CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a water supply strategy to respond to “hotter, drier conditions caused by climate change” in a news conference in the East Bay Thursday morning.
“… [T]he science and the data lead us now to understand that we will lose 10% of our water supply by 2040,” Newsom said.
The governor said that the mindset around water needed to move “away from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance.”
The plan put out by the governor’s office includes creating storage for 4 million acre-feet of water to “capitalize on big storms”, reusing at least 800,000 acre-feet of water per year by 2030, and desalinating ocean water and salty water in groundwater basins
The state has invested more than $8 billion to help with California’s water issues but Newsom expressed his intent to find more money for projects.
“Money is not our problem any more folks,” Newsom said. “All the money that’s floating out there over the course of the last number of years — federal dollars. Money is not the issue, it’s our ability to attract those dollars by being more aggressive.”
Newsom introduced the former mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa, who competed against Newsom for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2018, as the state’s new Infrastructure Czar dedicated to drawing in federal funds.
Villaraigosa said the money is going to be useful for creating jobs.
“We know this is the biggest effort to invest in infrastructure in our nation’s history, at least since the 1950s,” Villaraigosa said. “I can tell you, what’s critical about it is that we’ve got to make sure that we leverage it… We know that with all of this infrastructure, we don’t necessarily have all of the talent that we need. We’re going to use this to leverage apprentice programs.”