for a better California.
This brief highlights how events this past year have shifted the state’s water landscape and lays out priorities for local, state, and federal action.
“The monumental impacts of the coronavirus health emergency and resulting economic fallout have affected virtually every aspect of modern life, including how water is managed. And the nation’s much-needed and difficult conservation about racism has illuminated water equity issues – such as how we address climate change, safe drinking water, flood management, and more.” — Ellen Hanak, PPIC
The report highlights several recommendations which some CalTrout projects are working to address, such as:
- Collaborate to reduce uncertainties in agricultural water supplies. Broad-based partnerships to bring groundwater basins into balance and address environmental water needs can improve the outlook for farm water supplies. The agricultural sector can also do more—in partnership with others—to support workforce communities hit hard by the pandemic.
- CalTrout is working with farmers and ranchers in Shasta County to improve water use efficiency and restore cold, nutrient-rich flows back to the Little Shasta, balancing the needs of livestock and wild fish. This will help to eliminate excess groundwater pumping complying with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
- Invest in forest health as a vehicle for economic recovery. Wildfire risk is growing in California, threatening lives, property, and the quality of our air and water. Expanding forest management can help reduce extreme wildfire risk and safeguard the many benefits forests provide, while creating good jobs for rural, forest-based communities.
- CalTrout’s June Mountain Fuels Reduction Project is removing beetle-killed whitebark pines to prevent catastrophic wildfire in the Rush Creek watershed.
- Make the most of limited resources for the environment. Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of ecosystem investments can help, as can efforts to reduce conflict over water dedicated to the environment. California also needs robust funding and reliable water supplies to improve the health of freshwater ecosystems, which are especially vulnerable to drought.