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Residential Water Use Trends and Implications for Conservation Policy


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What Can We Learn From How the State Responded to the Last Major Drought?

May 13, 2021 - For the second consecutive year, the state is experiencing extremely low rates of precipitation. As we prepare for what could be an extended period of dry conditions, it is helpful to review how the state responded to the last major drought. Such information can inform—and thereby potentially improve—the state’s current and ongoing response to developing conditions. In this report, we summarize the major activities, spending, and policy actions undertaken by the state to respond to the severe drought that occurred from 2012 through 2016. We also describe current conditions, and highlight some key lessons the Legislature can learn from previous efforts to help guide its response to the emerging drought.

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[PDF] The 2022-23 Budget: Water and Drought Response Proposals

January 31, 2022 - This brief describes and assesses the Governor's 2022-23 water resilience and drought response funding proposals.

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[PDF] The 2016-17 Budget: The State's Drought Response

February 5, 2016 - Despite welcome storms early this winter, statewide drought conditions appear far from over. This report (1) describes the current drought and its impacts across the state, (2) summarizes the state's drought response appropriations and activities thus far, (3) assesses the Governor's drought-related budget proposals for 2016-17, and (4) recommends steps the Legislature can take to address drought both in the coming year and the future.

Handout

[PDF] Overview of State’s Water Conservation Efforts

May 3, 2017 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation

Handout

[PDF] Overview of State’s Water Conservation Efforts

April 25, 2017 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife

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[PDF] A Perspective on the Drought in California

November 21, 1991 - Despite heavy rains in March 1991, California continues to face a serious near-term water problem resulting from five years of drought. In fact, the amount of water in storage on October 1, 1991 was about equal to the amount in storage one year ago—a year in which strict conservation measures were imposed in some areas and there were significant reductions in water supplies for many agricultural users. In this paper, we provide background information on California's water system, the impact of the drought, water needs in the future, and legislative options for coping with water supply limitations.

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Climate Change Impacts Across California - Crosscutting Issues

April 5, 2022 - This report contains four primary sections: (1) a description of the five key climate hazards affecting California, (2) the major ways those hazards impact sectors across the state, (3) significant existing state‑level efforts underway to address climate change impacts, and (4) key issues for the Legislature to consider in response to these impacts. This is one of a series of reports summarizing how climate change will impact different sectors across California.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Natural Resources and Environmental Protection

February 14, 2019 - In this report, we assess several of the Governor’s budget proposals in the natural resources and environmental protection areas. Based on our review, we recommend various changes, as well as additional legislative oversight. We provide a complete listing of our recommendations at the end of this report.

Handout

[PDF] Major Water Related Proposals in the Governor's 2015-16 Budget

February 12, 2015 - Presented to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Hon. Mark Leno, Chair

Handout

[PDF] How Did the State Respond to the Last Major Drought?

May 5, 2021 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife Hon. Eduardo Garcia, Chair

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The 2021-22 Spending Plan: Natural Resources and Environmental Protection

October 18, 2021 - The 2021‑22 budget package provides a total of $21.7 billion from various fund sources—the General Fund, bond funds, and various special funds—for programs administered by the California Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies. This is a net increase of $4.8 billion (22 percent) compared to 2020‑21 estimated expenditures.

Correction 10/22/21: Funding amount for CDFW has been corrected.

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Expanding Access to Safe and Affordable Drinking Water in California—A Status Update

November 10, 2020 - In 2019 the Legislature passed and the Governor signed Chapter 120 (SB 200, Monning) establishing the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water (SADW) Fund, which provides up to $130 million annually for efforts to provide safe drinking water for every California community. The legislation tasked the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) with administering the funding and overseeing efforts to implement both short‑ and long‑term solutions to persistent drinking water problems. One year later, SWRCB has made good progress in establishing spending priorities, beginning to allocate funds and execute projects, and collecting essential data to identify the communities that should be targeted for improvements. However, the state is still in the very early stages of implementation. Given the serious threats to public health, safety, and environmental justice posed by existing drinking water deficiencies, the Legislature will want to continue conducting robust oversight over how efforts to rectify these conditions proceed.