Water Policy Overview

California’s aging water system is struggling to cope with population growth, climate change and ecosystem decline. Chronic water shortages have led to the steady overdraft of California’s groundwater reserves by as much as 3 million acre-feet per year. Meanwhile, much of the Bay Area’s water system and innovation economy lies at, below or barely above sea level, exposed to catastrophic damage from extreme storm events. According to a 2015 study from the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, the Bay Area is today vulnerable to over $10 billion in economic damages during an extreme storm event, about the same as the Loma Prieta Earthquake.

2016 Policy Priorities

  • Pass Measure AA to improve Bay ecosystems and protect the Bay shoreline from extreme flood events.
  • Pass AB 1755 (Dodd) to improve California’s water data system to help allocate limited water supplies to where they’re needed most
  • Identify regional priority water projects to prepare region for climate change
  • Pass federal water legislation that approves the South Bay Shoreline Project
  • Pass federal drought legislation that invests in storage and reuse infrastructure while protecting and improving river ecosystems