From Maven's Notebook, 11/30/22:
In August, the Newsom administration released the Water Supply Strategy. It is about 15 pages long and is considered a subset of the Water Resilience Portfolio. It was developed after the observation that during the last drought, there was less runoff from precipitation events. Mr. Guivetchi explained that this is because the hotter, drier conditions are sucking the moisture out of the topsoil, so when there is precipitation, some is absorbed by the soil before running off as surface water. As a result, it is estimated that there will be about 10% less surface runoff in the next couple of decades than historically. So the Water Supply Strategy sets targets for water conservation, water recycling, ocean, and brackish desalination, urban stormwater capture, and using floodwaters to recharge groundwater aquifers.
The strategy recognizes the need to better forecast atmospheric rivers, which provide most of the state’s water, and for water data to be more accessible. In addition, it notes the need to modernize the water rights system. The strategy also calls for agencies to align programs, provide joint funding incentives to meet the targets, and expedite permitting processes.