OCWD Passes Resolution in Support of WaterFix Helps
The erosion of the Oroville emergency spillway has been highlighted in the media, but it isn’t the only California water infrastructure that is crumbling or could crumble soon. The expansive infrastructure boom of the 1950s and 1960s was largely followed by years of maintenance at best. Much of that infrastructure is past its lifespan and the population growth far exceeds demands of our current water system. The perfect storm could be right around the corner. We are living on borrowed time.
The Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) recently adopted a resolution of support of California WaterFix to help raise the profile and level of support of the program that deals with a critical source of the District’s supplies—the State Water Project.
California WaterFix is the state’s plan to upgrade aged infrastructure and aging water delivery system and the state’s water management portfolio to secure clean water for 25 million Californians and 3 million acres of farmland. It also seeks to improve the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which is relied upon by everyone from the highest point in Northern California to southernmost San Diego for water.
“California WaterFix, as currently proposed, represents one of the most cost-effective large-scale reliability solutions to improving regional water supply reliability,” said OCWD President Denis Bilodeau. “California WaterFix prevents future loss of water supplies, which allows us to increase regional water storage reserve levels that can protect us from the negative effects of drought.”
According to California WaterFix, the solution to provide reliable, clean and safe water for people, animals and businesses in California is science-driven and covers the areas of water security, environmental protection, reduced risk from earthquakes and climate change, system upgrades and new technology, and increased efficiency.
The plan estimates the cost to fix California’s primary water delivery system at $14.9 billion – or about $5 a month for urban water users – and will be paid for by public water agencies that rely on the supplies.
California WaterFix seeks an “update to California’s aging water delivery system and part of the state’s overall water management portfolio, which includes conservation, groundwater management, recycling, ecosystem protection, and more.”
Key components including water system upgrades, improving river flows for threatened fish species, ecosystem restoration and protection.
Over the last 10 years the project has made significant progress, with 2016 marking completion of the environmental review documents. An unprecedented level of public review, comment, and scientific input has helped refine and improve the proposed project.
To learn more about California WaterFix’ significant progress and next steps visit the California WaterFix website.