By Bruce Houdesheldt
I am now working through my third drought as the Director of Water Quality for Northern California Water Association (NCWA), where I have learned the importance of broadening my perspective beyond my own tap in Roseville that brings delicious American River water into my home.
A pillar in NCWA’s Strategic Plan and 2021 Priorities is to advance multi-benefit water management that supports nature-based solutions, which provide essential benefits for our economy, health and quality of life – including clean water, nutritious food, outdoor recreation – and contribute to the state’s climate goals and protecting our communities from wildfire, floods, droughts, and extreme heat.
Protecting and enhancing water quality is essential to ensure safe drinking water, healthy ecosystems, and water for farms. Or put simply the multi-benefits of water management. This has never been more important as California experiences a drought of historic magnitude. In the document shown below, Ensuring High Quality Water in the Sacramento River Basin for Communities, Ecosystems and Farms, we describe the state of water quality in the region for all these multiple benefits, and, perhaps most important, we have a regional approach to address water quality issues when they arise later this year and into the future.
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The Sacramento River Basin leadership has advanced a regional approach focused on sustainable water management and climate resilience for all beneficial uses and users of water in the region. For generations the communities and farming families in the Sacramento River Basin have cultivated a shared vision for a vibrant way of life throughout the region that depends upon high quality water for all forms of life. These leaders and their families live, work and play in the region and have a direct interest in ensuring high quality water for all these purposes. This approach builds on the culture and strong partnerships in the region with water suppliers, local governments, landowners and conservationists–all working together with state and federal agencies to ensure safe drinking water, healthy aquatic life and reliable water supplies for farms and ranches.
For the remainder of the year, NCWA will remain vigilant through our North State Drinking Water Working Solutions Network to ensure safe and affordable drinking water throughout the region, knowing that dry years are challenging for water managers.
For more information, or if you have other thoughts, please contact me at email@example.com.