Southern CA Reps. Respond to Drought, Offer Solutions
(Washington, DC) Today, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), and Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), in conjunction with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), hosted a Congressional briefing on the impacts drought is having on California’s economy and the policies that are needed to improve water supply reliability in the short- and long-term.
“We are in the midst of a historic drought, the driest calendar year since 1849,” Napolitano said. “While Southern California water agencies have made critical investments in conservation and storage efforts over the last several decades, this year’s historic dry conditions reinforce the urgency to plan for a reliable water future in California. All of California is suffering from this drought, so we must all work together to find solutions that benefit our whole state, not just a segment.”
"There is little doubt that all Californians face a future of increased weather variability and decreased snowpack," Lowenthal said. "We must manage our state's water even more efficiently than we have in the past. We need an 'all-of-the-above' solution, starting with water conservation and recycling. But this is going to take an 'all-hands-on-deck' response."
“The effects of this drought impact every single Californian,” said Cárdenas. “Solutions will take government and private sector collaboration. It will also take all Californians, from every part of our state, coming together for the good of the economy and for the protection and future of our families.”
The briefing, titled, “Responding to the California Drought – Water Reliability Now and For the Future,” was held to engage and educate CA delegation members on the State’s proposal known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). California’s fresh water supply is vulnerable to earthquakes and other natural disasters, and the BDCP is designed to modernize the State’s delivery system for fresh drinking water to ensure a safe, adequate supply, while also restoring the Bay Delta.
Panelists at the briefing discussed actions needed now and how the BDCP supports a reliable water future. Speakers included newly appointed U.S. Dept. of Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor; Jay Jensen, Associate Director for Land and Water Ecosystems at the White House Council for Environmental Quality; MWD General Manager, Jeff Kightlinger; and California Natural Resources Agency Undersecretary Janelle Beland.
Napolitano is the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Water and Power Subcommittee.
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