Water is the lifeblood of the Sacramento Valley, and with minimal precipitation and low reservoirs in the North State, we are using every drop to support our farms, fish and birds. Our goal is to be self-sufficient as a region – this year and every year – because water security at the local level is the best strategy to avoid impacts from drought, now and in the future.
The Sacramento Valley embraces the state policies on regional sustainability and self-sufficiency with respect to our precious water resources. The Governor, in his Water Action Plan, calls for “water security at the local level” and developing “diverse regional portfolios that will relieve pressure on foundational supplies and make [our] communities more resilient against drought, flood, population growth and climate change.”
We are also advancing the state policy that requires “each region that depends on water from the Delta watershed shall improve its regional self-reliance for water through investment in water use efficiency, water recycling, advanced water technologies, local and regional water supply projects, and improved regional coordination of local and regional water supply efforts.” (Water Code §85021.) These investments in water supplies are critical in dry years for the Sacramento Valley.
Sustainable management of the resource requires that we do not pick winners and losers. During the last drought, many called for one water use to be sacrificed to meet the needs of another. This was neither responsible nor sustainable water management. We need to discuss water management strategies in terms of “and” rather than “or.” As such, this year and every year Sacramento Valley water managers are managing every drop to meet all needs in the region: farms, fish and birds.