California Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman outlined a plan to ensure the stability of California’s water future in the face of global climate change. Speaking before a public forum at the World Ag Expo, Chrisman detailed Governor Schwarzenegger’s “Delta Vision” and outlined a bond proposal to invest $5.95 billion in additional improvements to the Delta ecosystem, new reservoirs and water conservation.
Chrisman joined Secretary for California’s Department of Food and Agriculture, A.G. Kawamura, U.S. Department of Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary Jason Peltier and Luana Kiger, special assistant to the state conservationist, United States Department of Agriculture in a panel discussion and public forum.
By 2050, scientists project a 25% reduction in the state’s snowpack. Reductions in snowpack and earlier snowmelt will require more storage space to prevent flooding and ensure reliable water supplies. Warmer water temperatures will also impact the Delta ecosystem, reducing water quality and threatening its wildlife.
In 2006, voters approved bond measures to provide more than $4 billion for flood management and prevention and nearly $1 billion for groundwater storage, conservation, recycling and other water management actions.
The governor has proposed an additional $4.5 billion for surface and groundwater storage, $1 billion for Delta sustainability, $250 million for resources stewardship, and $200 million for water conservation. New construction of surface water storage would most likely occur near the community of Sites on the west side of the Sacramento Valley, and Temperance Flat on the San Joaquin River east of Fresno.