California Governor Calls for Agreement on Water Infrastructure Plan
This week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called for an agreement on a proposal to address the state's critically needed water infrastructure, stating that the current system faces severe limitations, environmental lawsuits and reduced water deliveries to drought-stricken Southern California.
In a speech at the California State Association of Counties annual meeting that was attended by more than 500 local and state officials, the governor discussed his plan to fix the ailing Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, increase water conservation and add water storage and conveyance to a significantly upgraded statewide system.
"We all agree we need conservation and water-efficiency measures, flood control, a new Delta conveyance system and additional storage. The trick is to find that sweet spot where we can all agree on the right mix that will do the most for our state and in the most economically responsible way," Schwarzenegger said.
"Whether it's the drought, reduced pumping through the delta, or our half-empty reservoirs, everyone now can see that we haven't done enough to protect California's water future. 'A nation that fails to plan intelligently for the development and protection of its precious waters will be condemned to wither because of its shortsightedness,' Lyndon Johnson once said. I want to make sure that never happens in California. But the truth is, we have not added a major state reservoir in more than 30 years, even as our population was booming from 20 million to 37 million."
In January, the governor introduced a plan to invest in additional surface water and groundwater storage to meet the needs of population growth.