Top State Water Official Briefs Council on Increasing Drought Resilience

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The Bay Area Council’s Water & Climate Resilience Committee on Monday (Feb. 12) welcomed California Deputy Secretary for Water Nancy Vogel to hear about the state’s progress in strengthening drought resilience, including expanding water storage, connecting under-served communities with clean water, and approving the Delta Tunnel project. On storage, Vogel said California recharged at least 3.8 million acre-feet of water into aquifers across the state and is working to enact legislation the Council advocated for last year to speed up judicial review of water storage projects. The legislation was a top priority for Gov. Newsom. On water recycling, the state water board recently approved regulations allowing for direct potable reuse of recycled water and state leaders similarly extended expedited judicial review to recycling projects. In the Delta, the Department of Water Resources recently certified the environmental impact report for a 45-mile tunnel to connect two intakes on the Sacramento River with the Bethany Reservoir, and the department is hoping to break ground in 2026. The Committee also discussed recent developments with the climate resilience bond and potential tours to restoration projects in Sierra Foothills and the Klamath River. To engage with the Council’s Water & Climate Resilience Committee, please contact Senior Vice President Adrian Covert.

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