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. To learn more about the Council’s flooding and wetland restoration policy work, click here.

2017 Policy Priorities

  • Sustainable resolution to water conflicts in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
  • Reduce barriers for cities and water agencies to collect and treat stormwater
  • Protect the Bay Area’s supply of freshwater from Tuolumne River (read the report)
  • Implement AB 1755 (Dodd), the Open & Transparent Water Data Act
  • Identify sustainable financing mechanisms for state water investments

Boards and Projects

  • Bay Area Regional Reliability Task Force