By David Guy
The Northern California Water Association (NCWA) Board of Directors recently approved its 2022 Priorities. NCWA and the water leaders in the region continue to re-imagine our water system in the Sacramento River Basin and we look forward to working with our many partners in 2022 to cultivate a shared vision in the region for a vibrant way of life. We will also work to harmonize our water priorities with state, federal, and other regions’ priorities to advance our collective goal of ensuring greater water and climate resilience throughout California for our communities, the economy and the environment.
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NCWA Chair Bryce Lundberg recently described the pillars for our priorities, which embrace our culture and ethos in the Sacramento River Basin and guide our priorities and actions. The 2022 priorities focus on the unique opportunities in the Sacramento River Basin to advance ridgetop to river mouth water management, which can best be envisioned by looking holistically at: 1) salmon recovery, 2) headwaters and forest health management, 3) floodplain reactivation for public safety and fish and wildlife, 4) sustainable groundwater management (including groundwater recharge and banking), 5) bird and snake recovery programs, 6) Sites Reservoir, 7) water quality for communities, ecosystems, and all beneficial uses, and 8) water transfers. This holistic approach is described in detail in Ridgetop to River Mouth.
Additionally, our priorities include: The importance of Voluntary Agreements – fix rather than fight; Partnerships and collaboration; Advance collaborative science; and Secure funding to advance the portfolio.
Californians have built an amazing and highly managed water system. But this system is under strain as our values in California water continue to evolve and we face increasing recurrence of droughts, floods and fires. California’s current population of 40 million will grow to 50 million by 2050. We have the most abundant agricultural bounty in the world, we are graced with a stunning landscape and related natural infrastructure, we are the 5th largest economy in the world, and people pursue endless recreational opportunities in every part of the state. Water is essential for all of these special features that define California. A balanced and contemplative approach that embraces and then enhances California’s unique values in water is needed for this great state to continue to protect and enhance our communities, economy, and environment.
We encourage you to review the 2022 priorities. Our goal is to inspire thoughtful public discourse and collaboration that points positive and brings people together–working towards a re-imagined water system that will assure reliable, affordable and high-quality water supplies will be available to serve multiple benefits in the Sacramento River Basin now and for future generations. We are seeking to cultivate additional partnerships in these important efforts and we welcome any additional ideas, thoughts, or engagement as we point forward by emailing us at email@example.com.
The Sacramento Valley is sourcing our sustainable future through responsible management of the essential resource that millions of birds, hundreds of thousands of fish, thousands of farms and millions of people all rely on-water.