Thursday, 06 October 2022

State Board of Food and Ag seeks public input on creating climate-resilient water system

SACRAMENTO – The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will host a public comment session on California’s Water Future on Thursday, Sept. 5, Fresno.

The meeting will be held from noon to 3:30 p.m. at the Fresno County Farm Bureau, 1274 W. Hedges Ave., Fresno.

State agencies are asking Californians to help shape a roadmap for meeting future water needs and ensuring environmental and economic resilience through the 21st century.

This effort seeks to broaden California’s approach on water in the face of a range of existing challenges, including unsafe drinking water, major flood risks that threaten public safety, severely depleted groundwater aquifers, agricultural communities coping with uncertain water supplies and native fish populations threatened with extinction.

Input from the public will help the Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Food and Agriculture craft recommendations to Gov. Gavin Newsom to fulfill his April 29 executive order calling for a suite of actions to build a climate-resilient water system and ensure healthy waterways.

The agencies want ideas for actions needed now to help California cope with more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, year-round wildfires, species declines, aging infrastructure, contaminated water supplies and changing demands for water.

The input will help determine priorities and identify complementary actions to ensure safe and dependable water supplies, flood protection and healthy waterways for the state’s communities, economy and environment.

Among the questions agency officials are considering:

– How can the state help communities ensure safe, affordable drinking water?

– What can the state do to better enable local and regional water districts to capture, store and move water?

– What state actions can support ongoing water conservation?

– How can the state better protect fish and wildlife and manage urban and agricultural water through the next drought?

– What can the state do now to prepare for economic adjustments as communities fully implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in coming years?

– Which state policies or laws no longer fit California’s water reality or public values?

– What are the most troublesome gaps in state data that, if filled, would ease regional water management?

– Are there proven technologies and forecasting tools that should be adopted across California to bolster the sustainability of water systems?

– What models from other states and nations should California consider?

To see a calendar of additional events and learn how to provide input directly to the state agency team, please visit www.WaterResilience.ca.gov .

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs.

The board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials; agricultural representatives; and citizens to discuss current issues and concerns to California agriculture.

All meetings are open to the public and attendance is welcome.

Follow the board on twitter at: www.twitter.com/Cafood_agboard .

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